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Well, there have got to be more than 30 courses in the Atlanta area that would consider themselves "top tier", but maybe not so many in Mississippi or Alabama.I guess the difference is I wouldn't call a place like Traverse City C.C. a "mom and pop" course, even if the budget and number of rounds are in the same league. I assumed you were talking about owner/operator places with that term. Budget-wise, though, I'd say 2500 "A" courses is probably correct. There are lots of states that have only a handful of those.
Greg — No slinging, but I do believe it has a place for many sites, especially those, as noted, where we have rock in the native soils that cannot be prevented from migrating upward...without a HARD liner that will not give way. I'm in my 32nd year as a golf course architect, and have seen a lot of bunker renovation work...including having to re-do my own work! I suppose to be fair, if you think "recommending" when the application for BBB is right amounts to slinging, then I suppose. But truthfully, all GCAs recommend, whether it be turf, soil plating, native grass selection, sand types, etc. Everything we import to a golf site (and even the stuff we shift around) comes with a cost. And all this comes with a sales force behind it, whether it be the guy who sells sand, the woman who markets native seed, or the huge corporation who provides irrigation components.