How many times have you looked forward to playing a course of special interest, maybe on a vacation or in an event in your area, only to come away disappointed because they had the greens jacked up so fast that only gutter bumpers could save you from three-putting all day long. My guess is this is experience is all too familiar to many of you.
In the attached article by John Steinbreder in this week’s Global Golf Post a strong case is made by many of the biggest names in golf architecture that the “Arms Race” for faster and faster green speeds, at private and public courses all over the country, is totally out of control. As a result, the courses are just no fun for anyone who does not carry a handicap index in the low single figure range.
There is little question that a kabal of low-handicappers who dominate green’s committees at these places are driving the bus and, in an effort to keep the “rating” of their course” in the top quartile, have made them virtually unplayable for the bulk of their membership.
This started out isolated to “premier” show-off events like the annual Member-Guest, but now has creeped into their Club Championship, Opening Day, Calcutta Event, and even day-to-day play at their courses. Who wants to compete in these things if you have to wear protective gear just to get through the experience.
We visited this issue in our “Is Faster Really Better” posting back in 2011 that featured an article by Ian Andrews a renowned architect from north of the border. The issues have not changed in 10 years, in fact the incidence seems to have gotten worse in my humble opinion.
It is long overdue for the decision makers at golf facilities to bring a little sanity back to daily course set up and let all players smell the roses once again.
Golf Global Post (2021)
How true, the few are decidedly setting playing conditions for a few and forgetting the general membership needs and enjoyment of play.
So true my watchmaker. Fast enough that you don’t have to hammer them. Fair enough so they eventually stop..
It is all Johnny Miller’s fault. He beat the drum with a stimp meter as the metric for course quality for 20 years on the broadcast.