Got a brand new golf course here at Carolina Colours, and marking the course has been a real challenge. We have lots of native grasses that frame the holes, and they create quite a lot of confusion as to how to designate different areas of the course. You see, by definition, if you hit a ball into the native grass, it’s a lost ball and you must take a stroke and distance penalty. That’s a massive hassle for most golfers, and a nightmare for speed of play!
I’ve spend many hours discussing our situation with rules officials, golf pros, superintendents, the owner, the GM, as well as with the members to help me create a fairly marked course.
The key was in tying in the native grass areas to hazards when possible. Many of the grassy areas run into dense woods. Quite a few of these areas are laced with creeks and run off areas. I spent several hours yesterday red staking (lateral hazard markers) many of the holes and I like the way it’s turning out!
We still have challenges ahead in terms of educating golfers as to proper procedures when playing tournament golf out here (mainly, hitting PROVISIONALS!!!!). People are very reluctant to hit provisionals, yet they are a great way to speed up play in the long run. I say FIRE AWAY! If you have any doubt, hit another ball! Don’t let others in your group persuade you out of a provisional. Just call it out, let them know what the brand and number ball you hit first, and the brand and number of the ball you are now hitting, and let ‘er rip.
Enough for today, I’ve got more staking to do.