While the wall-to-wall vibrant green of Augusta National Golf Club has long been the standard for thousands of private-club members and the bane of dozens of superintendents trying to match it, there is a new reality growing in golf-course circles.
Led by financial and environmental concerns — and the desire to return to the traditional nature of golf — several U.S. courses are going from green to brown in the hopes of producing better playing conditions. One pioneer in the growing trend is the Ocean Course at Half Moon Bay Golf links (www.halfmoonbaygolf.com), on the Northern California coastline. Over the last year, they’ve taken the course from all green to an authentic, green-brown links combination that plays firmer and faster. Courses are discovering they can save thousands of dollars in upkeep costs and use less water, while maintaining the health of their courses and giving golfers a more interesting and authentic experience.