The only organic course in the US
There was strong opposition to build a new golf course, the first in 30 years, on Martha’s Vineyard because there is only a single-source aquifer for the whole island. But when the Martha’s Vineyard County Commission weighed the prospect of an organic golf course (something that had never been done in the United States) against a 148-lot subdivision, the golf club won with the condition that they offer 125 low-cost memberships for islanders.
Carlson’s challenge was to oversee a course that is absent of pesticides, fertilizers or other products whose active ingredient was synthetically produced. Despite having his doubts Carlson set out to accomplish what he thought almost impossible.
After trial, error and experimentation, Carlson found what worked for his course. They use nematodes, or microscopic worms, to fight against the white grub, an oriental beetle that plagued the course. They do what they can to limit the wetness of the leaves which contribute to fungal diseases. And they have fought their biggest challenge, weeds, by using a product out of New Zealand called Waipuna. It’s an environmentally friendly machine that heats water just below the boiling point and then adds a wetting agent to create a foam that they brush on the weeds.
A 100 percent organic course cannot exist in the South or in the transition zone, but Carlson has made the impossible possible in the Northeast, with the cooperation and understanding of the membership that the course will not be visually perfect. The pressure that superintendents face to make courses appear like the courses you see played on the PGA Tour are a huge deterrent for superintendents interested in organic practices. They’re scared it could mean their job.
For the organic movement to gain more momentum, superintendents need the support of golfers and a change in the perception of what makes a stellar golf course. Members must accept the visual blemishes that come with managing golf courses more organically. Vineyard Golf Club’s 290 members who pay a $350,000 initiation fee and annual dues of $12,000 have been converted. And I’d bet the additional island members who enjoy it for $400 a year have as well.
Lexi (wrist) WDs from Diamond Resorts Invitational
Lexi Thompson on Friday withdrew from the Diamond Resorts Invitational, citing inflammation in her wrist. Thompson, who teamed with Tony Finau to finish tied for fourth place in last week's QBE Shootout, said she is under strict doctor's order not to hit golf balls until mid-January.
The Diamond Resorts Invitational is scheduled Jan. 12-14 at Tranquilo Golf Club in Orlando, Fla. The field for te 54-hole event includes LPGA and PGA Tour Champions players, as well as celebrities from the worlds or sports and entertainment.
Rose leads Indonesian Masters; Snedeker WDs
JAKARTA, Indonesia - Justin Rose completed the final two holes of his second round early Saturday for a 3-under 69 and a one-stroke lead at the Indonesian Masters.
Rose, who had a first-round 62, was among a quarter of the field forced off the Royale Jakarta Golf Club course after weather delays on Friday.
The Englishman, who bogeyed his last hole, had a two-round total of 13-under 131.
Kiradech Aphibarnrat, who completed his 64 on Friday, was in second place.
Brandt Snedeker withdrew with apparent heat exhaustion on Friday on the 11th hole of the second round. Ranked 51st in the world, he flew to Jakarta looking to move inside the top 50 by the end of the year and ensure a spot in next year's Masters. He has been affected by a rib-sternum injury for most of the season.
Newsmaker of the Year: No. 2, Donald Trump
Even away from the White House, President Donald Trump generated plenty of headlines this year.
Trump’s first year in office didn’t dim his enthusiasm for the game, as he made splashy appearances at two big events, tweeted about golf to his more than 44 million followers, teed it up with some of the sport’s biggest stars, including Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy and Lexi Thompson, and fired a few eyebrow-raising scores. Logging more than 75 rounds since his inauguration, the 3-handicap has only bolstered his reputation as the best golfing president, particularly after his alleged 73 with Sen. Lindsey Graham.
None of his appearances created a bigger stir than when he attended the U.S. Women’s Open. Despite protests and calls for the USGA to move its premier women’s event from Trump Bedminster – the president reportedly threatened to sue – his weekend there went off without incident, as Trump watched the action and hosted players in his private box near the 15th green.
Despite his controversial rhetoric on a variety of national issues, Trump has remained a staunch supporter of women’s golf, and he became the first sitting president to attend the U.S. Women’s Open.
An honorary chairman of the Presidents Cup, Trump also flew to Liberty National for the biennial team event, where he presented the trophy to the U.S. team and dedicated the victory to the hurricane victims in Texas, Florida and Puerto Rico.
In late November, amid tweets about the national anthem, Turkey, Egypt and Time Magazine, Trump announced that he was playing a round in South Florida with Woods and world No. 1 Dustin Johnson.
Yes, that too became a headline, just like everything else Trump did in 2017.
Playing with the pros
Tiger, DJ and Faxon
President at the Presidents Cup
Purported round of 73 with Lindsey Graham
Cart on the green
Presence and protests at U.S. Women's Open
Trump golf properties
Reportedly fake TIME covers
Trump apologizes for voter-fraud story
Pros comment on the president
Newsmakers of the Year: Top 10 in 2017
GolfChannel.com is counting down the top 10 Newsmakers of the Year as voted on by Golf Channel’s writers, editors, reporters and producers. Check out the list below, including future release dates. And click here for the full collection of articles.
No. 1: Dec. 18