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Remember that song by the Barenaked Ladies, 'If I Had a Million Dollars?'
Well, what would you, as a golfer, do if you did?
What if you hit the lottery? Got remembered by that rich uncle? Succeeded in business beyond your wildest dreams and sold the whole shebang to Microsoft?
Tell you what I'd do. After taking care of the basics -- home, beach house, college for the kid, trust fund and all ' Id build a golf course.
Not just any golf course. My golf course. Nine out, nine back, with nine double greens. Neither overdesigned nor overmanicured, My GC would keep it simple. No wacky elevation changes, no funky greens. The lay of the land would prevail. Green tilts front to back? So did the meadow, right there. No flat lie in this hole's driving area? Imagine that; the land rolled just that way.
There would be carts, but not many. My course will embrace walking. There will be a maintenance budget, but not much. And I'll only hire two kinds of people: old ones who love turf and want to be around golf courses in their retirement, and young ones who are learning to be superintendents.
Rough? Sure, and some tall fescue in the summer -- but sparse, so you could find your ball. Trees? Yes, but not so many that they're competing with the turf for resources.
Let me tell you what there wouldn't be. There would not be a supercilious starter at the first tee giving a 20-minute talk on 90-degree cart rules, who the architects grandfather was, and why our Bermudagrass is better than their Bermudagrass. There would not be a pro shop selling sets of irons for more than the GNP of Luxembourg. There would not be dining minimums, sumptuous decorating, or silly cliques. No Ladies Days, Mens Only Days, or discriminatory tee time distribution.
Just Golfer Days. And Bring-Your-Kid afternoons, so we could play as families without fear of interfering with the Serious Saturday Morning game. Leagues, interclub matches, competitions of all kinds with plenty of flights so everyone could test their games.
Sure, there might not be a pool. But there are a few showers in the locker room if you need to cool off and clean up before heading out to dinner (elsewhere). Sure, the grill room menu might be brief, but itll always be good (especially if I can get my wife or mother or mother-in-law to cook). And there will be soup on cold days, guaranteed. And a fireplace at one end of the grill room, with some nice chairs and a shelf full of golf books.
In the summer, the doors and windows would be open, and bees would buzz around the screens as cool breezes blew through. In the winter, we would stay open as long as the turf could stand it. And when it got too cold, we would have once-a-month card parties or catered dinner dances. And after these winter get-togethers, we would stand in the bar, have a nightcap, and reminisce about last season.when Smitty jarred one on 15 after the ball bounced off a sprinkler head and bounded forward 30 yards. When one of our juniors made it to the state am. And how long til spring?
Of course, this is just My GC. Everyone likes something different, which is one of the many things that make golf fun. You want the long-winded starter? If you win the million, bring him on. Crepes Suzette in the grill room and Roman tubs in the locker room? Its your club.
And of course, not many of us would get the million-dollar chance. But imagine going around to your friends and handing out the membership cards
If you get that million, let me know.
Email your thoughts to Adam Barr