Wednesday, August 18, 2010

The Organic Golf Course

Here is an article that was recently published in the New York Times about the Vineyard Golf Club located in Edgartown on Martha’s Vineyard.  The golf course opened for play in 2002 and was only allowed to be built under the provision that the facility would operate without the use of any synthetically produced products.  The club is thought to be the only completely organic golf course in the United States. 

Jeff Carlson, course Superintendent, talks about the creative methods he uses to manage the course and how to tries to promote the idea of playability over visual perfection.  Carlson admits that a higher budget is needed and that their practices might not work as well in other parts of the country. 

It’s definitely an interesting read and makes you stop and think.  But do you think articles like this help or hurt Superintendents and the Golf Industry?  While I think most would agree that moving towards a sustainable approach is a step in the right direction, this article focuses on one course in a particularly unique environment.  Will the general masses who read this article understand that environmental conditions play such an important role in managing diseases?  Or after reading this article will they expect their local course to abandon their current practices and adopt new ones?

Your thoughts?    

Exclusive Golf Course is Organic, So Weeds Get In
Standing alongside the 13th green at the Vineyard Golf Club on Martha’s Vineyard, Jeff Carlson spotted a small broadleaf weed between his feet. As the superintendent charged with maintaining the club grounds, he instinctively bent to pluck it, then stopped.  Click Here to read the rest of the article. 

Marcus Jones

Graduate Research Assistant

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I believe most people will read this article and think that all golf courses should be able to be organic. Unfortunately, they also probably will not pay much attention to one of the ending paragraphs:

"“Most golf courses wouldn’t make it with an approach so organic, especially year after year with changeable weather,” said James Snow...."

There is a difference between what is practical and what is feasible in most situations.