Let's make brown the new green

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Earlier this month, the world got its annual look at what is arguably the world’s most beautiful golf course. Superintendents all over the U.S. no doubt dread going to work on Monday following The Masters. That’s when they face the inevitable question from  players: “Why can’t this place look like Augusta National?”
By now, every individual superintendent (and general manager or director of golf) probably has a well-rehearsed answer for that plea. But it’s time the industry has a united approach to overcoming what has become known as the “Augusta effect.” We need to do a better job of explaining why brown turf can be beautiful, too. 
A recent report prepared by the National Golf Course Owners Association on the growing crisis of water availability across the nation put it in stark terms.
“Re-educating golfers on what constitutes quality conditioning could prove as critical to the industry’s future health as increasing participation,” the report stated. “It could also prove as tough to achieve, particularly when most marketing feeds the perception that green is the only acceptable color in golf’s palette.”
What do you think can be done to turn around the perception of the golfing public? Have you taken steps at your facility to educate your golfers on what you are doing to become a more responsible water user? Do you think golfers will ever be willing to accept less-than-ideal conditions?



Unfortunately, this will be a gradual process to educate the golfers. I think courses should post memos both in their clubhouses and on their websites to educate the public/members of the financial and agronomic benefits of using less water, not to mention the playing benefits. At our course we started using less water on the approaches and then gradually cut back in the landing areas. Arthur Little

Our development,Makena, on Maui is committed to be as "green" as possible from the start. However golfers opinions of course conditioning comes mainly from TV and those once in a lifetime experiences playing at a top 100 course. Until these "set the standard" courses change to a "greener" approach golfers expectations will not change and course operators and club managers will still have to dance around the "Masters" influence on the industry.

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