Without the slightest bit of hesitation, I give you my turf-related predictions for 2018 that are guaranteed or not to be 100 percent accurate.
I’m going to keep foretelling it year after year until I’m wrong: Eldrick Woods will not win a major this year, not even close.
Oh, he’ll be in the hunt during a couple of PGA Tour events, but no new trophies will grace his foyer shelves in 2018.
Speaking of majors, two entire rounds of the Masters will be lost to heavy rains necessitating a Tuesday finish. In short order, the club will produce plans to dome the entire property and convert the turf to ANGC 1 Hybrid, which will in fact be artificial grass. Jim Nantz, without a modicum of shame, will pronounce the dome and the carpet the greatest architectural/agronomic advances in golf since cement cart paths.
Various Augusta members will opine that fake ground and sky retain the original intent of course architects Alister MacKenzie and Bobby Jones.
Following in the footsteps of their respective football teams, two high-profile college GIS Turf Bowl teams will be sanctioned and face other severe penalties from the GCSAA – acting in the role of the NCAA – for various egregious violations on and off the “field,” including forged high school transcripts, illegal gifts from boosters and “lack of institutional oversight.” The actions of an “assistant coach” will bring a momentary feeling of deep shame upon one of the institutions.
In one instance, authorities became suspicious of the program when a star player was spotted tooling around campus on a brand-new rough mower.
Taking the lead from such esteemed facilities as the Meadow Brook Club on Long Island, facilities will not only have tap beers with their name on it, but now also canned beers.
Like Meadow Brook, which put its name on Barn Rocker Ale brewed by nearby Oyster Bay Brewing Company, the course will support local businesses while at the same time providing golfers with quality thirst-quenching beverages.
Zac Blair will win record his first victory on the PGA Tour. In the pressroom and countless interviews that follow the event, the former All-American golfer at Utah will wax eloquent on golf course architecture, agronomy and the value of 9-hole golf courses. As a result, he will be the featured speaker at the 2019 GIS.
For many in the turf industry @grumpysuper will become their second favorite Twitter feed to follow, right behind @SuperintndtMag.
Shinneock Hills Golf Club will stand out for its testing, but fair design, as well as for its utter beauty when it hosts the U.S. Open. Oh, and the wind will blow all week.
In a bizarre incident that will send shockwaves through not only the golf course industry but also the artificial intelligence community, a rogue irrigation control software program at a busy Midwestern daily fee course will command a robotic mower and a drone to attack a foursome of golfers who refuse to fix their ball marks, repair divots or rake bunkers. Two of the women in the group will attest that the mower was heard to utter a string of expletives as it came toward them.
From that point on nary a blemish will be found on the layout as those who frequent the facility take it upon themselves to maintain the course as if it was their front lawn and to prevent another bizarre incident.
In early February, Skyhorse Publishing will release “The Finest Nines, North America’s Best 9-Hole Golf Courses.” It will take its place in literary history as one of the best tomes ever authored about the subject of 9-hole layouts, partly due to the fact that the previously mentioned Blair penned the forward. (Yes, the sound you heard was the author of this column tooting his own horn.)