Brown vs. Green Debate Renewed

Discussion in 'Superintendent Forums' started by LarryAylward, Jun 17, 2014.

  1. LarryAylward

    LarryAylward LawnSite Member
    Messages: 69

    The attention placed on Pinehurst last week and this week has renewed attention on the brown turf vs. green turf debate. Many golf course superintendents vehemently oppose the word “brown” to describe turf, believing that it means dead turf. Realizing that, Mike Davis, the USGA’s executive director, says golf industry people — from himself to players to superintendents — need to be careful when saying brown turf is good for the industry.

    “What we’re really after is a couple of things. One is just less water used on golf courses for firmer conditions,” Davis said. “But that doesn't mean we're looking for brown golf courses.

    “The other thing is just trying for less-manicured golf courses when you get off the fairway … the concept of maintenance down the middle to literally reduce some of the costs and so on,” he added. “And I would contend, and many other people would contend, that it makes for more interesting golf when you do that.”

  2. Skipster

    Skipster LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,086

    he over-hype of Pinehurst No. 2 tells me that Mike Davis and the USGA have run out of ideas. They’re trying to use their biggest stage to sell a story to people who would never like the USGA or the game of golf (anti-golf course “environmentalists”), no matter what they did. Some quick thoughts:

    1) Since when is it a good idea to use a tournament-conditioned course to sell a maintenance practice?
    We’ve spent years and years battling country club members on how golf courses should be conditioned for daily play and the USGA has spent lots of time and money fostering the idea that tournament conditions shouldn’t be a daily expectation. Now, they backpedal on that and point out Pinehurst No 2 as a gem of conservation. How much money goes into maintaining that look? How many crew and volunteers do they have to maintain that look? Can the average daily fee or country club keep up with that labor spending?

    2) Why ignore all the positive environmental aspects of responsible turf management?
    All this drooling over Pinehurst has thrown under the bus all the superintendents who have been excellent stewards of the environment. We have many years of research data showing us that properly managed turf uses less water and results in less nutrient leaching into the environment that minimally managed turf. The USGA has shunned science from the conversation and appears to be outcasting those who have worked very hard to get out the good word about what we do.

    3) The USGA appears to have lost touch with the game of golf in the US.
    The USGA’s insistence that the Pinehurst look is the future of golf in the US is especially arrogant. One single US Open tournament does not drive the entire game of golf in America. The “rough” areas at Pinehurst would not be considered fun by most golfers and “maintenance down the middle” leaves lots of poor lies and no-fun shots for the average golfer. If this were the direction the game were headed, we would have heard it from golfers. To date, I don’t think a single golf pro in the US has heard a customer complain that there weren’t enough tall weeds to block his shot or that the turf in the fairways was too dense and uniform on the far left side where my ball went. If golf moves in a direction its customers don’t want to go, we’ll have a lot of unemployed golf staff (from club GMs all the way down to beverage cart girls).

    Just my "quick" thoughts :)
  3. larryinalabama

    larryinalabama LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 19,650

    Golf is having a hard enough time, if it becomes a Democrat sport its over.

    The most damaging thing that has happened is the longer distances that the ball travels. Longer balls means longer courses. 7600 yard courses are redicious.

    As far as Pinehurst, Im positive it cost a ton of money to turn it brown.

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