Medinah Already Preparing for 2012 Ryder Cup

Medinah Country Club is already preparing for the 2012 Ryder Cup matches. A group of 37 Medinah members and staff traveled to Louisville for this year's Ryder Cup to meet with their counterparts from Valhalla Golf Club and executives with the PGA of America.

"We're looking forward to infusing the 39th Ryder Cup with a unique Chicago flavor," said Bill Kamm, general chairman of the 2012 event. "We're already setting the groundwork for what we anticipate will be one of the greatest sporting events ever to hit the Chicago area."

The club has been building a new practice facility and is putting in new white sand in all 74 bunkers on its famed No. 3 course, where the U.S. and Europe will face off in less than four years. Medinah has started the process of replacing all 88,000 square feet of the existing tan-colored sand in 74 bunkers on No. 3. The project is being overseen by superintendent Curtis Tyrrell, who oversees maintenance of all three of the club's courses.

The new sand will make the bunkers more playable and aesthetically appealing, Tyrrell said. Produced by a company called Tour Signature, the sand is comprised of more angular particles that make it play firm, drain well, and be more resistant to plugged lies.

Tyrrell added that when the old sand is removed, workers will touch up any drainage issues in the bunkers, re-establish the sub-grade areas, install a protective erosion liner, then add the new sand.

Tyrrell's crew is also working on a new 12-acre practice facility, adding new hitting angles. The crew is adding a new short game practice area aimed at replicating on-course conditions. The area includes three new USGA-grade chipping greens - one with two sand bunkers, the other surrounded by fairway turf and rough.

The driving range expansion will enable players to hit to the southeast corner of the property so morning players won't have to hit directly into the eastern sun, Tyrrell said.

The 2012 Ryder Cup at Medinah will be the first time ever that the Ryder Cup has come to the Chicago area.