Omni Barton Creek Ready to Host Championship
Omni Barton Creek courses, staff primed and ready for long-awaited PGA Professional Championship Week
Editor’s note: This article originally appeared in the April 2022 edition of PGA Magazine.
As a result of COVID-19 – which canceled the 2020 PGA Professional Championship – Omni Barton Creek in Austin, Texas, has had three years to prepare for its nationally televised moment in the sun to showcase the Fazio Foothills and Coore Crenshaw Cliffside courses.
The staff at Omni Barton Creek has taken full advantage of the extra time, leaving no stone unturned in its determination to create an unforgettable experience for the 312 PGA Professionals, their families and caddies for the 2022 PGA Professional Championship presented by Cadillac, Club Car and Rolex.
“We were ready to go, locked and loaded, to host the PGA Professional Championship in 2020,” says Omni Barton Creek PGA Director of Golf Operations Mike Coleman. “The cancellation in 2020 has given us additional time to prepare the golf courses and to make a few extra additions.
“Basically, whenever we host a major event or a national championship, we work with a two-year plan as far as preparations go. So we simply restarted the clock. We haven’t made any major changes to the golf courses, but we have spruced up some of the amenities and done a few things that will make the week a great experience for the 312 players, their families and friends.”
New Position for Cody
When Omni Barton Creek was ready to host the 2020 PGA Professional Championship, PGA Professional Spencer Cody was serving as the property’s Director of Golf Operations. Cody was promoted to Corporate Director of Golf Clubs for Omni Resorts in November of 2021, but his in-depth preparations remain integral to Barton Creek’s blueprint for the 2022 PGA Professional Championship.
“Barton Creek has hosted a number of high-end professional events in the past, but this will be the first time we have hosted a championship with 312 players that will be nationally televised on Golf Channel,” notes Cody, who joins Coleman in managing a staff of 120 at the host venue’s four 18-hole championship golf courses, hotel and other amenities.
“The property was renovated and revitalized on all fronts for the 2020 PGA Professional Championship, and it is in even better condition now,” says Cody. “I think everyone involved will be very pleased with the condition of the golf courses and all of the amenities available to them at Omni Barton Creek.
“Our agronomy team is dedicated to providing world-class conditions on a daily basis, and we are certainly excited to have the courses in peak condition in April.”
“AS A PGA PROFESSIONAL, THIS IS THE PINNACLE OF MY CAREER TO BE ABLE TO HOST 312 FELLOW PGA PROFESSIONALS IN A NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP OF THIS MAGNITUDE.”
—MIKE COLEMAN, OMNI BARTON CREEK PGA DIRECTOR OF GOLF OPERATIONS
The Omni Barton Creek PGA staff, anchored by Cody and Coleman, includes PGA General Manager Jerry Eye; PGA Resort Director of Golf Rufus Brijalba and PGA Member Director of Golf Greg Slosson. The Omni Barton Creek team has been working closely with GCSAA Superintendent Tony Miller and his staff to manicure the Fazio Foothills and Coore Crenshaw Cliffside courses for more than three years in anticipation of this month’s PGA Professional Championship.
“The Fazio Foothills and Coore Crenshaw Cliffside courses will be closed to membership and resort play 10 days before the Championship to make sure they are in immaculate condition,” reports Coleman. “Our staff is 100-percent focused and committed to the PGA Professional Championship. All of the t’s have been crossed and the i’s dotted.
“As a PGA Professional, this is the pinnacle of my career to be able to host 312 fellow PGA Professionals in a national championship of this magnitude. It’s also a great opportunity for us to showcase Omni Barton Creek.”
Double-Figure Winning Score?
Given typical April weather conditions, what does Cody project the winning 72-hole score might be at Barton Creek in the 54th PGA Professional Championship?
“April in Austin is typically gorgeous with lows around 60 and highs in the 70s or even low 80s, perfect golf weather,” boasts Cody. “The Bermuda grass will be lush and green for the Championship. My guess is the winner will certainly be double digits under-par, given normal weather conditions. The winner of the Senior (PGA Professional Championship in 2019) was 16-under 270, and I expect a similar result for the PGA Professional Championship.”
Coleman adds his own scouting report for this month, and he is encouraging all participating PGA Professionals to arrive at Omni Barton Creek early for practice rounds on the Fazio Foothills and Coore Crenshaw Cliffside courses.
“The greens on both courses are going to be quick,” warns Coleman. “Sight lines and tee-ball placements will be at a premium on both courses. Course knowledge and course management will be very important.”
It’s coming two years later than originally scheduled, but the PGA staff at Omni Barton Creek Resort is prepared to produce a special week. “Everyone on staff is excited for the PGA Professional Championship,” assures Coleman. “All 500-plus employees at Omni Barton Creek are dedicated to making Championship Week a special experience.”