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The future of golf

Will the grass be greener?

It takes a lot of maintenance to keep greens, well, green.

Where not a blade of grass is out of place, where horticultural craftsmen follow nature’s every curve with scissor-like precision, where water, chemicals, nutrients and vitamins are vigorously sprinkled to ensure carpet-like texture for every tee-off.

It’s time-consuming, cost-guzzling, labour intensive stuff.

So the boffins in futuresville have come up with a plan.

Synthetic turf.

Bear with me. It would see an end to the water issues, especially in hotter climes like California, Dubai, South Africa and the like. It would require little or no maintenance. No irrigation systems would be needed so the design and implementation of courses would be much easier.

It ticks a lot of boxes. So why doesn’t it feel right? 

Here in Ireland, probably more than anywhere else in the world, we like to keep things real. Think of the smell of freshly cut grass as you walk out to play on a summer’s day. Think of that soft spring under your feet as you step up to take that final shot. That great outdoorsy feel as you inhale the fresh air: when you’re at one with nature. It’s authentic, it’s heart-warming, it’s what life’s all about. It feels real and it feels good.

Granted, we’re spoilt here in Ireland with all the world-class courses we have to offer, and the temperamental temperatures that make our landscape the most beautiful, fertile and luscious landscape ever to be seen.

To replace that with something synthetic would not only be a shame. It would, I believe, ruin our glorious game.