After 25 Years Klauk Retires

Fred Klauk For the past 22 years Fred Klauk has managed the PGA TOUR’s flagship venue among its network of courses, TPC Sawgrass, and gained the respect and admiration of professional golfers, industry peers and his dedicated staff.

When the PGA TOUR rolls into Ponte Vedra Beach this May, it will be Klauk’s final PLAYERS Championship as acting golf course superintendent at Sawgrass.

In early October the PGA TOUR announced Klauk would retire after 25 years on the job, effective following THE PLAYERS. He will remain with the TOUR in a consulting role, possibly advising on future improvements of TPC courses across the country.

He will also assist with the 2009 and 2010 PLAYERS Championships and help in the transition of his successor at Sawgrass, Tom Vlach.

President of PGA TOUR Golf Course Properties, David Pillsbury, had only glowing things to say about Klauk after making the announcement.

“Fred’s numerous contributions to the TOUR during his 25 years of dedicated service will be dearly missed,” said Pillsbury in a statement released by the TOUR. “Fred leaves an extraordinary legacy of superb golf course maintenance and tournament agronomy excellence. We wish him the very best as he begins this next chapter in his life, and we are pleased that he will remain a valued and integral part of the PGA TOUR family.”

Before last year’s PLAYERS Championship, Klauk led a team that completed a full-blown renovation of the Stadium Course in an amazing seven months.

In that time period Klauk and his team stripped and re-grassed all fairways, installed a new wall-to-wall irrigation system capable of watering fairways and rough separately, lengthened six holes, adding a total of 122 yards to the course and built all new golf cart paths to name just a few.

Scott Hollister, who is the editor of Golf Course Magazine and associate director of publications for Golf Course Superintendents Association of America, spent some time with Klauk during last year’s PLAYERS Championship when a new-look Sawgrass was unveiled.

Hollister said while no expense was spared and even with the tremendous resources of the PGA TOUR, completing this project in the time span it was done was something special and that Klauk was instrumental in that process.

“Everyone we talked to, Pete Dye, who helped with the project, David Pillsbury, Cal Roth, who is the head TOUR agronomist, all cited Fred’s ability as having a huge role in completing this massive project,” said Hollister. “He had everything in place before things got started and he really showed an excellent organizational ability. He just had an ability to make sense of the chaos.”

Among the numerous awards he has received over the years, Klauk earned Golfweek’s 2000 Golf Father-of-the-Year award, having passed his love for golf down to his three sons, all of whom are excellent players. His son Jeff is a player on the Nationwide Tour; son John, a former NCAA All-American golfer at Texas, works for Merrill-Lynch in Los Angeles; and son Jason works as an investment banker for FBR in Washington, D.C.

“Obviously he has a great reputation,” said Hollister. “He’s a stalwart in our circle and as well respected as you can be.”


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