Oakridge

From Tokatee to Augusta

From Tokatee to Augusta »Play Video

     As you watch The Masters here on KVAL this week, keep an eye out for a familiar face.
     From Tokatee Golf Club near Blue River, to Augusta National, a turf expert from Oregon will be helping to keep The Masters Green.

     During the prime season for golf, you don't need to look very hard to find Akoni Ganir.
     The superintendent at Tokatee Golf Club near Blue River was literally raised on how to keep grass looking good.
     So good in fact, that Akoni was invited to Augusta, Georgia for the third year in a row.
     There, the Oregon State University Graduate will provide his expertise to keep Augusta National in tip-top shape for The Masters golf tournament.

     "You could be mowing greens, you could be mowing fairways, you could be helping fill fairway divots, raking bunkers," says Ganir. "Whatever it is that they ask you to do, they have you do that for the week so you know what you're doing every day."
    
     At Tokatee, Akoni, who grew up in Oregon City, offered a unique solution to a problem area on the 17th hole--goats.
     The pair, named Rudy, and Isiah, only want to do two things: eat, and be given some attention by passing golfers, and they're doing a bang up job on the blackberry bushes here.

     It's a far cry from this week at Augusta, where Akoni will have the chance to witness history, as he did last year when he saw Louis Oosthuizen
     record a double-eagle on the second hole of Sunday's final round. Akoni remembers the accompanying roar.

     "You can kinda tell, a birdie roar, an eagle roar, or a double eagle, you know."

     He looks forward to the trip each year, and for the opportunity to keep perfection intact at Augusta National.

     And Ganir says it is as lush-and perfect-as it seems to be on television.

     "If there's a golf course that's as close to perfection as you could get, it's Augusta."