Three holes at TPC Deere Run have undergone subtle changes in advance of this year’s John Deere Classic, July 9-15.
Golf Course Superintendent Alex Stuedemann said the alterations were done at the request of the PGA TOUR with an eye toward constantly improving competitive conditions at the tournament as well as enjoyment by daily fee golfers.
“There’s never been a need to do anything drastic with the golf course,” said Stuedemann. “Normally the changes are directed by the PGA TOUR from the Rules Officials for the benefit of the tournament.”
Contestants will notice that the back left areas of greens on the par 4 15th and the par 3 16th holes have been flattened in order to create new pin placements, which could affect strategy and open new pin placement areas during wet conditions, Stuedemann said.
Fans are more likely to notice that the tee box on the 16th hole has been renovated and expanded by 1,000 square feet so that the back - tournament - tee reaches almost to the cart path. This should give Tour officials the ability to move the teeing area around to give players more variety and to minimize wear-and-tear, Stuedemann said. A shorter tee box was added for daily customers to take pressure off the back tee.
A third area likely to be most noticeable to golfers who play the course is the addition of 30 percent more room on the middle deck of the teeing area on No. 1. This will enable the club to preserve the back tee for the John Deere Classic, Stuedemann said.
The fourth project was the recapture of 800-square feet of putting green surface on the main practice putting green near the driving range. The extra space is expected to help tournament players feel less cramped when they’re practicing during the week of the event, Stuedemann said.