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 20, 2015

The Augusta Syndrome

The first full week of each April, the golfing world tunes in to The Masters Tournament at Augusta National.  I have been there a number of times and it is quite a place for sure. If you have never been to The Masters, you cannot imagine the significant undulations of the property including both the fairways and the greens.   On the first and eighteenth fairways, golfers are walking up a steep slope from the fairway to the green.  Both fairways have virtually a 45 degree slope.  There is a 175 foot elevation change on the Augusta National course.  As a reference point, the Horseshoe Falls drop at Niagara Falls is 173 feet.  There is actually a 100 foot elevation change on the #10 hole.  The entire elevation change across the entire property here at NCC is only 64 over almost a mile.  On certain holes, if your chip or approach shot does not hit in the correct 2 to 4 foot landing site, your ball may end up 30 to 50 feet away from the cup or even off of the green.   The slopes and contours of the greens are not visual on the television screen.  The contours make the greens like putting on a table top.   There are places that you simply cannot get the ball close to the hole.  These conditions test the very best professionals in the world.
Several factors that public & country club golfers may not be aware of concerning Augusta National:
    There is no operating budget at Augusta.  This does not occur at but a select few private clubs
         They spend millions of dollars a year, whatever it takes.
    The course is closed from May-October when all other courses are open and under stress
    The cutting height of the greens at Augusta may not be lower than we cut our greens.  We mow
        our greens every day and may double cut and roll the greens to get maximum speed.  The
       greens at Augusta have enough undulation to generate high end putting speeds, not to mention
       that their greens may be mowed as many as 6 to 8 times a day during the even. 
   Any given putt may have 20 to 40 feet of break to it.!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
The photo below shows the number of volunteers for the event.  Most 18 hole facilities might have a staff of 12 to 25.   There are twice that many saff members preparing the bunkers on this single hole
Most 18 hole courses have 2 or 3 fairways mowers.  14 here in the Augusta photo and a few extra in Golf Course Operations in case they are needed. 
Who determines the daily cupping locations for The Master event?  
NCC's own Assistant Superintendent, John Morris was an Assistant at Augusta for 5 Masters events.

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