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I was very confused about Hepner's discussion of "old"/"blue blood" courses/clubs for their restraint, while at the same time criticizing other clubs for "monkey see monkey do." Billy bunkers... Why are they bad? Modeled grass... Why is it good?
I listened again to the podcast coming back from a trip (I'm a slow learner) and still pondering his comments on making some restorations Instagram ready. Knowing that agronomy is so much better and the prevalence of white bunkers, the recent redo of Olympic comes to mind as being Instagram ready. Bel Air has some strikingly beautiful bunkers that probably didn't have the pop back in the 1930s. Any other examples/
Agree that it was a good listen. Found myself nodding in agreement in some spots.
Merion is perhaps the best example of a club taking all of the patina out of their playing surfaces. They used to have such a crazy combination of different grasses in the fairways and especially the rough. It gave it a lot of character. But then the club regrassed everything in the Hanse renovation and, while "perfect" it lost all of its patina...it would be like polishing the Statue of Liberty back to its bare copper. There have been a number of clubs here in the Twin Cities who have re grassed their entire courses to bent, primarily in response to some bad winters that killed poa greens. But similarly to Merion I personally think it looks too uniform...but members at those other clubs seem to love the look and the Supers seem to enjoy the lower maintenance. So...?I can understand regrassing greens if you have a poa/winter kill problem as the greens essentially aren't functioning. But I like classic courses that have a little more mature worn in look.
“We have total disregard for the grass,” he says. “I know that sounds bizarre but that’s just the way I operate. This course doesn’t have a homogenous stand of bent or anything anywhere. Our greens have anywhere from five to nine different varieties of bent. Mr. Davis really likes our rough because it’s so inconsistent.”