At some point you must have tuned into the “November” Masters, as a golfer, how could you resist? You have to keep up. Saturated greens, mud balls, leaves blowing everywhere, patchy grass where the rye had not fully over taken the Bermuda, it was not exactly the Masters visual we have come to expect, and yet it raised a perplexing question.
Why can’t the Tour, at least a couple times a year, play an event on a really shitty golf course? We all want to be like the Tour guys and yet, we don’t get to play on a course that was manicured for 51 weeks to culminate with our arrival. Why can’t the best in the world, play off some really thin bare dirt tees? We do. Why can’t the Tour putt on slow greens that were just top dressed, we do? This isn’t about torturing the Tour player, it’s about lifting golf.
Can We Actually Keep Up?
For decades the golf business has been trying to keep up with what you see on TV. Fast playing surfaces, huge clubhouses, wall to wall manicured turf, and beautiful plantings. It’s great, but the cost to play keeps going up to support all this. If the Tour went to mediocre places, suddenly unlevel, tiny, bare dirt tees might be the rage. Fast forward to your Saturday morning game. Now you are playing what the Tour plays, your criticisms of your home course soften, the owner or municipality doesn’t blow hundreds of thousands of dollars on a tee improvement campaign, and your fees don’t go up as a result. Could this actually work? Would you want this to work? Part of me thinks the American model that we are on, is a fast moving train. Just not sure we can slow it down at this point. Never hurts to ponder it though…. until then Golf Course Owner Guy just has to keep up with the Jones. Bobby Jones that is.