Who is behind the scenes of preparing for the Sanford International?

Local News

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — It’s more than just mowing the grass that goes into the grounds work to prepare for the Sanford International.

“We want it to look great, but it’s the surface that we prepare so we try to dry it down and let mother nature do her thing and we try to get the right amount of moisture at the right time so we can firm up nicely and you know mow and roll and do all the things necessary to create a great playing surface,” said David Swift, grounds superintendent for the Minnehaha Country Club.

Students from Southeast Tech also volunteer with the grounds work.

“I think we’ve got 24 students from Southeast Tech that are coming in to volunteer for the tournament so a lot of them have a little bit of experience coming into the tournament and we put them in a situation with our staff and it’s been working out great,” Swift said.

The crew comes out a couple hours before the events begin for the day to prepare the course. They also stay a couple hours afterwards to wrap up the landscaping.

Off the course, there is another part of the landscaping brought in specifically for the week.

“What we bring in come Monday we are going to take it all down, do nothing actually gets dug into the ground like a typical landscape planting, we do it all above ground and we leave the plants in the pots and we just kind of hide that all with a big thick layer of mulch,” said Luke Wixo, account manager with Weller Brothers.

This year they brought in nearly 500 plants.

“This is the first year we brought in a lot of larger trees, with some of the new configurations of the grandstands it kind of allowed for us to do that.,” Wixo said.

“We don’t want to settle for second best. I mean everything is with the goal of perfection or as close as we can get to perfection, you know it’s a moment in time so it’s a lot of timing of everything,” Swift said.

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