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Golf Courses, Gardens, and Civilization

Greetings Golfers,

Last week’s blog was just basically saying that even though I play on a terrible golf course, I like the guys that I play with and love playing golf – anywhere.

A good message … and true.

However, that’s not a license for golf courses to stop trying. They should be in decent condition. And of course, we all want other quality services … but first and foremost, the golf course should be playable.

I played with some visiting friends at a nice course over the weekend. It wasn’t “big-time” or in amazing condition … but it was good. Down South during January, the grass goes dormant, so it’s not lush like Minnesota courses in the summertime. But at least this course had grass … though dormant, it was pretty easy to hit off of it.

And the greens actually had nice grass and the ball rolled. Wow! I felt like I was cheating!

It was fun being with friends from Minnesota … and playing a nice course in nice shape was really a treat.

Well … I’ve been wrestling for years with the idea of a more “natural” golf course. But what does that mean? How “natural”? Maybe you could say that the course I usually play down here is “natural”? Or do you mean a course that is in good condition but doesn’t look artificial? I get that. I like courses where the layout fits with the natural terrain … where it looks like God designed it.

However, that’s not always possible … and every course needs to be “developed”.

Also, what about flowers? Deer Run GC is blessed to have a talented obsessive fellow who has built beautiful flower beds all over the facility. That’s not “natural”.

But it sure is beautiful. Nature can create beauty – but so can man. Nature can be cruel and ugly – so can man.

Philosophically, I’m not a Utopian – I’m very skeptical of creating La-la-land. But, I like civilization … I don’t want to live like an animal in nature.

Same with a golf course. I don’t like the totally artificial course … it’s creepy. And yet, the uncared for, “natural” course that I’ve been playing is not good.

Once again … it’s balance. It should look and feel as if God made it … but it needs human knowledge and effort to cultivate it.

I am going to go back and play with those guys. But, I am starting to play at other courses.

Just looking for a healthy balance.


Tom Abts
GM/Head PGA Professional
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Deer Run Golf Club
8661 Deer Run Drive
Victoria, MN 55386
(952) 443-2351

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