NJmonthlybarclays by evanrothman


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[GOLF]             By   EVAN   ROTHMAN

                                                                         Once given the go-ahead, Plainfield had two years to get

Playoff Payoff                                                       ready for its close-up-no easy feat. A decade-long renovation
                                                                     of the course-originally designed by Scottish legend Donald
                                                                     Ross-already was underway. Approximately 1,500 trees that
GOLFERS LOVE TO BRAG about their game-and              the courses   weren't in the initial layout were removed; greens and fair-
they play on. This month, the members of Plainfield Country          ways were restored to their original designs; and bunkers that
Club get their turn to boast.                                        were covered over during the Great Depression and World
    From August 23 through 28, the 95-year-old club in Edison        War II to save on maintenance costs were uncovered or re-
will host the 125 best players from the 2011PGA Tour at the          created using old photos and maps. For the tournament, the
Barclays, the first leg in the four-tournament playoff for the       work was on a tight schedule, and a few new elements were
FedExCup, worth a cool $10 million to the winner. For Plain-         added, with several holes lengthened and the closing hole re-
field 'Country Club, it's the first important professional cham-     designed.
pionship since the 1987U.S. Women's Open.                                Next comes preparation for the tournament itself. It takes
    Clubs pursue such events for the exposure and the prestige.      about 42 days to build the bleachers, hospitality tents, skyboxes
"The tournament is televised in more than 220 countries," says       and other structures for a PGA Tour event, and about half that
Peter Mele, the executive director of the Barclays. "There are       time to take it down. That's two months of Bobcats and cranes
so few clubs that get to host these events. It's really prideful."   banging around the normally bucolic getaway. Approximately
    There are also financial benefits-both direct (net pro-          1,800volunteers must be signed up and deployed-hole monitors
ceeds, perhaps as high as $1 million, will go to local charities)    and walking scorers, standard-bearers and courtesy-car drivers.
and indirect (the likelihood of increased corporate outings          The course will be closed to members for at least nine days-a
and new member enrollment).                                          considerable sacrifice given the Northeast's short golf season.
    To lure the Barclays, the club threw the book at the prob-           Still, the members are pleased. "Hosting the Barclays re-
          lem-or, more specifically, they wrote a book, 60           brands us to a certain extent," says Paul Zoidis, a PCC member
              pages in all, with details on area hotel rooms;        since 1990 and first vice chair for the Barclays. "We've always
                 parking; private-plane access; police, fire and     been a top golf course, but we've been a quiet golf course. This
                  hospital resources; and more.                      will change that. We'll have a bigger public image." _

14   August 2011   NJMONTHLY.COM

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