A student who graduated from the US Women’s Voluntary Volunteer on Home Grass

Brandy Merrick, an assistant research assistant at the NC State Agronomy Pathology Program, loved to grow grass before playing golf.

Now, an Iowa State graduate and former high school math, science and agriculture teacher, you can’t imagine her life outside of both, this week’s US Women’s Open Golf Championship at South Pine Nails Lodge and Golf Club.

The seven-day service, which began earlier this week, not only prepares Donald Ross’s design course for the best female golfers in the world, but also Merrick and other members of the women’s golf course.

Opportunity to participate in workshops for women in the industry. This is the second year in a row that she has volunteered for the US Women’s Open Merrick, which began on four days of practice on Sunday and lasted four days on Thursday.

A total of 31 women volunteers from GCSAA this week are chasing 40 others and 17 pine needles full-time agronomy team members and dozens of volunteers chasing a $ 10 million bag on a 156-player field. One of the biggest payoffs in women’s professional sports. Merrick has been a member of a 16,000-member organization – of which only 2% are women – after her first interest in farming 10 years ago.

Third hole in Pine Needles Lodge and Golf Club in South Pine. Photo: USGA / Chris Keane.

Last year, she spent the week at the San Francisco Olympic Club, cutting holes in the course’s hard-hitting greens.

This year’s green harvest will be very different from the original one. The day begins at 3 45 45 in the morning with a 4 p.m. daily briefing, followed by three different greens with a partner, before the first golfers start their day. To cut the green, one uses a self-propelled mower with a roller and the other places a screwdriver on the edge of the green, which allows the mower to change direction without damaging the grass on the green cover. She and a friend harvest three greens before sunrise, followed by each day’s game at sunset.

In the middle of the week, GCSAA conducts training seminars, vocational training sessions and networking opportunities for female volunteers.

“We had a seminar last year where we talked about what it means to be a woman in a male-dominated field.” Everyone shared the story. .

Holy Land

Like many Moore County courses, pine needles are a sacred ground for golfers. A.D. Founded in 1928 by renowned designer Donald Ross and bought in 1954 by the pair Peggy Kirk and Warren “Bullet” Bell, he was the leader of the women’s golf course long before his first opening in 1996. This year’s opening will be the fourth. Pink needles, the largest in the history of the 1946 event.

Merrick had no idea that pursuing a master’s degree in horticulture would be detrimental to her future in the plant pathology or the golf industry.

Merrick in a laboratory in NC State.
Merrick is running three different golf-related research projects in NC State.

“It was the only grass room that fit my schedule and he told me I hated it,” she says. “From the first minute I entered the classroom, I liked everything. I loved the title. I loved the professor. I loved my classmates. I loved everything about him.”

Little did she know that there were professional opportunities to hire golf courses and resorts and other grassroots professionals. She applied for internships across the country, seeking relief from the harsh winter of Iowa.

“I said I would take the first warm-up exercise,” Merrick said. “I did not know what pinnacle was, but I knew it was hot in North Carolina.”

At home in North Carolina

At the time, she did not even like to play golf, but she learned to love the game during the summer course number 5 at the resort. And after working at the Pinharst and Asheville Resorts and marrying a North Carolina native, she is. Golf is set to stay in the Old North State at a cost of $ 2.3 billion and a cost of over $ 1.3 billion for its 53,000 people.

After teaching at both high school and high school in the state, Merrick eventually decided to pursue a degree in NC State Grass Patiology Program, working on three different golf-related research projects. Two of these projects study ultra-dwarf bermudagrass and other surveys and sample more than 500 golf courses in the state about Bermudagras greens.

Upon graduation, Merrick plans to pursue a career in academic research, perhaps with a superintendent at a golf community or resort. For now, she is working on the country’s largest women’s golf tournament.

“Volunteering at the Open,” says Merrick. Nothing could be further from the truth. ”

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