How MCC Dried Out In Time For the Sanford International

Local News

Many of you probably remember this image of a Sanford helicopter hovering over the golf course at the Minnehaha Country Club. 

The aircraft helped dry out the course last week during the Sanford International. 

But as you’re about ot find out, that’s not the only measure officials took to keep the tournament on track. 

Last Sunday, people cheered as Steve Stricker became the champion of the Sanford International, marking the end of the inaugural tournament. 

But earlier that week, torrential rain almost threw this historic event off course. 

“We’re right along some major city streets where we get a lot of water that tends to come right here very quickly,” MCC CEO Ted Thie said. 

With play set to begin on a Friday, officials knew that Thursday they would have to work quickly to clear the water from the course. 

First, the helicopter came to the rescue. 

Then more help from staff and volunteers.

“We had almost 40 people out with backpacks blowing water off the golf course, trying to dry the golf course up,” Thie said. 

But Minnehaha Country Club CEO Ted Thie says that would only be the beginning of the workload. 

“We needed to get rid of 11 and a half million gallons of water in about 10-11 hours so when they got to that point of the golf course it was passable,” Thie said. 

Thie says the city stepped in to help pump the water from the Minnehaha Country Club and the Country Club of Sioux Falls into the Big Sioux River. 

The extra sets of hands had to burn the midnight oil to get the work done. 

Minnehaha Country Club Senior Assistant Superintendent Ryan Lehmann knew they would get the job done. 

“Not a doubt in our mind that we wouldn’t have got it prepared for Friday morning,” Lehmann said. 

By now, the images of a flooded course are long gone, but Thie is still feeling a sense of gratitude for everyone’s help, including the city’s 

“They all helped us in any way possible to make this happen,” Thie said. 

Overall, about 20 million gallons of water had to be pumped. 

Thie says if they wouldn’t have been able to move the water so quickly, they would’ve had to push the tournament back by a day. 

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