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Sand Greens
The future of putting now.

Early US greens were grass, except where aridity or difficulty of irrigation dictated otherwise.

Shinnecock Hills LI NY 1892

Yonkers NY 1888

Vermont ca. 1900

Horse Mower 1923

 

Sand greens were found mainly in the South, Southwest, and arid Western states. Also, Australia, Canada, and Puerto Rico. With the development of new strains of heat-resistant and aridity-tolerant grasses circa 1930, the sand greens started being converted to grass. But some conversions didn't occur until fairly recently, and the world still has quite a number of sand greens today.

Pinehurst pre-1935

"The "greens" of Pinehurst golf course were actually made of sand until the mid 1930s when grass was finally grown successfully on the area's hardpan surface. Horton Smith here watches Bobby Jones putt out at the 5th hole on No. 2 in March of 1935."

Miami FL 1905

Augusta GA 1905

Palm Beach FL 1900

Palm Beach FL 1904

 

Modern US Sand Green
Woodburn GC
Woodburn OR

Local Rules: "Rake all the greens. Don't be lazy. Think of others. Observe golf etiquette. If everyone follows the rules everyone else will enjoy the game better." Pete

Woodburn GC
Woodburn OR (built 1925)

Advice: "Not a long course, no sand traps or water hazards. Straight shots keep you out of trouble. Wet sand greens are fast in inclement months, likely play slower in hot, dry weather. Task of sweeping the green after putting usually falls to the loser of the hole."

 
Turfgrass

Sand Greens

US

Viking Golf Course
Strum, Chippewa Valley, Wisconsin

20 Years of Dragging the Greens 1965-1985

"The Viking was built with 9 holes and 9 holes exist today. In 1965 Golfers teed off on hole number one where the green for hole 9 is now, and ended at the current practice green. These greens were about 30 feet across and were actually sand covered with oil. I have been told that many people saw these oily greens from the road and stopped by to find out what these strange black circles were! After each round of golfers finished putting, the sand of course had to be dragged. Large carpets were used to smooth out the sand which were a great burden to the golfers. The members knew that greens needed to be replaced with grass.

The day that grass greens became a reality golfers went around the course twice, the first round on sand greens and the second on grass!!! That night the members enjoyed a large bonfire of burning carpets. Irrigation was now the problem at hand. The greens needed water and again the members of the community came to the rescue. Each took his turn until the irrigation system was afforded. Even then only the greens were watered the fairways came later."

 

JUNE 9TH, 1985.
Dedication of the Grass Greens
The mayor of Strum, Ruby Spangberg, gave tribute with the following poem:

LONG AGO INDIAN TROD
UPON THIS EVERGREENING SOD
NO NORWEGIAN HAD BEEN SENT
TO SHAPE THE WAY STRUM'S HISTORY WENT

FROM THAT EVOLVED THE HOLTE FARM
WHEAT AND OAT GAVE WAY TO CORN
NO STORE BOUGHT FERTILIZATION
THEN PLANT FOOD CAME FROM BARNYARD PEN

TIME WENT BY AND INTEREST GREW
IN A SPORT THOUGH OLD IS EVER NEW
HITHER AND YON OUR GOLFERS WENT
TO SATISFY THIS CURIOUS BENT

ENOUGH! THEY SAID WITH ONE LOUD CRY
THE HOLTE FARM'S WHAT WE MUST BUY
WE'LL START A GOLF COURSE OF OUR OWN
NEVER AGAIN WE'LL HAVE TO ROAM

NO SOONER SAID THAN IT WAS DONE
OUR GOLFERS HAD THEIR VICTORY WON
THE GOLF COURSE GREW FROM THAT GREEN SOD
WHERE ONCE THE INDIAN HAD TROD

SAND GREENS SERVED FOR MANY YEARS
DRAGGING BROUGHT BLOOD, SWEAT, AND TEARS
ENOUGH! AGAIN CAME THAT CLARION CRY
GRASS GREENS ARE SOMETHING WE MUST BUY

WHAT STRUM DECIDES TO DO IT DOES
WITH VERY LITTLE FUSS OR MESS
WITH COOPERATION SUCH AS THIS
HOW REALLY, CAN A SMALL TOWN MISS

TO WORK THEY WENT WITH UTMOST ZEAL
TO MAKE A LONG TIME DREAM BE REAL
WITH DONATED MUSCLE GIFTS OF GOLD
OUR DREAMS OF GRASS GREENS DID UNFOLD

TODAY WE DEDICATE THOSE GREENS
A REALITY NOW, ONCE JUST A DREAM
WITHOUT YOUR MUSCLE, YOUR TIME, YOUR CASH
A DREAM LIKE THIS WOULD HAVE BEEN A RASH
YOU GAVE YOUR ALL, THE RESULT IS SEEN
TO YOU, WE DEDICATE OUR GREENS

 

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