These are good times right now at Turkey Creek Golf Course.
Fresh off the news that it has been ranked by a website as the fourth-best public course in Kansas, Turkey Creek is going to be a hub of activity next week.
The Creek is hosting the 58th annual Kansas Junior Amateur Boys Championship, while also hosting the seventh annual Sadie Park Sunflower Girls Championship at the same time.
There will be a minor inconvenience to those who regularly play the course as it will be closed to the public starting at 10 a.m. Monday, as well as all day Tuesday and Wednesday and on Thursday morning.
But given the economic benefit to the course and the city in general, it’s a small price to pay.
“We’re excited to host the Kansas Junior Amateur Championships,” said Treg Fawl, who has been the course’s program director for less than a month and he’s already involved in a major event. “Turkey Creek has been doing a lot of great things lately and we’re excited for the upcoming season.”
According to Fawl, 139 junior golfers will be descending on McPherson and many of them come from far away. That means the hotels and motels will see a spike in occupancy, while restaurants figure to be busy and downtown should be bustling with visitors as the red carpet is going to be rolled out.
Youths will play a practice round on Monday before the tournament kicks off in general on Tuesday. The second round is Wednesday and for the boys there will be a cut at the end of the day, while the girls will not have a cut since they don’t have near the numbers of the boys.
Fawl says the course is anxious to host the event and a lot of hard work has gone into making the week a success.
“First off, high praise goes out to course superintendent Jason Buschbom and his maintenance staff,” Fawl said. “The course is in excellent shape and we are ready to showcase it to the junior golfers and families in Kansas.”
The fairways have never looked better, especially Nos. 11 and 17 which have gone through many trials and tribulations as they are the two most affected when flooding occurs. Turkey Creek was inundated last year by rain as well as this past April, but you’d never know it now by looking at the course.
The maintenance staff also has trimmed the rough down to a reasonable height, which should speed up the pace of play. Normally at this time of the year the rough is allowed to grow, which makes finding balls difficult, but it is more than fair, which should lead to lower scoring.
Speaking of scoring, don’t be surprised if there are some rounds in the mid 60s for the par-70 course. This tournament showcases the best of the best and there will be some absolute bombers in the field, including McPherson’s long-hitting Jacob Lackey. Expect the greens to be running fast. The key, of course, is whether or not the wind blows. If the conditions are like they’ve been about the last 10 days, look for golfers to take advantage. The course plays much tougher with a north wind, but with warmer temperatures expected, look for the prevailing south wind to emerge.
Turkey Creek and McPherson will do its best to be a gracious host. This is a chance for our town to put its best foot forward and to become one of the major players in the state for future golf events. The course has hosted a couple state high school tournaments in the past as well as a women’s state championship.
This is one of two major events for the course this month. The McPherson City Tournament is June 23-25 and the first round will be played at Turkey Creek, with Rolling Acres the site on Saturday and McPherson Country Club the venue for the final round.
Also, the annual Chamber of Commerce Tournament is being contested this Saturday, with the Turkey Creek Men’s Kansas Cup team entertaining Salina Country Club Sunday afternoon.