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In the spirit of eavesdropping, we asked a group of greenskeepers about the most common questions and complaints they field.
Welcome to Super Secrets, a GOLF.com series in which we pick the brains of the game’s leading superintendents. By illuminating how course maintenance crews ply their trades, we’re hopeful we can not only give you a deeper appreciation for the important, innovative work they do but also provide you with maintenance tips that you can apply to your own little patch of paradise. Happy gardening!
Great game, golf. Too bad it’s played by a bunch of ingrates. Just ask superintendents. Golfers gripe to them about, well, almost everything.
In the spirit of eavesdropping, we asked a group of greenskeepers about the most common questions and complaints they field, and how they reply. Or, at least, how they’d like to reply.
The greens are too slow.
Reply: Hit it harder.
The greens are too fast.
Reply: Hit it softer.
The greens are impossible.
Reply: No, they’re not. You just stink.
The course is in bad condition.
Reply: Not as bad as your game.
Why don’t your guys shut off the mowers when I’m ready to hit? Don’t they know it’s distracting?
Reply: You’re the same golfer who complains when the maintenance jobs aren’t done fast enough.
Really, though, they should shut off their mowers when I’m hitting!
Reply: There is nothing we can do in maintenance to help you. The help you need is a golf lesson.
You should cut down that tree limb. I keep hitting it.
Reply: You’re not supposed to hit it there.
You should move the tee markers forward. I keep hitting it into the pond.
Reply: You’re not supposed to hit it there, either.
The bunker sand is too firm/soft/bumpy.
Reply: You understand that it’s a hazard, right?
Sand from the bunkers keeps splashing onto the greens.
Reply: Read the rules. You’re allowed to brush it away.
The flag poles are too tall. My caddie can’t reach the flag to keep it from flapping when he’s tending the stick for me.
Reply: Get a taller caddie.
The flagsticks are too thick. Putts bounce off them.
Reply: Um, then pull the flagstick.
The fairways are wet. Why are you watering so much?
Reply: It rained a half an inch last night, and you live on the course.
I’m sodding my lawn this week. Any tips?
Reply: Keep the green stuff pointing up.
A golf, food and travel writer, Josh Sens has been a GOLF Magazine contributor since 2004 and now contributes across all of GOLF’s platforms. His work has been anthologized in The Best American Sportswriting. He is also the co-author, with Sammy Hagar, of Are We Having Any Fun Yet: the Cooking and Partying Handbook.
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