OT New & Old Classic Golf Architecture

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I have recently had the opportunity to host some more friends and family at my favourite local pasture golf experience at Bruce Beach GC. I can’t tell you exactly where it is, or they might have to kill me. Or at least never let me play again. These 2 pics exhibit firstly the top pic is the new #3 green slightly elevated, but still made out of “dirt”, while the lower pic is of #6 green with the great original bunker on the older green site.
If you look closely at the new greens picture you can see the drainage trenchlines exiting at the sides of the green. Upon closer inspection I see they have installed 2 – 4″ drainage laterals in the subsurface to relieve the subsurface groundwater issues they were experiencing before this minor restoration. So, without actually being involved here, I am thrilled at their chosen methods of construction, and the fact they have left the greens as the “browns”. Which keeps the local heavy golfing traffic to a minimum, while they have improved playing conditions on three holes with new greens and modern drainage.
A little background on the property, although the locals don’t want any publicity, as they are a private community with a 9 hole golf club touted as the oldest in Bruce County built in 1907 by a Scottish minister. The club has remained relatively unchanged in its 103 year existence and I really enjoy a round there with my hickory shafted old time clubs as it brings me back to golfs roots. All the while playing “goff” as it was meant to be played on loosely manicured pastures maintained without heavy environmental impacts. Recently, I have brought some visiting family and friends by for the Bruce Beach experience, and the reaction is one of awe and unique beauty in its cottage cove off of Lake Huron.
But, I digress back to the “Poor Old Dirt & Grass Farmer” in me and let me indulge in the next steps of the new green restoration at Bruce Beach. The 3 greens being restored were continually unplayable, and or underwater this past wet summer. The drainage pipe installation to lower the gravitational groundwater in these new green sites was paramount to the long term agronomic success of these dirt greens. Once, the drainage tiling in the new greens was completed a finely sifted, local sandy topsoil was placed on the greensites to elevate them approx. 2 feet in the maximum areas, and then blended/feathered out quite naturally around the edges.
As of August 28th they resemble tabletops until some natural settling occurs inevitably. Also, they are very slow to putt on as they are not compacted enough as of yet, and a little precipitation on these new dusty greens would be ideal to soften the contours.
It seems always, the best defence against par at Bruce Beach, are the tiny, fast,unpredictable green sites. Which lends best to a non aggressive golf approach being able to land your ball just short of the “browns” and let it bounce on to the putting surface. Still seems like the best way with 1907 greens or 2010 greens, at this venerable old 1907 test of goff.
Over and Out, Poor Old Dirt & Grass Farmer
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