The PGA Tour Playoffs for the FedExCup kick off this week with The Barclays at Plainfield Country Club in Edison, N.J. Plainfield C.C. might be new to the PGA Tour, but the Donald Ross design has been around for years. It's a classic layout, as PCC PGA Director of Golf Scott Paris explains.
Paris took time out of his busy schedule to talk to PGA.com about his course, the challenges in preparing to host a Tour event and also gave us a little insight into his job.
PGA.com: Thank you for talking to us, Scott. Plainfield Country Club is a new venue for the PGA Tour, but it was founded in 1890 and was designed in 1916 by the legendary Donald Ross. All Ross courses are special. What makes Plainfield Country Club so special?
Paris: I regularly get comments about how great the golf course is here. That is true, but PCC's membership is the reason the club is so special. In regards to the course, three things stand out for me, especially since the completion of our restoration/renovation project that Gil Hanse led us through. 1) The use of the landscape, specifically a lengthy ridge line that runs through the property. It is especially apparent after much needed tree removal. 2) The variety of holes in regards to length, demand for correct approach angles and changes of direction. 3) The greens. Like most Ross courses, the green sites are unique, challenging and memorable, especially when firm. Bottom line, it is a course that is a great test for any level player and it never gets old.
PGA.com: The Barclays is the first event of the PGA Tour Playoffs. What does it mean to you to have the guys who have played best on the PGA Tour this season teeing it up at your club?
Paris: The members and staff are incredibly excited to have the best players in the world here. As the restoration/renovation neared completion, it became increasing obvious that it made sense to host a large event. I feel strongly that the players will remember two things -- the course and PCC's membership and staff who will be wonderful hosts.
PGA.com: What has been the biggest challenge in preparing to host a PGA Tour event for you?
Paris: Our normal member and guest activities were scheduled into a condensed calendar because of the tournament. We will use the winter to catch up on some needed days off. I assure you, it is all worth it.
PGA.com: Is there one particular player you're most looking forward to seeing up close on the range, or on the course this week?
Paris: Not really. I have enormous respect for PGA Tour players' talent and work ethic and look forward to seeing them perform as a group.
PGA.com: Finally, a lot of people think that PGA Professionals, such as you, play a lot of golf. In most cases, that couldn't be further from the truth. What's one part about your job that you can share with our readers that they might be surprised to hear?
Paris: I do my best to play golf at a high level when time allows. As much as I love to play and compete, it is not at the top of the priority list. The amount of time spent preparing for events, programs, running my business … is probably not understood by many. Regardless, I love what I do.