The first time assistant course superintendent John Drouse mowed the steep, 30-foot-high bank behind the new 6th green, he felt like a teenager on a roller coaster. "I was kind of shaky in the beginning, but you get used to it," he says. "You drive straight down the slope, circle around, go back up and do it again."
Other members of the Florida course's full-time greenkeeping crew have reported similar paradigm shifts: more hand-mowing around the greens, more bunkers to rake, more mounds and moguls to manicure. "It will be more high-maintenance than they intended," says course mechanic Vince Perry (above), "but you can't expect a designer like Bobby Weed to hold back. That would be like asking a German shepherd to retrieve quail."
Perry, who was born in Massachusetts, joined the Florida staff as a groundskeeper in 1988. He played recreational golf until a couple of years ago but quit because "it got sort of boring playing this course." Now he's thinking of taking up the game again. " Jack Nicklaus came here one time to look at this course and he said it was cute," Perry snorts. "It's more than a cute course now. It has a little bite to it."