Fall golf is grand, as long as you avoid aerated greens
I love golf this time of year.
The crowds are gone, meaning faster rounds. The weather still shines like it’s summer. Many of the courses remain lush until the leaves start to fall.
There is one pitfall to avoid: Aerated greens. I’ve never been a fan of how most golf courses handle their aeration process. It always feels a bit sneaky. It should be more transparent.
I’m a firm believer that every course should close several days during and after the aeration process. I know several high-end private clubs do it, but public clubs just don’t want to give up the revenue. I played one local Michigan course (which shall remain nameless) that advertised a reduced fall special a few years back. When the player showed up for the tee time, he found out the greens were aerated and a mess, essentially ruining his round. He thought he was getting a deal, although he was the one feeling ripped off.
I think at the very least all clubs should put their aeration schedule front and center on their website, so golfers know what they’re paying for when they book. Every customer who calls for a tee time should be made aware of the condition of the greens as well. It’s just common courtesy. Too many courses try to keep aeration a dirty little secret.
Listen, every golfer understands why it needs to happen. Everybody wants happy, healthy, fast, true-rolling greens. Just don’t trick us into paying for a product - a round of golf where you can’t hit a single good putt - that isn’t worth purchasing.
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