If you follow our Twitter feed (@BearTraceHB) you may enjoy the daily information about course rules and conditions, reminders and updates about upcoming tournaments and cultural practices, and sometimes you may have to deal with a "friendly reminder" or rant from me about improper care from golfers of the course. These are not meant to be rude or disrespectful, just meant to remind you that you, the golfer, have a greater impact on the conditioning of your golf course than the golf course maintenance staff does. If you want your golf course to be a championship caliber golf course then you have to treat it like a championship caliber golf course.
Golfers may think the course rules for the day, such as where carts can travel or if they are allowed off the paths, are done to punish them or impede on their round but this is far from the truth. Course rules are made to protect the golf course and sometimes the golfer. Carts are sometimes restricted from some areas to ensure the course is protected from damage so that it is in good shape for all, not only today but in the future as well. As one great golf course superintendent once commented "If everyone drove in the good grass, there would always be good grass." This is absolutely accurate. If carts will scatter and not play "follow the leader" there will be less stress on the turf and in turn better turf for everyone to play on.
Golfers respecting and taking care of the golf course extends from the tee box where they can place their broken tees in collection bins or fill sand divots (if these amenities are available) to the fairways where divots can be replaced or filled with sand, to the bunkers where they should be raked following play, to the greens where ball marks should be PROPERLY repaired. All these little things add up to keeping the golf course in top condition and take just a little bit of effort from each golfer.
Taking care of the golf course also extends to the practice areas. Proper care of the practice areas, such as using the divot pattern to the right, will allow these 25 divots to recover much quicker than the other 25 divots. Practice green etiquette is also a big contributor to golf course condition for everyone. Practicing putting is a vital part of honing ones game but please do not stand in one place for an extended amount of time as this will weaken the turf and could eventually kill it.
Each golf course maintenance department only has a certain amount of money to spend on labor, equipment, or products. Every action the golfer takes, either harmful or beneficial, greatly impacts the conditioning of the course. Please remember this the next time you play and think about where you drive, how you leave the bunker after you play out of it, or whether or not you properly repair your ball mark on the green and how these will affect the course. I'll make you this promise. Our Agronomy Staff will be at the course every day working hard to make the golf course the best it can be but we will be able to accomplish so much more with your help. Please help us out and help to make our course all that it can be.