Wednesday, August 26, 2009

The Elite Lawn - Golf Courses

Who does it better? Golf courses are the penultimate source of state-of-the-art issues regarding grass lawns. We sit in front of our TV’s sometimes and just drink in the other-worldly green wonders of a Pebble Beach or Augusta and find it satisfying and relaxing, somehow. I’m speaking of just the ambiance, and not even the players themselves. We even now have a TV channel totally devoted to the game of golf: The Golf Channel. I often wonder how many of us are drawn more to the simple gorgeousness of the sport, as opposed to the competition. Or, of course, the combination of the two.

From water conservation techniques to fertilizer applications, the innovations inspired by the constructions and maintaining of golf courses has propelled lawn and garden technology and turf science to new heights. Golf courses are the Guinea Pigs for our own personal affairs with our own lawns. They continually innovate, led by the urgency of continuous beauty and grounds that are beneficent to golf equipment. Oh, and the roll of the ball! Better not leave that small detail out.

Golf instruction includes a focus on taking care of the golf course itself as well. Divots are to be sought out after a shot and every golfer gets to play “gardener” as they replace them by properly relocating them and patting them down as firmly as possible. Obviously, this is done so that it will grow back. Since most courses are watered nightly, it happens almost seamlessly. Below is the picture of a course - Pebble Beach Golf Course - which has hundreds of players every day, almost year round. Find the divots:

Not easy, is it?

Granted, a golf course is a special place, with oodles of care provided and budgets to cover maintenance on a nearly minute-by-minute basis. But what is far more relevant to homeowners and people like us is what they find in their own science of golf course lawn care. Their findings winnow their way down into classic conventional tactics regarding issues like drainage, fertilization and mowing techniques. In the end, we, as end users, gain immeasurably in the most practical ways. We owe golf courses some huge props for lending that science back down to us.

Oh, and we owe some thanks for those killer views The Golf Channel gives us too! There’s nothing like discovering the 14th Green at Pasatiempo at 1 AM when one feels a bit too restless for sleep. As far as I know, looking at Paradise has never been a bad experience. Maybe we should call it a “transitional sleep aid” instead.

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