As a member of Austin Country Club, I am often questioned by friends and family about the Dell Match Play World Golf Match Play Championship that will take place at ACC March 25-31, 2019. One of the most surprising questions I encounter is “Have they started setting up all those tents yet?”
This question pops up in early March when people start seeing adds for the championship on television or in the paper. My normal response is a polite yes. Sometimes I mention that the construction has been going on since mid-December, sometimes I don’t.
These structures and the rest of the preparations that take place are amazing to watch. For me and other members, it is both interesting and annoying at the same time. The engineering of these structures is quite impressive and the small army of workers who construct them are generally polite and try to be respectful to the golfers. However, it’s hard not to be distracted by the volume of trucks in the parking lot, service vehicles and workers on the course. While I’ve gotten somewhat accustomed to the noise and distractions, they do occasionally interfere with my concentration. A backfiring vehicle while putting comes to mind along with the pounding hammers etc.
The next couple of weeks will increase the intensity of the activity on the course as the final preparations take place. All the media and support vehicles for the services that go with providing the public with a quality television experience, will appear and set up in the lower parking lots.
Final grooming on the course itself will take place and it will be in excellent shape for the tournament. The rough is not as deep as in the past, the fairways and greens are in good shape. Because the spring has been wet the fairways will not be as fast they have been in the previous tournaments.
The irritations of the preparations will disappear from mind and be replaced with the pleasures of watching the worlds best golfers play my favorite sport.
We should know later this week whether Tiger Woods will play in the Dell Match Play.
Smart money says he will not play because the amount of golf required for the match play tournament amounts to basically playing twice as much golf in one week as a normal tournament would require. But that is only for those players that advance to the final two days of play.
Given the new PGA Tour schedule and the looming Masters tournament, it would be a lot of golf for a player of Woods age. His comments this week at the Players Championship indicated that he is seriously considering playing the match play event. We will see.