The Hokies are down in Wichita playing a round of golf preparing for this week’s NCAA Championship, so let’s take the time to get to know a little about our host city, Hutchinson, Kansas.
Only about an hour’s drive northwest of Wichita, Hutchinson, Kansas is a city of about 42,000 people and is the county seat of Reno County. Hutch, as its known, is also known as the Salt City, as both Morton Salt and Cargill operate large salt mining operations here. An interesting side note to the salt mines; the originals to the Wizard of Oz, Star Wars and Gone with the Wind, along with many other films are stored in the excavated salt mines for preservation.
Hutchinson Community College is located here and the National Junior College Athletic Association has held its National Championship in Hutchinson since 1949. Also, the Kansas State Fair is located here and the Kansas Cosmosphere and Space Center, a museum and educational center that has Apollo, Gemini and Mercury spacecraft on display. That will be the site of the NCAA Banquet on Thursday night. With Virginia Tech’s ties to NASA, especially the early missions, that will be an interesting evening for the Tech golfers.
In May, the average high temperature is 87 degrees and the average low is 52. That’s about right where today’s temperatures are expected. It might actually cool down a little as we near the weekend.
Prairie Dunes Country Club, site of this week’s competition, was opened in 1937 with nine holes; with nine more holes added 20 years later. Perry Maxwell, who also designed Southern Hills CC in Tulsa and Colonial CC in Fort Worth, designed the course. The club has hosted a U.S. Amateur, U.S. Senior Open, U.S. Senior Amateur, U.S. Women’s Open and four U.S. Women’s Amateurs. The course will be a par 70 and play 6,941 yards for the NCAA Championship.
Tech’s practice round begins at 9 a.m. on Thursday, with a shotgun start, which is very unusual for an NCAA event. We’ll check back in later, but remember to follow us @VT_MGolf on Twitter for more information.
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