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/ / / The Approach: Volume 2, Issue 2

The Approach: Volume 2, Issue 2

The Approach: John Deere Golf

Volunteers Help TPC Sawgrass Race to the Finish


Volunteers Help TPC Sawgrass Race to the Finish

Helping hands and John Deere equipment get the course ready for THE PLAYERS Championship.


After a long, tough winter, spring finally sprung at TPC Sawgrass. It couldn’t have come too soon for Clay Breazeale, golf course superintendent for the Stadium Course at TPC Sawgrass, which hosted THE PLAYERS Championship May 6-11.


“It’s been cold, wet and overcast,” he says. “Not exactly ideal growing conditions for our summertime grass.”


Breazeale is looking forward to the 80 volunteers who signed up to help get the course ready for the professional golfers, spectators and television cameras this year.


For the second year, John Deere Golf is the official sponsor of the 2014 TPC Sawgrass Volunteer Team for THE PLAYERS. The program attracts Green Industry professionals and students from across the country and overseas. They learn how to run an extensive volunteer program and prepare a world-class course to exacting standards, all while networking with their peers.


“This year almost a third of our volunteers are coming from Horry Georgetown Technical College in South Carolina,” Breazeale says. “Their professor and a few students came last year. This year, they made it part of their program.”


Students from the University of Maryland’s winning Collegiate Turf Bowl team were also in attendance. The Turf Bowl is sponsored by John Deere and presented in partnership with the Golf Course Superintendents Association of America (GCSAA) at the Golf Industry Show (GIS). In addition to a cash prize, the Turf Bowl winners are given the chance to volunteer at TPC Sawgrass.


“I think that really sets us apart,” says Breazeale. “Our volunteers are always about half students and half turf professionals, so they have the opportunity to learn from one another.”


Volunteers also had the opportunity to learn from a different kind of professional this year. Professional golfer Zach Johnson spoke to volunteers during the tournament week.


Experience a day in the life of a volunteer by checking out our 2014 Volunteer Program video.


And for more information on the volunteer team, visit the TPC Sawgrass Volunteer Program website.


You can also follow the progress of TPC Sawgrass’ tournament preparation and more on Twitter @tpcsawgrassagr.

John Deere Goes on TOUR


John Deere Goes on TOUR

Experience our golf history and support for The First Tee® and PGA TOUR®.


Did you know John Deere’s grandson was part of the 1904 U.S. Summer Olympics team that won a silver medal in golf? You would have if you had visited the John Deere booth that is traveling to various PGA TOUR events.


The multimedia display is intended to demonstrate John Deere’s connection to the past, present and future of golf via historic photos, product videos and educational panels. The booth shares information about The First Tee, the John Deere Classic, and John Deere’s role as the Official Golf Course Equipment Supplier of the PGA TOUR, says Neil Dahlstrom, manager of Corporate History for John Deere.


“We wanted to provide an on-course venue for The First Tee to continue to help shape the lives of young kids and teens through the game of golf,” Dahlstrom says. “This includes a partnership with John Deere to develop the Careers on Course program, which creates opportunities for teens to work closely with professionals at partnering golf courses. Deere is a national sponsor of The First Tee.”


The booth and accompanying John Deere golf equipment on display also allows spectators to learn more about the company’s golf history and support of the game. The public can speak to John Deere representatives about their experiences with John Deere equipment, how they can help support The First Tee, “and of course we are giving away hats,” Dahlstrom says. “That’s always a major draw.”


Look for John Deere at these upcoming PGA TOUR events:


May 27- June 1 Principal Charity Classic
Champions Tour Wakonda Club
July 7-13 John Deere Classic TPC Deere Run
Aug. 25 - Sept 1 Deutsche Bank Championship TPC Boston
Sept. 10-14 TOUR Championship East Lake
October 6-12 SAS Championship Prestonwood Country Club
October 30-November 4 Charles Schwab Cup Championship Desert Mountain Club

TPC Deere Run Super to Retire


TPC Deere Run Super to Retire - Paul Grogan

Superintendent Paul Grogan wraps up a decade of leadership.


After 40 years in the golf industry, including the last 10 at TPC Deere Run, home of the PGA TOUR’s John Deere Classic, Paul Grogan is looking forward to retirement.


He is leaving the course in great shape and great hands. Alex Stuedemann, who once served as Grogan’s assistant superintendent at TPC Deere Run, is now the superintendent with Grogan consulting him through the end of the year.


Paul Grogan has always been great to work with. He brings a humility and professionalism to everything he does that is truly unique,” says Clair Peterson, John Deere Classic tournament director. “Because of that, Paul has always been recognized as a leader in his profession as well as a wonderful person to spend time with. As he leaves TPC Deere Run for retirement, all of us at the John Deere Classic wish him well—and already miss him.”


As a final feather in Grogan’s cap, Deere Run was recently honored for Environmental Excellence in the annual Golf Course Superintendents Association of America (GCSAA)/Golf Digest Environmental Leaders In Golf Awards (ELGA) for 2013. It was the eighth time TPC Deere Run was recognized by the ELGAs. TPC Deere Run's championship course was also featured as one of America's 100 Greatest Public Golf Courses by Golf Digest, and was ranked fifth in Illinois by GolfWeek Magazine.

Customers Drive New Mower Upgrades


Customers Drive New Mower Upgrades

Be the first to get a demonstration of John Deere’s new equipment.


While current generation models are still available, limited numbers of new A Model fairway, rough trim & surrounds mowers, which were officially introduced at the Golf Industry Show in February, are being demonstrated across the country by John Deere distributors.


During years of refinement, John Deere worked closely with its customers to implement the changes that would improve operator productivity, make machines easier to service, and provide superintendents with more control over after-cut appearance.


“Throughout product development, we’ve had touch points and reviews with customers,” says Tracy Lanier, John Deere product manager. “In our last feedback program, for instance, we asked customers to come in and use the equipment so they could make sure our solutions work for them.”


Some of the many new features include a TechControl display that allows superintendents to set or change mowing, turning and transport speeds, which limits variations in performance by different operators. The TechControl display can also be used to diagnose and maintain the equipment via on-board visual diagnostics and the ability to set regular service times.


The AutoPedal™ system allows engine RPM to be controlled via foot pedals to make operation and training easier. Letting off the pedal to minimize engine revolutions will save fuel and lower sound levels.


LoadMatch™ technology has also been implemented in the A Models, which automatically adjusts the speed of the machine to maintain consistent power to the cutting units during heavy load conditions — such as when mowing thicker turf or in wet conditions. This provides a better quality of cut without the need to train operators to recognize when they need to adjust their speed.


The eHydro™ traction pump and internal wet disc brakes make maintenance easier on technicians. The pump is no longer controlled via mechanical linkages, but is electronic instead. Reducing the complexity of the drive system eliminates the need to adjust or repair linkages.


“We have units out in the field with distributors now who are doing demonstrations for customers,” says Lanier. “We’ve had a lot of positive feedback on the changes.”


You can check out the many new features of the A Models yourself by requesting a demonstration from your local John Deere Golf distributor.


This is just a sneak peek at the upcoming A-Model mowers, for more information visit www.JohnDeere.com/AModels.

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