Green committees

Added on November 16th, 2021 by Lorne Smith
Posted in Greenkeeping

John Philp MBE has sent me a fascinating newspaper article from March 1977 just before the famous Open Championship at Turnberry that turned out to be a contest over the last 36 holes between Jack Nicklaus and Tom Watson and was heralded as ‘The duel in the sun’.

The article headlines Turnberry’s bad condition after the extreme heat of the 1976 summer and the deluge during the 1976/7 winter and how Jim Arthur helped Jim McCubbin, the head greenkeeper, turn it round.

The really interesting thing is the comments about green committees (suggested as being made up of ignorant golfers more interested in just making their own mark) being seen as the guilty men.

Although technology has allowed innovation in greenkeeping equipment, it is remarkable how forty five years on the story is still so up to date with regard to golfers, after being infected by Augusta Syndrome Disease (ASD), putting pressure on greenkeepers, these days primarily to scalp the greens for greater speed and with the similar outcome of soft over-watered target greens!

It reminds us all that the Chair of Green’s two most important objectives are firstly, to make sure the greenkeepers have the necessary budget and secondly, to defend them from ignorant golfers.

This all sounds so negative but even some inland golf clubs, like Hollinwell, get it right. Read the Story of Hollinwell.

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