PINEHURST -- The 2014 U.S. Opens are expected to have an estimated $175 million economic impact on Pinehurst and the surrounding region.
Campbell alumnus David Hesselmeyer ('02) is earning a piece of that pie through his business, On Target Preparedness LLC, which is working with Moore County government and other agencies to prepare for public health disasters or crisis that could potentially arise from such a large-scale event.
Hesselmeyer has worked with health departments and other environmental agencies for about a year in advance of the Opens, which will run through June 22. An estimated 450,000 people are expected to converge on Pinehurst when it's all said and done.
"There could be a food-borne illness or a bad contagion ... it's rare, but in that event, you have to be ready to respond to that," Hesselmeyer said. "There could be a high number of heat-related illnesses, so we'd get involved with local hospitals and EMS to find out if it's just the heat, or are there other mitigating factors?
Hesselmeyer has been headquartered in Carthage, the Moore County seat about 20 minutes north of Pinehurst, during the course of the Open; but his partnership has afforded him the opportunity to tour the resort area and even take in a few practice rounds earlier in the week.
"It's great that businesses like mine can say they've been involved in the planning for huge events like the U.S. Open," he said. "And it's even bigger this year with the first-ever back-to-back men's and women's tournaments. So without a doubt, this is a good feather in the cap for my business."
PINEHURST -- It takes approximately 4,500 volunteers to properly run an event as grand as the 2014 U.S. Open.
Finding those volunteers wasn't hard.
Patrick Hunter, a Salisbury native and 2014 graduate of Campbell University, applied two years ago to work this year's Open. Thursday, he was directing traffic and calling for silence in the grandstands of the 8th hole at historic Pinehurst No. 2. The job afforded him the opportunity to watch the likes of Rory McIlroy, Phil Mickelson, Rickie Fowler and other big names take on one of the course's most challenging greens.
For a big golf fan like Hunter, it could hardly be called "work." "I grew up around golf," said Hunter, who has also volunteered several times at the Wells Fargo Championship in Charlotte. "My grandfather plays and works at a course in Salisbury, so my summers have often been filled with playing multiple rounds with him. I'm excited to be a part of this and witness all of this firsthand."
Thursday was thrilling for Hunter, but it wasn't entirely easy. With no shade to block the sun, he baked in the dark green grandstands for six hours Thursday through about 2 p.m. But the perks outweigh the heat, he said.
"The uniforms we wear are Ralph Lauren, so they're nice," he said. "We get meal vouchers, they bring us water and sunscreen, there's first aid nearby ... we get our own parking area, and our credentials get us in the Open any time we want. So the heat I can handle. I'll be alright."
Hunter will also work the 10th hole during the tournament, working all days except Saturday.
5 things to know about Campbell PGM program
There is a lot of attention on golf across the state and nation right now as the 2014 U.S. Open Golf Championship officially begins June 12 in Pinehurst, North Carolina. Beyond just being a short drive from Pinehurst, Campbell University has a proud history with golf and the PGA. Here’s a look at five things to know about one aspect of that history: our PGA Golf Management University (PGM) Program.
Our PGM program is one of only 19 in the nation accredited by the PGA. Yes, only 19 universities in the U.S. operate a PGM program that prepares students for careers as PGA professionals. Students in our program, housed in the Lundy-Fetterman School of Business, study a mix of golf and business-related subjects and receive at least 16 months-worth of on-course internship experience within the golf industry.
PGM students in February 2013
Our faculty and staff are among the best in the nation. For example, David Orr, our PGM director of instruction, is the putting coach for defending 2013 U.S. Open champion Justin Rose; and in January, Ryan Dailey, assistant director, was named Carolina PGA Section’s Junior Golf Leader of the Year.
2013 U.S. Open Champion Justin Rose, whom Campbell's PGM Director of Instructor David Orr coaches
Our students are among the best in the nation. Since 2007, our PGM students have won three PGA Jones Cups, the equivalent of the national title for PGA university programs. Campbell won the Jones Cup in 2007, 2009, and 2012, which ties Mississippi State University for most championships in tournament history.
