Listening to the Fried Egg podcast (guys that talk about golf architecture), the host Andy Johnson made an interesting point. He was talking about golf courses who win awards, like “BEST New Public Course” for 2003. He said these awards are bestowed the day after these places open, and maybe that lets the owner totally off the hook.
See, anyone can have an awesome course the day it opens. On that day everything appears to be working. There really should be an award for “BEST 20 Year Aged Course”. After 20 years, did that owner fill in a couple bunkers that always washed out? Are trees over hanging some corridors now? Did they abandon the back left pin placement on #8 green, because they could never grow grass there? Did they create more native areas, because it was too much to mow? Are some of steep face features left to go wild, because it was too hard to hover mow each week? Are there approaches handled by the fairway mower, because approach mower scalped everything due to severity of contour?
The real kicker is…this owner… even after neglecting all these things, is still taking your money hand over fist as his marketing propaganda reads, “Come Play Course Voted Best Public 2003”. Interesting how he pretends that everything is still the same. Am I guilty of having to change things? Absolutely. But then I wasn’t voted “best of anything” to begin with. If you think it’s a good place to play, it’s because you decided that, not some magazine.