Would you play an Astro-Turf golf course?
Apparently Mother Nature didn't get the weather memo.
In 2012 I played my first round of golf on St. Patrick's Day. Unseasonably warm for the time of the year -- 80 degrees, if memory serves -- last March was a golfer's wet dream. Playing Cog Hill in the middle of March was usually accompanied by a scarf, mittens and possible flurries. Such would be the case in 2013.
As I sit at my desk and stare out the office window at frost and patches of snow, I began to wonder if there was such a thing as an Astro-Turf golf course. You would think a completely synthetic course would be a goldmine in Chicago.
Turns out that the Australians are well ahead of the game. In 2007, construction on a synthetic course began near the Great Barrier Reef in the city of Rockhampton, a town drier than concrete due to its warm climate and susceptibility to droughts. While the fairways and surrounding grounds would remain natural terrain, the course's tee boxes and greens would be completely artificial.
This idea would fit incredibly well in any Chicago 'burb, possibly in a golf-happy city like Orland Park or Lemont. Any artificial course would still require a limited amount of snow removal to shape out the golf holes, however the sheer volume of play at the course would offset that cost. Personally, I don't see how this idea wouldn't work.