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Dynamics in Golf Course Maintenance

Randy Wilson


The most consistent complaint I receive concerning our films would be the perception of inconsistency.  The caller (it's always the phone, presumably to avoid leaving written evidence) lectures me on the need to stick with one kind of format, style, etc.

80% want golf related humor, mostly for stress relief after a difficult day.  Another 10% would prefer serious topics on industry trends, while about 9% just want to see features on fellow golf course superintendents.  That last 1% want me dead.

The process we follow here at The Bottum is based on Dynamics.  To understand Dynamics, we should first look at how it is employed in music.

The use of Dynamics in music is critical; the most powerful symphony will move from loud and powerful to soft and gentle, lulling one into a sense of calm, just before exploding in volume and tempo.  When Dynamics are ignored, such as when a hard-rock band from the 70s turns it up to 11 and stays there for hours, things quickly get boring.

The best film directors knew this key principle and used it to create movie masterpieces, in films like "Sullivan's Travels" or "Jeremiah Johnson".  A quiet scene intensified the sudden transition to action, unlike the modern action film that takes off after the title and never lets up until the credits roll.

The best golf course architects understood the concept of Dynamics, by creating an adventure to be experienced by the golfer.  A wild and difficult hole was more interesting if preceded by a gentle, or "breather" hole.  Simply stringing together 18 difficult holes would destroy player interest.

Golf course maintenance is similarly affected by Dynamics.  Narrow fairways bordered by deep rough and greens running at hardwood floor speeds are incredibly boring.  The player is forced to play one shot to remain alive and strategy fades out, replaced by a death march mentality.

It is impractical for golf to maintain the pace of a Jason Bourne film when setting up a golf course, but because of TV saturating weak minds, that's just what some superintendents are forced to do by committee demands.

Experts on the golf forums, especially the architecture forums, bemoan the "weak" hole they encountered on an otherwise acceptable golf course, often discussing ways to "toughen up" the hole.  Sort of cranking the course up to "11".  

. . . remember that growth regulator that was causing melons to explode in Asia?

The Dynamics in use here at Rockbottum Films are similar to those I have attempted to explain in the previous paragraphs.  We like to alternate theme music, moving from Blues to Big Band to orchestras.  We try not to hit the same targets too often, we change film styles, avoid sneaking in the same hidden messages and vary the run time.  Over the years, we have learned that short comedy films do better in the summer--and longer films, full of deep intellectual premises, would be more successful in the winter, if only we had some intellect.

Anyway, take a close look at your course and see if Dynamics could improve how the player enjoys the round.  Oh, and for that 10% demanding serious films . . . remember that growth regulator that was causing melons to explode in Asia?  Here's a serious film on that topic.



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