Small crew sets up big piece of Sanford International's course

Tim Ferguson is always on the move.

"Yeah, always on the go," said tournament worker Colleen Smith.

“We know a lot of the hard work that goes into it, and it makes you appreciate it that much more when you get to see the end result," said Ferguson.

He’s in charge of turning Minnehaha Country Club into a national spotlight for this week's Sanford International. But before hundreds of thousands of fans walk the course this weekend, Tim and his two person crew are spending nearly two weeks transforming the course, so it’s ready for the champions and the fans.

“I had no idea that this was a job. I don’t think a lot of people do know unless you come to the golf course on a daily or frequently, so it’s very interesting behind the scenes work," said Smith.

Tim and his partner Otis travel the country monthly laying out courses like Minnehaha. Over his 17 year career, he has set up nearly 200 golf tournaments nationwide. Their job entails setting up leader boards, to staking and roping all 18 holes, and creating crosswalks for fans to travel easier. Tim’s top priority is making the course safe for the players, while giving the fans the best viewing experience.

“You have to look at the layout of the course, how tight it is, you have to stand on the tee boxes and you generally have to look at what the players are going to be looking at. And then that also sets up safety for the spectators because we’ve got to keep them close to play, but back far enough to where they’re safe as well," said Ferguson.

Even though this year two of Tim designing the Sanford International, mother nature once again has thrown him and his crew in the rough.

“I mean with the tornadoes that we just had, and last year with all of the rain. You know it affected the Pro Am, it affected the spectators, and operations for the tournament," said Ferguson.

Several trees were damaged in last week’s storms, but a little luck saved Tim’s work.

“The leader board is still standing, like we don’t know how. I think it might have been the angle of the wind, because if it was strong enough to take that tree down, we think it would’ve taken this thing down. But we got lucky, I think everyone out here got lucky.”

But in his 17 years of laying out courses, it’s the unpredictability that each city brings that keeps Tim moving.

"I think the thing that we’ve enjoyed the most… is the crowds that we had last year. It was an amazing turn out and a lot of support from the community and the city of Sioux Falls really seemed to like it and embrace it…. when you build something and people come out and partake in it and they embrace it and support it like they did," said Ferguson.

In his second year at the Sanford International, Tim hopes the great overall experience continues- before he’s on the move to his next course. The Sanford International begins on Friday, September 20th and runs through Sunday, the 22nd.