Thursday, April 7, 2011

Masters Weekend

How fitting that I should receive a letter about sustainable golf on a Thursday before The Masters.  In addition, the day before, I received a letter concerning the fate of a popular fungicide that has recently undergone some scrutiny from the EPA.  It seems several companies want me to contact the legislature in defense of their product.  They seem to think that my abilities to grow quality turf begin and end with their products.  So much for the cream always rising to the top.  I will not digress into my philosophies about such things, but I find it highly ironic that one day I am being asked to voice my concern about the fate of a fungicide, and the next I receive a letter that talks about firm and fast conditions, brown turf, and sustainability.
Sustainability has been quite a stir in golf circles and we are still struggling with the concept.  Bottom line with golf and sustainability, we need enough golfers to pay an amount above what it costs to produce a playing field.  Obviously, I oversimplify, but you get my point.  Bob Randquist, president of the Golf Course Superintendents Association of America, when discussing how the golfer would have to adjust (sorry, modify) their expectations, was quoted "That does not mean lowering expectations but adjusting their concept of what constitutes good playing conditions."  I guess "lowering" would depend on your perspective.  You can read the article in its entirety here, sustainable golf practices "Glitz isn't good for anyone's game."
What is really awesome is the timing, the eve of the Masters.  If there is one example of man's domination over a parcel of land, Augusta National is it.  Don't get me wrong, I would love to go one day, and I think I would be amazed, and quite jealous.  But to deliver an article on sustainable golf while our world's best golfers compete on golf's version of Disney World seems odd.  Augusta National's perfection borders on artificial, and given the resources that it takes to do what they do, well, in reality, it is.
In our golf committee meeting last night, I brought up this exact concept.  The future of golf, expectations, and sustainable golf.  I think I freaked a few people out.

Well, I better get going.  The reality is, that for this year at least, we will continue to look to Augusta National as our standard.  Boy, do I have a lot of work to do!

Oh yeah, I almost forgot, the Blue Course is open.


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