ABS for Green Golf

ABS For Green Golf

ABS For Green Golf

New postby macs » Fri Feb 26, 2010 12:31 am
I am no expert on envoironmental implications of maintaining modern golf courses but there certainly is buzz in the media about it. I believe that ABS is very compatible with hard pan fairways. For anyone of us who knows more about this, lets get this rolling and hop on the Green Wagon(not cart). :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen:

New postby Styles » Fri Feb 26, 2010 2:27 pm
I’ve been thinking about this for a while given the talk here about the Halcyon days of yore and have a simple solution, partly inspired by what happened during the bad weather at last week’s matchplay.

Instead of ‘following the sun’, the pros should follow the poor weather.

That would mean that courses could be played when they are naturally green instead of having to be heavily watered. The wind and rain would bring shot making and precision back to the fore as well.

Instead of ploughing money into a persimmon tour this seems like a much easier idea to implement!

The fairways at St. Andrews are never fertilized. The turf is very firm and that changes the game a lot. Firm turf = Proper links golf.

I have visited a couple of links golf wannabees here in Texas. The courses are OK, and there may be some visual similarities with the scottish links, but with soft fairways it is still a drop & stop game.

I read the new president of the USGA wants golf courses to go green i.e. not water like crazy, fertilizing, etc.

I hope it catches on here, the most enjoyable golf I have played have been on the links courses in Scotland, Wales and England. I haven’t made it to Ireland yet.

I really enjoy more and more natural golf. I don’t even mind less than perfect greens. If you hit it close to the hole enough, you’ll make your share.

Playing off a variety of different lies should be part of the game… part of it’s charm and beauty.

There of course is a quality and beauty about playing a perfectly manicured golf course. I remember as a youngster playing Los Angeles CC for the first time… back in the 1970’s, and just being mesmerized by the perfect conditions, and later playing Cypress Point, and having the same kind of awestruck experience.

But both those courses also had stunning off the fairway beauty… and more than their share of memorable holes.

One of the things so shocking about Los Angeles CC was how quickly a sneaky right turn off Wilshire Blvd could turn into a landscape of natural beauty with the occasional deer roaming a fairway… and the density of the forestation… then you would get a glimpse of a skyscraper in the distance, towering up out of a tree line. And getting a peak at some of the backyards of homes owned by Aaron Spelling, or Hugh Hefner and so on… it can be a very majestic feeling.

However… a boring golf course, one feeling contrived or overly manipulated, too long, too open, but in perfect condition does little for me. I like to feel that I am playing across a natural flow of the terain. It helps me feel my shot, knowing there is a general trending of the topography. Los Angeles CC is a perfect example of this. It’s easy to feel the property.

I like interesting targets with multiple risk and reward options. I don’t mind occasionally being forced into a specific shot,
but a whole day were I have to hit every iron shot as high as possible get boring quickly.

It seems the modern courses feel more or less like an after thought of something else… like a subdivision. I don’t see many golf courses being built for the sole purpose of just golf. Small clubhouse, no homes… just a golf course. That may not be too practicle in today’s financially driven aggressive dog eat dog world. But if we look just at the golf element… and we look at the purity of the intent … “Is this really about golf?” It can give a different perspective.

That’s probably why I like playing Mare as much as I do… it’s a golf course… nothing else, nothing more. No frills, tennis courts, sales people, bar minimums…none of that… so I don’t mind putting on less than perfect greens or the occasional bad lie in the fairway.

The reason to start this thread is that ABS is naturally aligned with the green movement and ABSers will have an advantage on such a course. We can be champions fpr urging green practices in maintaining golf courses. And this coming from golfers will obviously carry more weight. In any case I believe there is no choice. Watering restrictions are coming at least west of the Mississipi.

I enjoy more and more unnatural golf. :laughing: But that’s just because I’ve recently moved to Katy, Tx.

Seriously, I don’t think “natural golf” would be very interesting in the Houston Area. The nature isn’t really that interesting here. It takes some american entrepreneurs to make an interesting golf course down here. The Monterey Peninsula is probably another story though. And when you go to Scotland you can see that the Lord himself did a pretty decent job as a golf course architect here and there. Some places it just comes naturally. But some other places can just offer a climate and a few acres.

But there’s another matter that also relates to the ABS ideology and Green Golf:The size of the greens. I have mixed feelings about huge greens. I’m not used to it and there’s something majestetic about them and you really have to plan where on the green you want to land your shot. But on the other hand: 30-50 yard putts aren’t really the reason I like golf. A 30-50 yard chip is so much more interesting to do. And even the more so if there are some curves between the ball an the hole. (Or real links turf, or preferrably both). Golf is basically a 3 dimensional game and the 3 dimensionality is never more present than around the greens. I really enjoy the short game, and small greens with good curves and fair hazards around them is really fun to play. And requires less work from the green keeper crew.

Small greens give the greenkeepers less options on where to place holes.

Modern green construction these days is such that 3 or 4 small greens are part of a large green complex.

This allows the greenkeeper to rest areas of the green in rotation - its smart thinking.

If you look at the greens at St Andrews you find they are all huge and have lots of variations for the greenkeeper to locate pins. The total area of the 5th/14th green is something like half a mile :open_mouth: