• Mon. Jun 24th, 2024

Embrace brown as ‘the new beautiful’

Niall Richardson, Golf Course Superintendent at Bernardus Golf Club, urges golf players to be more open-minded, or even positive, about playing on browner, drier fairways. Such fairways require fewer resources.

Richardson makes the plea in an article on the website of the golf club.

The Bernardus Golf Club is located in an area that is governed by the Aa en Maas Waterboard, which, in the past few years, has repeatedly become the first to restrict water usages to avoid the area from drying out. Due to the sandy conditions of the local soil, the Waterboard is increasingly experiencing challenges to provide sufficient water to the many agricultural companies within its boundaries as well as the ’s-Hertogenbosch and Eindhoven metropoles.

Richardson points out that “We are now in a time when we should all think about how our actions are having an impact on our planet.”

“Browner drier fairways require fewer resources, which is what every club should strive for, and it creates firm and fast surfaces that support how the game was originally played on the Links of Scotland a few hundred years ago.”

Such a move will not only serve to lessen the need for water but would also improve the turf, he says.

“A lush green fairway that has been overwatered and pumped full of synthetic fertilisers is generally more at risk to turf grass diseases and pests than a slightly brown surface that is cared for in a more natural way.”


Embrace smart technology

The club uses various smart technologies to maximise the water it uses.

“We follow a strict nutritional plan that helps us to supply the grass plants with only what they need to survive, to reduce the risk of wasting products. We have an irrigation system which we only use when it’s necessary, and try to hand-water only the areas that need it, to avoid overwatering, which can result in disease and unwanted turf grass species invading.”

Richardson also addresses the need for educating members, and reminds golfers and the golf industry of how the sport once became reality…in areas with low fertility and a free-draining condition of the soil.

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