In a recent feature for Greenhouse Management & Production Magazine, author Pat Jones interviewed Steve Smyers, ASGCA. The article begins with a summary of Smyers’ past experiences in the world of golf and then includes some of Smyers’ thoughts on design, turf management, ASGCA membership, and more.
Smyers believes that the landscape for a course should be pleasurable, but also provide challenging, stimulating, and fair shots. He says that a course should thoroughly examine one’s golfing talents and abilities, and it should allow a player to score well if he plays well.
In regards to the health of the golf industry, Symers feels that golf will survive and be successful when its roots are kept intact and when clubs stick to the game’s core values. As the game of golf has evolved, though, golf product manufacturers have gained a greater understanding of the biomechanics and physics involved in the game and have taken advantage of modern maintenance practices to give players more distance, he says. Smyers feels that, as a designer, he has to deal with these changes, rather than complain about them, and, as a United States Golf Association (USGA) board member, part of his job is to help his fellow architects understand how to deal with the changes too.
Smyers thinks that the golf industry will continue to see a strong movement toward environmental sustainability, such as the use of natural products. There will be a return to fundamentals in maintenance, and thus some changes in design as a result. The current amount of irrigated acreage will decrease, and the rallying cries of “fast and firm” and “brown is beautiful” will describe the movement toward a context of nature (rather than pure green) for courses, he says.
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