Skeletal Golf is the driving force that separates Rockbottum CC from other golf courses. I designed and built Rockbottum in 99, according to the teachings of Skeletal Golf, a cult I founded immediately after I lost both of my posterior seating elements in the tech-crash bubble of that same year.
Rockbottum was meant to be a low overhead, depression proof course -- because I could see another bubble on the horizon -- and the course is doing very well in these hard times. For those of you who remember my column, I wrote a piece in '02 entitled Chicken Economics that involved me running around Chicken Littling, warning about an economic downturn; as much as I dislike this, I'm sounding another warning.
The practice of Skeletal Golf involves offering old-style architecture and maintenance techniques to create a playability environment that is new-golfer-friendly. To achieve the state of heightened spiritual awareness that Skeletal Golf bestows upon a golf course requires rugged conditions, smooth greens, wall-to-wall fairways with minimal rough and low weekday walking green fees.
The formula for determining if the green fee is low enough is to observe the golfer telling his wife that he played Monday and would like to play Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. If that number adds up to a Mercedes payment or she kills him dead on the spot, the green fee is too high for Skeletal Golf. (We charge $10 to walk weekdays, if you need a reference point.)
Learning the art of Skeletal Golf is not easy. The best instructors are those veteran superintendents who remember the 1960s and survived the Oil Embargo/Gas Crisis of '73.
I'm telling you about Skeletal Golf because I'm concerned those folks over in the Persian Gulf might start flinging Silkworms, Sunburns, Scuds and Shahabs around between now and June . . . and if they hit anything, like Ras Tanura, the huge Saudi refinery, then the golf industry should consider having a couple of contingency plans prepared. In '73, fuel, fertilizer and golfers got fairly scarce for a few months and we were caught totally unprepared.
Whether its a few months of high costs and interrupted supplies or an Archduke Ferdinand moment, transitioning into some form of Skeletal Golf might conserve resources that could be spread over a longer period of time than the current level of consumption.
I'm not saying to start training horses to pull 5-gangs or to invest in fairway sheep, I'm merely suggesting golf courses consider having an emergency cost cutting plan that could help golf survive potential logistic turbulence. If you need an example, watch this video that explains how we got a new truck at Rockbottum for much less than sticker price.