So, is brown grass on the golf course bad?
Phil Mickelson doesn’t think so. On the final day of the 2013 British Open at Muirfield he shot a 66, the lowest last round score of his career to win the tournament.
If you watched any of the British Open you probably noticed that the golf course conditions were very different from what we are accustomed to seeing. The course at Muirfield was not plush or green. It was brown and very dry.
Summer in Scotland this year has been dry and hot, very similar to the heat wave that has gripped much of the United States.
So if you have played golf recently or plan on playing soon, you will more than likely encounter less than pristine golf course conditions.
Before you start to blame the superintendent or greens crew at a course remember a few things…
- We can’t control the weather.
- A golf course is a living thing and won’t always be in perfect condition.
- Allowing the grass to become dormant during periods of hot weather is actually environmentally friendly – we are using less water and applying fewer chemicals.
If you encounter brown grass on the course, you may find it difficult to control the ball on fairways and greens. Look at it as a challenge. One of the great things about golf is that no two rounds are ever the same.
Brown in the turf may even benefit your game.
If the course is brown, it will be firm and fast. That means your drives will travel farther, running down the fairway. Just look at Charl Schwartzel’s drive of 448 yards from the tee to the green on the par 4 15th hole on Saturday at the British Open. That was unbelievable.
When the conditions are firm and fast, a shot that initially misses the green, may actually bounce on to the green and roll close to the hole.
So a dry, brown golf course may not be as pretty to look at, but it might just help your game.
What has your experience been when playing a round of golf in less than perfect course conditions?