A Natural Course for Golf
A New Book from STRI
Recently, we had the pleasure of talking to Malcolm about the background to his challenging book which captures the thoughts and opinion of some of golf's most distinguished golf devotees. They are, agronomists, administrators, architects, consultants, ecologists and golfers amateur and professional, and are reflecting on the best way forward for golf course management. Malcolm describes himself as having been the archetypal tunnel visioned 80's golfer who became accustomed to British golf courses attempting to copy the Augusta "ideal". He says that whilst Chairman of Green at Temple his association with Martin Gunn, the Course Manager, transformed his understanding and made him realise that the obsession with lush green the "target golf" is not the true essence of the game we know in the UK.
He was inspired to try to educate himself as to why the philosophy of golf course management had changed and how courses could be restored to their former more natural and healthy state. After much research and communication with various experts he realised that not only was there a groundswell of informed opinion in favour of a return to more traditional values and methods but, also, that what might be dismissed as nostalgia is, in fact, a modern scientific fact. The approach advocated in the book is in tune with society's demand for a more ecological management of natural resources, and is also far more economical. A Natural Course for Golf really proves how money can be saved when managing a golf course responsibly. The chemically orientated approach to agronomy, which was previously considered to be the modern way, is shown to be an unsustainable short-term philosophy, which will ultimately lead to irredeemable golf course decay.
The book contains some memorable quotes from a variety of interesting and diverse sources:
"I think the over-watering, and over-fertilising of golf courses is one of British golf's biggest sins. A liberal irrigation, and fertilising policy merely succeeds in dampening a courses interest and character. I would encourage all golfers to read and digest the wisdom that is contained in A Natural Course for Golf. Nick Faldo, Tournament Golfer.
"Golf is a continuous process of decision-making, a strategic exercise that must explore the options on every shot on every hole. It becomes a test of manoeuvrability and control, rather like a game of snooker; the more skilfully the current shot is played, the more straightforward will be the next." Donald Steel, Golf Course Architect.
"The writers have covered many of the aspects of the sport I hold dear and I believe you will find A Natural Course for Golf a compelling and enlightening read". Colin Montgomerie, Tournament Golfer.
"I never had a word of advice from my great friend Peter Alliss no matter how many times I've played with him. No I tell a lie: Alliss did, once offer me the encouraging words "Give it a crack", he said. Which just goes to show how much he knows about amateur golf. "Give it a crack the pill would fly off at right-angles, probably, decapitating the lady captain five fairways away!" Terry Wogan, Radio and Television Presenter.
"No other sport enjoy such an intimate relationship with the environment as golf, and many aspects of this relationship are explored in this splendid and long overdue book. It is a fascinating read; entertaining, educational, and of relevance to everyone in the game, from tournament tiger to club rabbit!" Dr Alan Gange, School of Biological Science Royal Holloway.
"In this book A Natural Course for Golf Malcolm Peake brings together a diverse assemblage of distinguished golf devotees, each of whom reflects on the interrelationship in golf through their own experience and perspective". James T. Snow, National Director, USGA Green Section.
"The advice contained in this book is a shining example of the synergy that can be achieved when harmonious working practices are implemented for the mutual and positive ambitions of golf and of the environment". Paul Baxter, English Golf Union.
"If you want to find out more about golf course management this is an excellent place to start". Colin Wood, Scottish Golf Environment Group.
With a forward from Sir Michael Bonallack who writes "This book has been compiled by Malcolm Peake, who has managed to draw together the collective expertise and humour of so many people highly qualified in their own fields, but whom all have one thing in common, The love of the game of golf. I highly commend it to all golfers."
We are sure that any reader will find this an informative and thought provoking read.
The book will be available from July priced £19.50 plus P&P.