For the time being, Phil Fetzner is the man behind the scenes.
In two weeks when the West Virginia Open returns to Parkersburg Country Club in Vienna for the first time in 30 years, he still won't be seen nor heard from. Yet, the 120 golfers who round out the field will critique his craft.
Fetzner is in his sixth year as the superintendent at Parkersburg Country Club. His staff of 15 workers are making every minute count while preparing the course as golfers arrive - first for the Coca-Cola Shootout on Sunday, June 16 followed the next day by the pro-am. The three-day tournament begins on Wednesday, June 19.
"I was talking with (WTAP meteorologist) Jonathan Kennedy during Media Day for the West Virginia Open and we were joking how our jobs are similar," Fetzner said. "You don't get the credit when you deserve it."
Fetzner knows both sides of the story. A native of Erie, Pa., he played one year of golf at Gannon University (Pa.). Although he didn't immediately pursue a career as a golf superintendent, he played enough courses that had a knack for determining various types of turf qualities.
"It intrigued me why grass was so nice," Fetzner said.
Fetzner received his bachelor's degree in business and went into insurance.
"I looked out the window just about every day and wondered how in the world I can get back outside," Fetzner said.
At that point, Fetzner practically dropped what he was doing and took a job at a local country club working for $8 per hour. He eventually graduated from turf school in 1995 and later worked as an assistant at The Greenbrier Resort. He eventually landed at a country club in Bluefield, W.Va.
Six years have passed since Fetzner brought his wife (Sheryl) and five boys (Ryan, Ethan, Charlie, Aaron and Luke) to the Mid-Ohio Valley.
His goal for the week of the West Virginia Open is simple.
"I've been here for a while and I would like to leave a good impression and make the members proud," Fetzner said. "We have a lot of events here at the club and I look at it as one more event. The biggest hindrance for us is that golfers will go off both sides (1 and 10) at 8 a.m."
If experience accounts for anything, Fetzner's crew should not have anything to worry about. More than half of his crew have 15-plus years of experience and a handful have more than 20 years of experience.
By 6 a.m. every day, the maintenance shop is empty and the workers are on the course doing their assigned tasks. Even Daisy, the resident collie tags along in the golf cart with Fetzner as he oversees the operation.
Fetzner wouldn't be surprised if scores go low during the three days at the Open. And as a golf superintendent that doesn't bother him.
"Those golfers play at a different level," Fetzner said. "My playing partner (during Media Day), Aaron Gizzi, hit it places I never dreamed of. After a while, I didn't even get out of the cart. But it did give me an idea of who would be hitting what from where."