Golf courses have always represented green oases in the middle of urban or suburban sprawl. The civilized thwack of a golf ball, polite murmured accolades from fellow players and golf carts trundling along to the next tee are all misty childhood memories.
And who could forget that golden lake? Dazzling the eye with the reflected light of dawn, a brilliant, peaceful vista proclaiming that all was right with the world and nothing was impossible. Surely, the magnificence was simple, enduring, and effortless. Right?
In reality, that vista and those peaceful greens required careful mowing, fertilizing and nightly irrigation. The lake was the focus of worried conversations about the recent lack of rainfall, and oh, that dam. Seems it had been leaking and needed to be rebuilt before it gave way completely and washed out Mr. and Mrs. Smythe on the 4th hole.
Alas, even the idyllic places from childhood are part of the real world and require a lot of work. But did you notice how that lake stood out? Could you see it in your mind’s eye? Did you ever notice just how much water exists on a golf course? Why is it there? What is it for? And most importantly, does that pond have fish?
This book is about golf course ponds, but we’ll start with a look at how the sport has evolved over the ages and how it’s entering a new phase of evolution to meet the changing needs of society. Ponds and other water features have always been critically important to successful golf courses, and that continues, but new expectations are being established. The mission now requires golf course ponds to be attractive while also functioning as reliable storage and thriving wildlife sanctuaries. That’s a tall order.