Brad Boyd, Robert Trent Jones II, and Jim Helms at the Dorado Beach East Course Brad Boyd is not unlike most Superintendents I’ve been fortunate enough to meet, unpretentious, honest, opinionated and very dedicated to his craft. Substance will always dominate style with the great Supers, Boyd is another passionate greensman who is transplanted from Pittsburgh and the Penn State Turfgrass program.We talked about the newly restored East, growing up playing golf at fabled Oakmont, and the challenges associated with being the man in charge of a Robert Trent Jones classic.
LinksNation: How large is the property at Dorado, and specifically on the East ?
Brad Boyd: We have nearly 1,400 acres of which there is about 130 acres of maintained turf on the East Course.
LN: What is your typical schedule ?
BB: I normally arrive at the office between 5:00 and 5:30am and depart when the sun goes down which is about 6:00pm this time of year, monday through friday. I get in on Saturdays at the same time but usually leave after my weekly reports and schedules are completed, around 3 or 4pm. We’re a year round operation, so that is pretty much my schedule for the 12 months.
LN: You worked closely with the design team on many aspects of the restoration on the East, You chose to use Champion Bermuda for the greens, Zoysia for the tees and around bunker perimeters, were there any other aspects of the construction/design that you had input on?
BB: All of it. I worked closely with the arborists while GPS locating all the trees on the East, worked closely with the Civil Engineers on the storm water containment, intimately with the contractor during all phases of the shaping and installations, hand in hand with the irrigation consultant Tony Altum and of course closely with Bruce (Bruce Charlton is the Chief Course Designer for RTJ II). We became great friends during this project. He is terrific to work with.
LN: You stated in our earlier conversation that you were from Western Pa, grew up playing at Oakmont, and went to school originally on a golf scholarship, then left and went on to attend the Penn State Turfgrass program . . . how often do you go back up to Pittsburgh ?
BB: My wife and I try to go a couple times a year, but its been a couple years now since we have been there. I was just too busy with getting the East Course completed, to leave any details to others.
LN: What was it like playing golf as youngster at Oakmont ?
BB:Tough, its a great test but it can really beat you up if you aren’t on your game.
LN: How’s your game now, how often do you get out to play ?
BB:I have only played 5 times this year two of which were during the opening ceremonies this week. Again, the East was my focus. You only get one chance to do things right in my book.
LN: What are your impressions of how the renovated East turned out ?
BB: I ‘m biased, but have some knowledge of good golf with where I grew up, and also having family in Pinehurst. It will appeal to the best players, I have no doubt.
LN: How often was the design team on site (Robert Trent Jones II & Bruce Charlton) ?
BB: Bruce was down nearly monthly especially towards the end of the project. Really hands on as they saw the gem for what it is. Just a great old classic track.
LN: You stated earlier that training a crew that basically had no knowledge of golf was a big challenge, what are some of the other major challenges associated with being in charge of such a unique golf property like Dorado Beach?
BB: It takes some time to learn a rhythm being that there is no real off season. Mine is to just keep going, but to also take time to appreciate the accomplishments and not just see what task needs completed next.
LN: You’ve been here long enough to experience the beauty that is Puerto Rico, can you ever see yourself leaving the island one day to work up north and endure the winters again?
BB: Tough question, I miss home sometimes but really value what we have done here in Dorado. Not often does one get the opportunity to bring back a legend. I think I’ll stick around as long as they will have me!