Golf courses move inland

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    Ben Cowan

    Lets discuss Golf courses as they move inland. The movement of Golf in Towns and Cities in the US and UK. Golf played on heavy soils and the enjoyment of not travelling far for a round.

    If additional drainage is need which lasts a long time or soil profile amendments are needed, isn’t this cheaper in the long run verse driving 2+ hrs to the sandy beach for a round?

    I’m not advocating building a course in a swamp like some have been built. I’m talking about spending money on drainage tile, sand capping, and or Auger n Fill.

    Why did Golden age courses NOT need irrigation ponds, but now every course is quick to build one? Worried about droughts and getting lots a water on the course in a short period of time is most likely the answer. Have i missed something?

    Has the planting of non native and poor tree specimens caused fairway shrinkage? Watering the rough so a golf ball doesn’t go under a pine tree a good solution?

    I recall Bill Diddle telling Pete Dye around the 1960’s that Golf was changing to an aerial game and I recall it being due to course maint with over watering. I need to verify this. Bill broke his age I believe over 1,000 times and also did course construction for WPJ.

    So is it possible inland courses get a bad rap due to how much we have messed them up? Meaning the Architecture has been neutered.

    • This topic was modified 6 years, 3 months ago by Ben Cowan.
    Craig Moore

    Messed them up indeed!
    There was little knowledge or appreciation for original design intent during the dark ages of golf. Unlike today the information and education just did not exist.
    Overwatering was the easy thing to do after modern double row irrigation systems started to get installed. Green fever year round!!
    Trees were over planted and put in poor locations and now 50 years (+-) later they are really damaging the turf and the design/playability.
    Fairways were shrunk in width to mimic the silly PGA tour trend of protecting par and making the course harder; eliminating angles and land features put in place by the original course router.
    Cart paths became more important than site lines because a wet day without golf carts became a day without golf.

    Knowledge is power and with it we are Seeing a resurgence in the health values of the game and design intent restored; we are even witnessing some places embrace the natural seasonal fluctuations in turf conditions!!
    It starts with education so Club pros and Supers need to lead the charge and help their members and players understand the truth.

    Brent Gremillion

    Craig Moore, well put. I agree with you completely and will add the problem of developers wanting to sell everyone “golf course” property to maximize profit. This forces the designers to stretch a property and add much of what is not needed so that everyone has there own private and secluded view of a golf course.
    Lastly, you mention Pros and Supers leading the charge with knowledge. I’ll push back a little on that point. Pros are now glorified facility managers or corporate hacks that are bounced around to salute company flag and/or grow the “brand”. Many no longer teach, own the pro shop, or have much stroke at the club they manage. The supers could lead with knowledge; but, how many of them have enough job security or excess cash in there budget to make the changes needed.
    Perhaps the supers and pros can plea to the course designers to change the direction of developments.
    Either way, we are a very tiny minority of the current golf population that needs to become a much louder voice. I take it as a personal responsibility to tell every golfer I connect with about the wonderful aspects of walking. That’s the first step to making people aware of the course changes we advocate. People flying around in carts, playing radios, smoking cigars, and drinking beers don’t appreciate anything between shots, or the routing.

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