I belong to a very nice mid-level country club in central NJ. We have a great golf course on hilly terrain.
We are a family owned club (non-equity), and management changed recently. The new managers and the owning families are, happily, very interested in golf course and making improvements to both the course and the clubhouse.
However, one of the things they are doing that has caused controversy is cutting down alot of trees.
Our course has hundreds of trees. And they are not the good kind of tree for golf (if there is such a thing)....they are large, in some cases enormous pines, some with branches that go quite low.
The pines are not indigenous to this area, it's more of a hardwood area, so all of these trees were planted when the course was built 70-80 years ago, probably to define the holes to some degree. The trouble is now that the trees are so overgrown, they make play difficult. They also cause problems with grass in some areas.
Hurricane Sandy brought down about 150 trees, but we could easily remove 200 more and there would still be trees all over the course.
Anyway, I _like_ the idea of removing trees, but I am surprised that many members, particularly long time members and high handicappers, are vehemently opposed to cutting down trees. I don't know why, other than the fact that they think the trees are the "signature" of our course, and that they think it's too easy if you don't have trees.
What is everyone's opinion?
I think "specimen" trees on holes are a great idea. If there are maybe one or two trees on the side of a fairway, if you hit a ball over there, there is a _chance_ that a tree will pose a challenge to you, having to hit over, under, or around it. You still are worse off than hitting the fairway, but you have the fun of trying to recover, and it tests your skill in controlling the ball flight. But hitting into a stand of trees, you are dead and have no choice but to chip sideways. Certainly lots of trees test our skill in hitting the ball straight, but the skill of recovery shots isn't tested at all. And never mind the fun factor....who likes punching out?
My belief is that the game is hard enough as it is; I think you could cut down nearly every tree on the course and handicaps wouldn't change much at all. Bad players who hit where the trees would have been will simply hit a bad second shot, instead of a punch out, and end up about the same. And the good players aren't in the trees much anyway.
Seems like a no brainer to me, but many of my fellow members disagree.
Just wondering what everyone else thinks about this. Good idea or bad?