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Sharp's Christmas List Not Ready for Santa

Dear Shane,

Enjoyed your Christmas list column and agreed with most. The carts-only thing is a real shame at courses and worth further editorial. For example, if the primary reason courses charge it is the revenue it produces, perhaps more golfers than they realize would be willing to pay a small "trail fee" to help the course account for lost revenue.

Also, your contention that designers design courses for walking is not exactly correct. Most designers do what the developers tell them to do, Nicklaus, Fazio, et. al. That's really how Nicklaus got a reputation for designing tough courses in the 1980s. Developers thought "If you build it harder, they will come in drovres."

It worked for Lyle Anderson in Arizona at Desert Mountain and elsewhere, and so more developers started doing it. Guess what? By the mid-90s golfers were tired of being beat up by courses and Nicklaus changed, along with the times.

The point is, in the case of real estate courses, developers carve out prime land for homes, condos and so forth first, and tell designers what land they have to work with after that. So the routing of a course is often not ideal for walking, with long stretches between green and following tee.

As for overseeding and "a spongy, brown bed of deeply slumbering Bermuda turf just isn't what golf is all about," it's nicely written, but again not correct. There's not a course in Ireland, Scotland or England which overseeds, and the grasses there do go dormant over winter. Of course, most golfers don't golf in winter over there, so perhaps it makes less difference.

My suggestion: Let's overseed the entire state of Florida, and certain other areas of the country which offer few courses worth playing anyway, and then the Northerners can head south and pretend that the world is greener on the other side of the state line. And it will be! Everybody wins.

In the meantime, keep up the good work. I enjoy your pieces.

George Fuller

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