Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Carl Spackler and The Sawgrass Redemption

The Patient...................The Doctor.....................The Solution

Hopefully, lots of you got to watch THE PLAYERS CHAMPIONSHIP this weekend. Plenty of good golf, and a fair amount of drama. For the last several years THE PLAYERS has really pushed itself as the "5th Major"-complete with some pretty,um,outlandish quotes in their commercials. As challenging as the course is, complete with the controversial 17th hole (some love it, others say it is gimmicky), there was something that was pretty obvious this year...something that requires Bushwood's (recently promoted) Head Greenskeeper, Carl Spackler to get involved.
There were many,many areas of the course that looked flat out crappy this year - I mean dead,brown,middle of a drought, subject to spontaneous combustion bad. None were more obvious than the greens on Sunday - which looked like (and played like) brownish concrete with a little green overspray. I get it that the folks at TPC Sawgrass wanted to make the greens "fast and challenging" and the pin placements tough - but they went way beyond that. When a PLAYER who is competing at THE PLAYERS lands a shot ON the green, I don't think it is unreasonable for a PLAYER to expect the ball to bite just a little, and stay on the green. I counted about 30 examples of what looked like good shots (short or mid irons, struck well, landed on the front of the green) which hit the green, and rolled clean off the back. I don't buy the argument that having "KFC extra crispy" greens is the only way to make 'em fast - hell, the folks at Augusta don't seem to have a problem with super fast greens that are receptive to good shots.
Apparently, I am not the only one who noticed this - because the folks from Sawgrass called Bushwood last night. They said they were deluged with calls from PLAYERS and fans alike - all of whom requested that we dispatch Carl Spackler down to the sunshine state to cure what ails 'em. Early this morning, Carl loaded up a semi full of bales of pallets of his custom blend Spackler Turf Grass. He was smoking digging up some samples of it for the folks down south, and planning to get started immediately on their greens. I'm sure the addition of his invention will make the greens at Sawgrass much smoother and mellower more receptive to those high flying approach shots right away!

1 comment:

Shades said...

Couldn't agree more. The greens looked dead. I too get that they wanted them to be fast. In making them fast, they killing them. Further more, they rolling them which took out the grain and made the putts easier if only one could get a shot to hold the green.