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O.J. Noer lends a hand – and a parking lot – as the American Family Insurance Championship comes to Madison

Early morning drone shot of O.J. Noer with the trailers and RVs in place. Photo: Courtesy of Bruce Schweiger

The 4th annual American Family Insurance Championship golf tournament teed off on June 21 at University Ridge Golf Course. This year, as in past years, the O.J. Noer Turfgrass Research Facility housed the Golf Channel during this event due to its proximity to the golf course.

In previous years, the Golf Channel compound was staged on a large grassy area. Due to heavy rains and the need to tow out every trailer last year, the decision was made to move the compound to the parking lot for this year’s event. Room in the parking lot is limited and had to accommodate six semi-trailers from the Golf Channel, three 45-foot RVs (including John Daly’s and Tim Petrovic’s), volunteer parking and, finally, the UW Police Incident Command team. Needless to say, a detailed plan was needed.

Trailers began to arrive on Monday, June 17. By Tuesday night, all trailers and RVs were parked. Around 80 people employed by the Golf Channel and on the property for broadcasting also needed parking spaces, and on Thursday morning, the UW Police arrived to set up their command. Finally, staff at O.J. Noer also needed to park at the station to go about their normally scheduled work. In the end, the plan that had been created weeks before fell into place and everyone had their spot.

When Sunday arrived, what took days to set up was packed up and gone by 8:00 p.m. O.J. Noer now turns its attention to the Wisconsin Turfgrass Association Summer Field Days on July 23 that will welcome over 300 attendees.