SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — The staff at Minnehaha Country Club is working long hours to have the golf course in tip-top shape for this week’s Sanford International.

David Swift is the longtime superintendent at Minnehaha Country Club and will spend countless hours preparing the course for the Sanford International.

Keep up with the latest coverage from the Sanford International on our special page.

“More than the average person probably realizes but it’s OK, we do it because we love it,” Minnehaha Country Club Superintendent David Swift said.

He doesn’t do it alone. About 20 students from Southeast Technical College are volunteering their time during tournament week.

“We have a very short window, we’ve got about 200 man hours a day of work to do and they’re here, they’re here ready, willing, and able to do whatever it takes,” Swift said.

“These are the graduates and students that employers want to hire because they’re getting up before sunrise coming out here, volunteering and doing what they love getting a golf course ready for the PGA,” Southeast Technical College Sports Turf Management Instructor Cory Borgen said.

Cory Borgen is the Sports Turf Management instructor at Southeast Tech.

“They can take that back to their other places of employment and maybe implement some of the things they learned here with a lawn care company or a landscape company or even if it’s with the park & rec or a baseball field,” Borgen said.

“I really am kind of drawn to this big event-type thing just because at the end of the day, when it’s all done, you look at your finished product and you’re like yeah, we did that,” Southeast Tech student Danny Olson said.

Workers check the golf course ahead of the Sanford International
Workers check the golf course ahead of the Sanford International

Danny Olson is a student at Southeast Tech and an employee at Minnehaha Country Club. He’s worked at resorts and public and private golf courses and calls Swift the best he’s ever worked for.

“After your job is done or during the downtime of the season you can call him up, you can go out to dinner with him, you can sit in his office and he will talk about grass for six hours, and I’ve done that,” Olson said.

Swift has some simple but important advice for anyone interested in golf course management.

“Ask a lot of questions, pay attention, and show up on time,” Swift said.

And thanks in part to these students, MCC is ready for another Sanford International.

Tuesday is National Thank a Golf Course Superintendent Day… and PGA TOUR Champions players should as Swift says Minnehaha Country Club is currently in its best shape of the season.