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Steve Saxe named 2021 Superintendent of the Year by the AJGA

Steve Sax, Head Superintendent of Fiddler's Elbow Country Club, honored with AJGA tournament award
Steve Sax - Superintendent of the Year 2021 - Fiddlers Elbow Country Club

Bedminster Township, NJ - The American Junior Golf Association is proud to honor Steve Saxe, Head Superintendent of Fiddler's Elbow Country Club, with the 2021 Superintendent of the Year award.

I would like to start by saying thank you for this award, it is a great honor to be recognized by the AJGA as superintendent of the year. It has been a rewarding experience working with the AJGA for many years and seeing the effort their team puts in to execute a great event. Their passion and professionalism are that of a PGA TOUR event. We know mother nature tends to throw some curve balls at us and the cooperation has been tremendous every year.
Steve Saxe, Head Superintendent at Fiddler's Elbow Country Club

Each year, the AJGA presents awards to the tournaments with the best individual hospitality, Junior-Am Fundraising Tournament, charitable giving and volunteer base. Awards are also given to the events with engaged media and social media participation. Finally, the AJGA recognizes the year’s most outstanding golf professional, superintendent and golf course executive, as well as the most game-changing event, best new event, best Neuropeak Pro™ Preview Series tournament, best Ninja Junior All-Star Series tournament, best Invitational and overall tournament of the year.

2021 marked the seventh time that Fiddler's Elbow Country Club played host to the AJGA. The 2021 event went off without a hitch despite the extreme rainfall due to Hurricane Henri in the area. The storm passed through New Jersey in late August of 2021 dropping more than ten inches of rain in its wake. Fiddlers Elbow Country Club was under water days before the AJGA was set to play the K.J. Choi Foundation Junior Championship by SK Telecom.

The River Course witnessed the most severe effects of Hurricane Henri with AJGA staff already on-site preparing for the weeks event.

The night before the Junior-Am fundraising tournament and official practice round, Hurricane Henri came through and completely flooded half the golf course. Saxe and his team worked through the early morning to clear all cart paths of water and debris, so players could ride the course for a practice round the same night of the flood. Because of their hard work, the tournament course was in playing condition by the next day with zero 'no play zones' despite the extreme flooding.

This award is really an award to my entire staff. They arrive everyday to do whatever is asked to be done, whether it is a normal day of mowing or, like last year, a long day of clean up from a flood. They know the importance of the AJGA event for the kids playing and for the club. I, along with my staff, take a lot of pride in hosting the K.J. Choi Foundation Junior Championship by SK Telecom. The things I really appreciate are the values that are instilled in the juniors about course care and etiquette. All too often, these are overlooked in tournament play, but not with the AJGA. I look forward to hosting you again, with less rain hopefully! It always impresses me how smooth these events operate and how good these kids are.
Steve Sax, Head Superintendent at Fiddler's Elbow Country Club

"Last years flood was not our first, or our worst, but it had bad timing," Saxe shared of the 2021 flood at Fiddlers Elbow Country Club.

"After waking up and seeing the that the course was completely underwater from Hurricane Henri, I thought there was no way that we would be able to play the tournament," said Thomas Harrison, 2021 Tournament Director of the event. "The fact that Steve was able to get the course in tournament condition in under 24 hours was remarkable. Players and parents did not believe me when they saw the photo [included above] and heard what the course looked like the day before the tournament started."

The PGA TOUR standard golf course is always prepared to handle all kinds of weather situations. Saxe and George Deitz, Director of Golf at Fiddler's Elbow Country Club, reached out to AJGA staff a month before the tournament to discuss current course situations and prepare for any possible weather. The River Course was in outstanding condition during the tournament week because of Saxe's due diligence and constant communication with AJGA staff members on-site.

"The AJGA is fortunate to have formed a long term relationship with Fiddler’s Elbow and our players love competing here every year," said Patrick Plank, AJGA Senior Regional Director Northeast. "Steve is largely to thank for that as the course is always at a championship level and he ensures we always get the best conditions possible. We were so impressed with the tireless efforts of Steve and his team following Hurricane Henri last season. The pride he takes in his work was obvious in his commitment to ensuring the golf course was still ready for competition after record rainfall. This award is just a small way of us saying thank you for those efforts!"

    KJ Choi and Juniors with Signage-KJ Choi Foundation Junior Championship By SK Telecom-2021 (2).JPG

    The K.J. Choi Foundation Junior Championship by SK Telecom returns to Fiddler's Elbow Country Club for the eighth time, August 22-25, 2022.