Golf Course Playability vs. Aesthetics?

Would you prefer a golf course that has various shades of brown and off-green grass coloration yet tons of fairway roll and firm putting surfaces, or a soft, lush landscape that offers little to no roll but is pleasing to your eye? The USGA's Darin Brevard brings up an interesting point in his recent article pertaining to golf course aesthetics versus overall course playability. According to the article, amateur golfers seem to be split on their preference, often leaning towards sacrificing overall playability of a course as long as it looks pretty. Furthermore, greenskeepers and superintendents often field complaints from members and the public if their course looks less-than-perfect.

But are the added costs associated with installing intricate watering systems and specialized fertilization techniques really worth it to the average golfer? After all, these costs are typically recouped via heightened greens fees, which nobody enjoys.

Give the article a once-over (maybe even a twice-over, if you feel randy). Good stuff.