It’s pretty simple. If this photo, taken by Trevor Ray Hart on the seventeenth hole at Royal Ashdown Forest Golf Club, speaks to you, then this is an open topic for you.
I could live in this image. The rich texture of the grasses in the foreground, the scruffy ridges, the mixed palette of vivid and mottled color–I can practically feel every step this Wellie’d golfer takes on his way to the green.
A couple of days ago, in his address at the USGA’s annual meeting, new president Jim Hyler said, “I believe that our definition of playability should include concepts of firm, fast, and yes, even brown.” If I may be so bold as to edit that commendable statement, I’d have it read: “Especially brown.” Brown isn’t something merely to be grudgingly accepted. It should be celebrated as beautiful in its own right, as something that, in its interplay with green grass, draws out the natural contours and unique character of the landscape. Brown grass makes for a richer visual environment, and frequently contributes to a more compelling playing surface.
In this topic, I hope to build a case of visual and textual evidence to support the statement: Brown is beautiful. I’d love to hear from you in the comments section on what this subject means to you, or any ideas on how to raise awareness of the benefits of brown. If you have any favorite photos that show this most-pleasing environmental condition, please send them along, with the course name and any other relevant info you see fit to include, to email@example.com, and I will post them as we go. Thanks!
Update: I noticed on geoffshackelford.com that Ron Sirak’s Golf Digest column this week, entitled “Back to Basics”, deals with Hyler’s speech and some of the benefits of brown-is-the-new-green. A quick read and well worthwhile.