This site is intended to share information relating to the management of the golf course conditioning and quality of Northmoor Country Club and the art, the science, and the factors that influence those conditions. Please visit as often as possible.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Augusta National - No Place Like It

If you have never been to Augusta National then you cannot fully appreciate and realize how remarkable it really is.  For example, here are just a few facts that set it apart from any other golf facility:
The course is closed all summer - from June through mid-October
Regular course renovations are done to exact GPS locations
Heating and cooling units under some of the greens
Every green renovation is rebuilt to the exact inch of its previous shape
Some greens are rebuilt every 3 to 4 years.
There is no published operating budget for the golf course maintenance department
Due to the firmness and undulations of the greens, the golfer may have only a 2 or 3 foot circle to land an approach or chip shot to keep the ball on the green!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

For those who wonder how everything looks so perfect at The Masters......these "workers" are actually golf course superintendents that volunteer to do the various chores during the week of the Masters and probably just over 100 make the pilgrimage every year at this and the other major golf events around the world.  Plus, there is no budget for the operation. 
The non-areas of the turf at Augusta National are overseeded with a cool season turf for the Masters.
This turf type, combined with the strong television filters give you the rich green color on your screen

The green television filters really mask the true color of the greens as they purposely dry them out, withhold the water and roll and mow them multiple times to challenge the players.

In the photo below, Adam Scott missed his 2 foot putt and had a 5 footer for a comeback.
Putting the Augusta National greens is like putting a ball on your granite counter top.  Combine that with challenging undulations and slopes and you cannot believe how significantly difficult the course can play.

The greens are allowed to dry out and turn off-color (bluish-purple)to achieve the desired speeds.
The golfer has a 10 foot birdie putt
Even the one of the best players in the world has a 5 foot come-back for par
The player's approach shot hit 20 feet short of the flagstick with spin on it and it still went over the green. Notice the lush ryegrass surrounds and the grayish color of the drying and wilting greens.

His shot was virtually perfect and it looked as though the ball was going to stop within a few inches of the hole.  No such luck.  His ball rolled 50 feet past the hole and almost off the green.
Notice the total discoloration of the putting surfaces.  This is done intentionally to challenge the best players in the world.  This is not for private club membership play. 

Most golf courses will have 2 or 3 fairway mowers to mow the fairways.  Not Augusta National.

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