Should golf do away with greens?
...or cut down on them, in a huge way, both on exclusive courses and public courses?
As a person who plays in a league that covers three public courses, I’ve come to realize that the biggest discrepancy between the courses the average golfer plays and the courses players on tour & affluent golfers play is the condition of the greens. It’s almost like two different sports. Fortunately my home course (which is semi- private, and old -hence, not a ton of monstrous greens) has very nice greens. But, my heart goes out to the guys beating it out of those unmowed, burnt, quarter-grass, quarter-sand, quarter-sunflower seeds, quarter-anthill disasters every day.
• The tough economic downturn in golf has really taken its toll on greens. Courses on a tight budget will let the greens go first. If a green is overtaken by fungi or bugs sometimes it will be left in that condition indefinitely. A good sized green is over $40K to replace (so I’ve been told).
•Recently, it seems every golf architect uses greens as their medium of expression. Course finances are paying the price for that extravagance. Look at some of the more classic designs from MacKenzie, Ross, etc. They didn’t design courses with the greens having any
• The greens on tour are so perfect and the players so well versed in putting on them, its become the opposite of its original intention: a place to three-putt bogey. When tour players miss the greens they don't even give a shit because their putt to save par will actually roll the same ten out of ten times with the same stroke.
Let them play some of the public course greens, I’ve seen over the last few years, and the last thing they would hope for is their ball to land on the green without rolling into the hole.
Just some food for thought from the grouchy three-putt-bogey king.