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Gary Player's Rant on Trees


iacas
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Gary Player's Rant on Trees  

35 members have voted

  1. 1. Do you agree with Gary Player re: trees on a golf course? (See the first post)

    • Yes
      6
    • No
      24
    • This fence is mighty comfortable!
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There is a golf course near me that was re-designed by Player about thirty years ago and one of the first things he did was cut down about half the trees. It became a much better golf course. 

I just read that Nicklaus added 140 trees to Muirfield in the last year. He planted a lot of them in areas where the bombers try to cut corners and it reduced the width of some of the fairways. He can get away with it because he probably has an unlimited Greens budget and can still maintain the turf. All I know is that our course condition suffered badly with all the trees and now it is in the best condition of my lifetime. And harder, We can actually grow rough now and the greens can breathe so they are firmer and faster. 

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I think we must consider the source...try watching Gary Player's golf instructional video some time, and see if you can watch even 5 minutes of it. He's a trip.

My course has removed over one hundred trees over the last 5-6 years. The course is much better, and the vistas created by the tree removal have made it a much prettier place. This came as a surprise to people who thought removing trees would make the course less pretty. 

I believe golf courses are for golf, not for "conservation." It is certainly better if trees and other natural landscapes can be preserved on a golf course, but those considerations are secondary to the task of creating a good layout and good turf conditions for playing the game. If removing trees will make the course play better, make it easier to grow grass, etc., and if the club has the resources to remove the trees, then it is a good idea. 

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  • 1 month later...
On 1/17/2021 at 3:56 PM, Sandy Divot said:

My course took down a bunch of trees. The turf quality improved, and it opened up some great views. They seeded the forested areas with fescue, and they now have long, thick grass where the trees used to be. You can bomb, but you have to chip back to the fairway, if you can find your ball. It really did not make the course easier.

Just catching this thread and I am thinking about one local course that sorely needed to "thin the forest".  It had fallen on harder times in terms of tree maintenance and they have gone through and selectively thinned the trees to where you have the views I am surmising were the original plan when it was built in the 60's.  They still have plenty of tree lined chutes you have to navigate over/under/around.  The course is amazingly more fun to play and you can find your ball (they have gotten there with the grasses yet, thinking next year that will be the plan) and play out from the forest.  I recently played a local course that is very open with just enough trees to keep you honest.  Trees are part of what makes a course scenic, at least here in eastern NC.  Also they are good to "properly" ricochet a shot on occasion....not on purpose though.   

As far as his comments, did not care for them.  Not that I am a slash and burn or a tree-hugger, just wondering if he is secretly mad that folks aren't asking him to design more courses? 

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