I have great respect for Michael Schurman and he makes some interesting points in this blog.
In respect to what different golf courses offer, it really comes down to the person who signs the cheques gets to make the rules. If I go to a restaurant and I wish they served hamburgers, it’s not my call and I don’t have to go to that restaurant. It’s that way with golf courses.
The ones that have the high stimp readings are usually the private golf clubs, but here at Coppinwood, I have to listen to what my members want and that holds true for any good operator.
We have men’s and women’s committees. We also have members who we talk to on a daily basis and over time, you get a consensus of what your membership would like as far as conditions.
When I was at Angus Glen, the greens were always rolling nicely, but we had to get public golfers around and we had to get tournaments around, so we didn’t cut them down as low as we could have.
Michael makes a good point that many golf courses and Doug Carrick’s greens at Angus Glen had good movement to them and Tom Fazio’s greens at Coppinwood have good movement to them, so if you get them high on the stimp, for the average player, they become unplayable.
When you play a nice round, the caveat is always `I shot a 83, but I had four three-putts,’ and if the greens are really fast, as Michael says, you can’t lag a putt, so I would say your three-putts are going to double in that case.
I think you have to do your own straw poll about what’s good for your own clientele. The conditions of the course is determined by the operator and good operators listen to their clientele.
If you’ve got an owner who wants it a certain way, it’s the person who’s writing the cheques who makes the ultimate call and I’m not saying that owners interfere that much. I don’t see that a lot.
Usually an owner is a businessperson who is going to what it takes to attract the most people in an environment in which there are so many choices with all of the golf courses that have been built in the past couple of decades.