Who feeds the players, caddies, families, and media during the Wyndham Championship? The McConnell Golf culinary team comes together to make it happen.
For Professional Golfers "Moving Day" typically falls on Saturday, after the tournament cut has been established and the field’s hottest players see how much ground they can gain heading into Sunday’s final round.
But for Sedgefield Country Club Executive Chef James Patterson (“JP” as he is known) and his culinary team, moving day during the Wyndham Championship occurs on Saturday before the tournament week even begins. That’s the day they move all the day-to-day items out of the kitchen — right down to emptying the walk-in freezers — to make room for the stampede of supplies they’ll be needing during the club’s biggest week of the year.
Unlike almost all other events on the PGA Tour, for the Wyndham Championship nearly every single item of food consumed on site comes from the Sedgefield kitchen. Patterson estimates his staff feeds approximately 5,000 people a day — players, caddies, families, hospitality suites, media — and this doesn’t even include spectators.
To pull it off, club staff swells from 12 employees to 60 during the tournament. Each executive chef from every McConnell Golf property comes to Sedgefield for the week to help, in addition to club managers such as Phillip Loney of Brook Valley Country Club.
“I like to see the comradery between all the properties”, says Loney, a four-year Wyndham veteran. “It’s good to see people are excited about it.”
Each chef is in charge of their own territory. For instance, Treyburn Country Club Executive Chef Pedro Villasana makes 3,000 sandwiches every day out of the Sedgefield Dye clubhouse. Culinary operations run nearly 24 hours each day, starting with the first group of the day arriving at 3:30am to prepare breakfast.
“I can’t be everywhere at once,” says Patterson. “These McConnell chefs are away from their home clubs. I’m so grateful for what they do. We haven’t found another PGA event that handles the volume of food that we do. It’s an amazing endeavor.”
Numerous players have told Patterson that the food during the Wyndham Championship is the best they enjoy on tour all year. Tracy Cottrell, a sauté cook at Sedgefield, returns to helm the omelet station for her seventh consecutive year. She’s become a familiar face over the years — having grown famous for her omelets, and the players, caddies, and families know her pretty well, too.
“Super fluffy,” says McConnell Golf Founder and CEO John McConnell. “You have to try one of her omelets.”