Golf Digest (South Africa) - - South Africa's Top 100 -

As the weak econ­omy and fewer rounds put in­creas­ing pres­sure on the golf in­dus­try I be­lieve a num­ber of cour­ses are miss­ing tricks in terms of course main­te­nance and im­prove­ments. In a sum­mer of ma­jor drought those cour­ses that per­sist in try­ing to pro­duce a pris­tine course are do­ing them­selves and golfers a dis­ser­vice.

We do not need good look­ing rough, and we do not need per­fect fair­ways. The fo­cus should be on tees and greens. Fair­way size should be re­duced out­side the nor­mal land­ing ar­eas. We could have more waste bunkers, and the rough should grow wild. Plant in­dige­nous trees and shrubs that need lit­tle main­te­nance. Build cart paths, which are needed for rev­enue, and again low main­te­nance.

The big hit­ters with the most cash should pro­duce the ‘gems,’ and other cour­ses shouldn’t worry about com­pet­ing with them. When­ever I ask a fel­low player how he or she en­joyed the course, the first re­sponse is in­vari­ably ‘great greens’ or ‘poor greens.’ Smaller clubs should fo­cus on this at the out­set. It’s not rocket sci­ence. You just need a half de­cent agron­o­mist. – Arne Ced­er­vall

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