Municipal course set for national stage (with photos)

By Perry Russom

August 12, 2013 Updated Aug 12, 2013 at 11:50 PM EST

Endicott, NY (WBNG Binghamton) Most days at En-Joie Golf Club start with the slam of a locker and growl of a lawn mower.

"There's definitely a buzz in the air about the tournament and everybody's interested in what we do to get the course ready," said Course Superintendent Rocco Greco.

With the Dick's Sporting Goods Open teeing off this week, there's added pressure to make the 100-acre course just right.

Greco starts his morning meetings at the club at 6:30 on the dot, when he dishes out daily assignments to his 20-plus person staff.

"For them to get up at 5 in the morning during tournament week ... it feels good to know you have them behind you," said Greco.

His team is made up of retirees, high schoolers and college kids.

One of those college kids is Brian Legg, who's interning with the club for the summer. He's studying Golf Course Management at SUNY-Delhi.

"You always watch (golf tournaments) on TV and you always wonder what it takes to get a course ready," Legg said. "It takes a lot of hard work and take a lot of pride in what we do here."

Mike Wesko is a former salesman who worked on this course in his college years.

Now in his retirement, he fills the divots with a mixture of sand, fertilizer, dirt and grass seed.

Leading up to the tournament, Greco has his mowers 'double cut' the green to an eighth of an inch. They mow one way and then the direct opposite, making the green run faster and smoother.

With the tournament being nationally televised, there's an added stress on making sure every weed is pulled and every hedge clipped.

That job is left to Doug Stanton.

"I always like to look at something before I start it, Stanton said.

"You know, if there are weeds in the bed or there's overgrowth in the bed and then compare and compare it when it's done to what it looked like before I got started," he said.

Greco said during tournament week, he won't be getting much sleep with his mind on the course.

"The guys that you see working here have been doing it all year so they're the ones that should really get the credit," Greco said.

The Dick's Sporting Goods Open has festivities running throughout the week. Official PGA play begins on Friday.