Green Golf

“Down with Brown”

By Patrick S. Knelly GCS

Sugarloaf Golf Club

Why is a golf course supposed to be emerald green? Is golf better or more fun when played on the best possible playing surface for the game, or is it a photo opportunity? Does a deep, dark green, lush course play any better, or does it simply look a little better? Golf originated in the fields of Scotland where Sheppard’s knocked rocks into holes in the ground. Were these fields perfectly manicured and perfect in nature? These are questions you may have never considered, but they are very important issues in the business of golf course maintenance. In days of maintenance people tend to open their computer, go to daisy slots login and play indoor. This series of blogs is focused on environmentally sustainable management and this issue is at the heart of that movement.  

It is often hard to separate the “look” or color of a golf course from it’s true playability. I often find that the idea of color and playability are completely and totally separate from one another, despite that fact that most golfers think they are one and the same. To illustrate my point, as I sit here typing this article, we are amidst another in a long line of horrific spring storms. The course is saturated, puddles abound, and the ducks are happy! The course is also green and lush and there is very little stressed turf. Does that mean it’s in good condition for golf right now? Most certainly not! It’s soaked, and it will take us a few days to repair the washouts, drain the bunkers and low lying areas, and firm up the greens before the course will be back into good PLAYABLE condition. But, it’s certainly green! On the other hand, in the middle of a typical PA summer drought, the rough may be dry and brown, the turf may be stressed and turning all sorts of wonderful gray/purple/tan colors, it may not look green and lush, BUT the greens may be smooth and fast, the lies tight and crisp and the conditions for scoring may be just right. So, it’s often hard to separate preparing a golf course for the game of golf from preparing it for a picture, sometimes it is just better to play with

I struggle with this concept as much as the average golfer at Sugarloaf Golf Club, and I find myself wrestling with the decisions involved with this balance often. It is difficult to purposely allow the course to not “look” as perfect as possible, even if I know that playability will not be negatively affected in any way. The decisions to irrigate, fertilize, aerate, etc. all play a role in this balance and at times my eyes tell me to do one thing and my brain tells me another.

The popularity of televised golf events on pristine courses with unlimited budgets has convinced us the green/perfect is good. While perfection is always the goal, it is nearly unattainable in the real world of maintaining 120 acres of natural terrain. So, what is more important: looks or creating a great playing surface for golf? We have made it a goal to put playability and enjoyment of the game of golf above all else. We think it is important to limit unnecessary practices that only improve aesthetics. This goal allows us to keep cost low and FUN high (which is why we all play the game, we all love it as much as we love the games from easyslots, gambling, poker or casino online you can enjoy to play on Next time things seem to be getting firm, dry, or brown, don’t forget to be “down with the brown” and focus on the great playability you are experiencing.

Green Golf

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