Posted: July 7, 2014 2:45 pm
Planning a major golf championship is a lot like playing with dominoes.
At least that’s the view of veteran championship director Barry Deach, who is charged with organizing the 2015 U.S. Women’s Open here in Lancaster County.
“When you look at the infrastructure that’s here — the engagement, the authenticity, the can-do attitude — it lines up to what I call the dominoes,” Deach said. “Some places, I don’t have all the dominoes. There’s some missing from the bag.”
“Right now, I definitely have all the dominoes. They’re all on the table, but there’s still work to be done.”
The one-year countdown officially began just before 7 a.m. Monday as local township, United States Golf Association and Lancaster Country Club officials lowered the LCC flag and raised the USGA flag, staking its new territory for the next year.
Monday also marked the start of ticket sales on the tournament website: www.uswomensopen.com
The tournament will run July 6-12, 2015.
Approximately 100,000 spectators will flock to the grounds of the LCC to watch the best female golfers in the world compete for the U.S. Open championship.
Deach said the long to-do list between now and the start of the weeklong event includes the construction of a “corporate village” on the tennis courts and the completion of the 1761 Club, which will offer unique views and amenities to patrons willing to pay for them.
Of the 30 or so vendors needed to put the tournament on, Deach said a majority of them will be local.
As of now, just two are nonlocal vendors, he said.
After being “dumbfounded” by an Amish carpentry shop, Deach said he knew how the “corporate village” would be constructed.
“That led to the creation of our cottages, which we’re basically going to roll onto the tennis courts,” Deach said.
The cottages are essentially garages and will be prefabricated in two parts.
Putting up a tent of a similar size would take a week to get done, he said.
But the locally made structures can be installed in a couple of days and adds the local touch that makes a tournament grounds unique, Deach said.
The 1761 Club will use existing buildings overlooking hole number 12 on the course as the setting for patrons who purchase a badge to gather and watch.
Deach said in the early stages, planning officials called the existing farmhouse and barn “very Lancastrian.”
“It’s very much about what inspries us in the area,” Deach said. “I think the authenticity of both the place and the people really match up.”
“There is so much more opportunity for the community and region.”
Deach, who has organized multiple PGA championships, said the county has a strong potential to host future tournaments because of the event-planning resources and community engagement he has seen and will utilize here.
“This is the Silicon Valley of event planning,” Deach said.
Deach used a tournament he organized in Wisconsin as an example of growth after the first tournament was held.
Because of the success of that first event, Deach said the state received bids for two more PGA championships, a Ryder Cup, a U.S. Amateur and a U.S. Open tournament within two years.
“Everything we do has an impact in the future.”
LCC members are taking notice to the detail-oriented planning involved in hosting a tournament of this caliber.
Noel Connaughton, whose son, Rory, serves as an executive committee member for the tournament, said he has seen the final USGA product at other tournaments he has attended.
“The organization at a U.S. Open is stunning,” Noel Connaughton said. “The USGA are meticulous.”
As a 15-year member of the LCC, Connaughton said members are anxious to showcase their hospitality by volunteering throughout the week.
“I’m looking forward to the huge influx of people,” he said.
Deach added that the hospitality has been “extraordinary.”
“It’s been authentic and real.”