Campbell's PGM team that won the 2012 Jones Cup
Our students get hands-on experiences. Our PGM students complete at least 16 months of internship work experience. This summer, for example, Justin Holmes, a rising sophomore and PGM student, is spending his summer interning at the Vineyard Golf Club, the only fully private course on Martha’s Vineyard. The Campbell-owned Keith Hills Golf Club also serves as a learning lab for our students. The 27-hole course, managed by the PGM program, is consistently rated among the best public golf courses in North Carolina.
Keith Hills Golf Club
Our students have gone viral. Remember in February 2013 when nine of our PGM students putted nine golf balls into one hole? And how video of the trick shot went viral? And was featured on CNN and ESPN and Golf.com and even “The Ellen DeGeneres Show”? The story.
-- Compiled by Cherry Crayton, digital content coordinator
PGM senior attends Open with his career in mind
Campbell University’s connections with the nearby major at Pinehurst No. 2
PINEHURST — While most golf fans were spending their time at the U.S. Open’s practice rounds Monday and Tuesday trying to catch a glimpse of Phil Mickelson or Bubba Watson, Blake Rousay was noting the tilt of the fairways, the pampas grass in the waste areas and the hospitality of the staff at Pinehurst No. 2.
Rousay, a 3/2 senior in Campbell University’s PGA Golf Management Program, was paying close attention to the business side of the U.S. Open and taking notes for the day he works for or even runs his own course.
“I wanted to go early, because I knew the crowds would be smaller,” said Rousay, a native of Goldsboro. “I also knew the golfers would have more interaction with the fans, and they wouldn’t be as serious into their preparations. I loved seeing how some of the best players in the world prepare for a tournament, but I also studied the general setup of the course, how it’s run, the staff it takes to run it and just everything it takes to put something like this together. It gave me a much better idea of how I can help improve courses as I move along in my career.”
Much has been written about Pinehurst No. 2’s “retro look” heading into the 2014 Opens. The contrasting greens seen on all U.S. golf courses are joined by shades of brown and tan — sand and grass that will serve as a challenge to the world’s best over the next few weeks.
“I like the look,” Rousay said. “I like having no rough and expanded waste areas. If you drive one off the fairway in normal conditions, you’ll be hitting from six-inch rough in most cases. Here you’re hitting out of a waste area, and there’s no telling what your lie will look like.”
The fairways will present a challenge, too, Rousay said, as imperfect drives will have a tendency to roll into the waste and frustrate even the likes of Phil, Rory and Bubba. “I went to the Open [in Pinehurst] in 2005 when I was 14, and I thought it looked pretty amazing even then,” he said. “But this time, there’s a different feel, and it kind of takes you back to the older days. I love it.”
Rousay also had praise for the staff and volunteers at the Open. He found a few things he’d do differently — such as adding more shade to the spectator areas. Temperatures on Monday and Tuesday in Pinehurst topped 90, and shade was hard to come by for many.
When he graduates in December, Rousay hopes to stay in North Carolina and find a job for a private course. Pinehurst, which is home to dozens of the country’s top courses, would be an ideal location, he said.
Defending champ credits Campbell’s Orr with recent success
PINEHURST — When Justin Rose won his first major in the 2013 U.S. Open at Merion Golf Club, he gave much of the credit to the putting coach who'd joined his team a year earlier. This week, Rose is looking to become the first back-to-back Open winner since Curtis Strange in 1988-89, and he's doing so in his coach's back yard at Pinehurst No. 2. David Orr, the director of instruction for Campbell University's PGA Golf Management program, may even provide Rose with an advantage because of his familiarity with the course. "David loves Pinehurst," Rose told a media gathering during Tuesday's practice rounds. "He definitely knows the course, and he's been valuable from that perspective."
Rose said he "wasn't in a great place" with his putting before he met Orr, who taught him how to become a more natural putter. He's in a much better place today, and Rose feels confident that what he's learned from Orr will help him for at least the next decade of his career.
"When [putting] is natural, it's a lot easier to absorb pressure and all those types of things with your mechanics," he said. "I think the work we have done has paid off. But even last year, my stroke wasn't great. But we built a stroke based on my tendencies, one we knew would work. That's the kind of knowledge [Orr] has."
He said Orr has taught him not to chase perfection in his putting, but instead understand what he has and how best to deal with it.
"He's been a very valuable addition to the team, for sure."
Articles by Billy Liggett, Assistant Director for Publications