In a previous post called The sand trap is on the green we looked at sand scrapes which are greens without grass. You need to rake a path from the hole to your ball and putt along the sand to get in the hole.
Okay so far but when there is a big storm, the rain and wind tend to mess up the sandscrapes. Some sections become too deep in sand and others become bareish.
So a working bee is called and members come to replace the base and the sand. It’s a dirty job and you feel like a road worker in the hot sun.
Still it’s got to be done regularly throughout the year to keep the scrapes in good condition. And you don’t need to water scrapes.
I am currently playing on a regional or country course in Central Victoria and learning a lot about country people and their special ways of playing golf. In a previous post called The sand trap is on the green we looked at sand scrapes which are greens without green. You need to rake a path from the hole to your ball and putt along the sand to get in the hole.
However the scrapes need a lot of care and attention.
And at our course, a big wind or a flock of cockies can leave the fairway scattered with eucalyptus branches. To clear them the club captain asks for volunteers to give their time and energy to removing the debris.
This is a real demonstration of members’ contribution to their sport and to the club.
There are some large golf courses in rural Australia but most are small courses in small regional towns. The local golf club often cannot support the green keeping staff needed to look after grass greens, so they opt for sand-scrapes which are easier and cheaper to maintain.
I have been avoiding playing on sand-scrape courses even though they are closer to my place than the “proper” course complete with real greens that I normally play at. Snobbery I suppose!
Recently I played with these guys in the Twilight Competition at Avoca Golf Club. I am told that the greens are of a high standard for sand-scrapes…unlike my round where I just could not cope with the greens. Putting is not my forte however 3 putts were the rule for me not the exception!
My cousin Graham plays at a Par 3 in Adelaide which looks easy but is certainly not easy. I played really badly and I can only blame the foreign golf clubs. He normally plays with his brother -in-law, Barry, but today Barry cannot play golf because of a recent back operation.
However Barry can walk with us and critique our shots. He can also adjudicate by giving his interpretation of the Rules of Golf. Who says that local golf rules should conform to foreign golf rules?
In fact the taking of divots could almost be a filter for the type of golfer you are.
When you see the champs on TV, they always take a divot (usually quite a large one) except, of course, when driving or putting. Coaches will tell you that you should look at the direction of the divot to see if you are impacting the ball correctly. It’s supposed to be the size of a dollar bill…well maybe a five dollar bill since we have dollar coins.
When you play with the locals, however, there is usually a distinct lack of divots or the divots are totally in the wrong place…behind the ball. They can’t all be wrong, can they?