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Staff at Grayhawk Golf Club Ready for NCAA Championships: Part II

Apr 13, 2022

(Writer Joshua Pullen is a student at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism. He is working in the Public Relations Lab with the Sun Devil Athletics team and will graduate in the spring of 2023.)
 
Grayhawk Golf Club will host the NCAA Men's and Women's NCAA Division I Championships for the second straight year (with 2023 happening as well).
 
The women's tournament kicks off May 20 and runs through May 25 with the men's teams starting the following week from May 27 through June 1.
 
In the past, Grayhawk has hosted prestigious events such as the PGA Jr League Championship, the Tommy Bahama Challenge and Tiger Woods' Hero World Challenge. It also hosted the PGA TOUR's Frys.com Open for three years (2007-2009).

Founded by ASU alumni, Gregg Tryhus, Grayhawk is a tournament-caliber golf course located in northern Scottsdale with a special twist: they're open to the public. Most tournament-level courses are usually held private, with only a select few allowed to play on them. When opening their fairways in 1994, Tryhus aimed to make his club larger than golf.
 
"We wanted everyone to enjoy the lifestyle that surrounds the game," said Brian Bevard, the director of operations at Grayhawk. "We are 100% public and when you come in here, we have a little bit of everything for everyone."

 

The club encourages guests to indulge in not only the golf but the atmosphere as well. Bevard said the club provides a variety of dining options with The Morning Joint being the place to go for morning coffee or Isabella's Kitchen as a hotspot for post-round cold beer. 
 
"We want the message of the club to encompass a positive energy," Bevard said. "I take great pride in the people who work with us and continue to make our club better."

With all Grayhawk has to offer, it makes sense why the NCAA partnered with the club to host the NCAA Championships starting last year, and continuing into 2023. Grayhawk is ready for 2022.

"Yesterday we actually started moving the roughs up, height wise," said Ernie Pock, the course's director of agronomy. "Last week we met with rules officials and made all the necessary adjustments to our fairway lines."
 
Pock, an Arizona native, has been with Grayhawk for 22 years and made quite a unique ascent into his position. Pock is part of a generations-long tradition of agronomy, more specially,  designing and maintaining golf courses.  
 
"I'm third generation, this is my family [business]," Pock said. "My great granddad started at the Phoenix Country Club in 1938 before going on to build the back nine at Arizona Country Club." 
 
Pock went on to talk about how his dad got involved in the family business at the age of 14. He helped design courses down in Apache Junction before moving to help build Pinnacle Peak and True North Country Club. He even said his dad built both courses at Grayhawk.
 
"It's not only the family [business], it's a lifestyle I call cowboying,'' Pock said. "I'm just blessed enough to be outdoors surrounded by the sport that I love so much."
 
The anticipation for the tournament is starting to heat up within the club with expectations looking to exceed last year.
 
"Last year's tournament was awesome for a first year event but the first year is always the hardest for anything," said Joe Shershenovich, the director of golf. "We did a great job in the middle of COVID setting up the event and putting it all together for everyone. I thought they hit it out of the park."
 
As the director of golf, Shershenovich oversees the total golf operation and services offered by the club. According to him, Grayhawk was cautious last year. Management was unsure if the course could host spectators mid pandemic due to NCAA health rules.
 
"Everybody was a little cautious due to COVID last year," Shershenovich said. "We're excited to again showcase a place like Grayhawk, a place built for championships as this tournament builds right into our DNA."
 
The team at Grayhawk ended up inviting a few spectators at the last minute in 2021, but Shershenovich added that the club is excited to get back to its roots.
 
According to Shershenovich, Grayhawk was developed with two things in mind: to be open for the public and to be a true championship-quality course.
 
"Gregg Tryhus, the president of Grayhawk Development, and Del Cochran, the captain of the club, came together with those two ideas in mind,'' Shershenovich said. 
 
With an increase in shade structures, food and beverage available daily for purchase and no tickets required, he said he's looking forward to seeing the fans fully back in action, supporting these student-athletes compete at the highest level. 
 
"That's the nice thing, we have it again this year and next year in 2023," Shershenovich said, "We know people are talking about it and looking forward to coming out."