Hearing that U.N. report that the world could face a serious water shortage in about 15 years, the first thing I thought was that it’s not that far away, if the report comes true.
At some point, you know things are going to change with water usage. Climates and seasons already have and there are golf courses in the United States that are already on water restrictions.
We’ve been fortunate here because we’re right by the Bow River, but we don’t pull nearly as much water as we used to out of the river and we track it more carefully. We don’t take it until we need it.
We could pull a lot more water than we do, but our superintendent, Tyler Patroch, is very conscious of how much we take. He waters when we need to, but doesn’t over-water, and he’s very conscious of how we keep track of it and report it.
When you hear the phrase that says brown is the new green in golf, I don’t mind seeing a little brown out there. The golf course plays faster, it’s firmer and it’s fun to play. It’s a perception that the golf course has to be green because a little brown enhances playability.
We’ve got 148 acres, so you can’t make it all bright green. If you do, it takes away from playability and, quite frankly, it’s not responsible.
As for members’ perceptions of brown areas, we’ve had to educate them and point out that it’s not like their yards at home that you can throw some water on to keep green. We’ve got 148 acres that we have to irrigate and make playable. Once we do that, they’re understanding.
You can’t allow the golf course to not be healthy, but I thought Pinehurst No. 2 was awesome during last year’s U.S. Women’s Open and U.S. Open. I’d love to make some sections on the golf course more natural grass areas.
Not only would that be responsible, but it would cut down on cost, as well.
I think that as each year passes, we’ll hear more and more talk about these issues, especially if it’s true what could happen in 15 years. That’s really not that far away.