Golf course preparing for a change of course

WESTBROOK, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- Contractors have begun transforming the normally tranquil back nine of Sunset Ridge Golf Links into a military-style obstacle course in preparation of hosting Maine's first Tough Mudder competition.

"It's a blast. It's awesome," exclaimed golf course superintendent, Michael Guy Smith. "A lot of work, but it is fun to be involved in something like this."

While most golf courses would cringe at the thought of welcoming 15,000 to 20,000 competitors and spectators onto their grounds and bringing in heavy equipment to carve out water features and build obstacles, but Smith says the back half of the course was destined for a makeover anyway.

He says while the golf course will be where the competition starts and ends, much of the course will be on adjacent properties owned by the city of Westbrook, Portland Water District and Central Maine Power.

"I don't mind building them at all, but as far as participating, I'll stand back and watch and make sure all the obstacles are safe and stay together," stated Sammy Landis, a construction manager with Valley Builders, who have been contracted out to build seven of these courses across the eastern half of the country this year.

He says transforming the rolling hills and dense forest of southern Maine into a Tough Mudder course will be easier than some other projects they have worked on.

"The one in Vermont, that was really tough to set up because it was on a ski slope and everything was really steep," said Landis.

He says it will take a crew of about eight or nine three weeks to build the course, then he'll sit back and watch the competitors try and conquer it.

"They can't pay me enough money to run that course. and then the people pay to do it, so God bless them," he said with a chuckle. "To each his own."

The Tough Mudder Great Northeast will be held August 23rd and 24th.


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