Noer Collection Featured Acquisition

The Past, regained........ Peter Lees' Care of the Green, 1918

It is unusual when a book "disappears" from a literature, without a trace or trail. For whatever reason, Peter Lees' 1918, "endeavor to put as plainly as possible the several methods which I have found from a long experience to be the most successful means of securing the best results in laying out, building, etc., a modern golf course," did just that, following the First World War. Perhaps some day we will better understand the combination of reasons for this to have happened, but the fact that it did is clear. The MSU Libraries are pleased to announce the acquisition of a copy of this 93 page work, which could be the only copy held by a public library or institution. We cannot verify that any other library in the world owns this item!

Care of the Green (pdf) is now available in full-text PDF format through MSU Libraries!

Certainly Lees' contribution has not been acknowledged as a source of recorded knowledge within the turfgrass literature -- as we are currently not aware that the work had prior to 2000 ever been cited in the literature. We are likewise hopeful that this work will now be reintroduced to the turfgrass research and management community.

Hidden within a nondescript binding and containing very limited illustration, the work nonetheless surveys:

  • Course Construction
  • Building the Green
  • Hillside Greens
  • Rolling the Green
  • Worms on the Green
  • Care of the Green
  • Spring Work on the Golf Course
  • Early Work on the Golf Course
  • Early Summer Work on the Golf Course
  • Summer Work on the Golf Course
  • Mid-Summer Work on the Golf Course
  • General Review of the Greenkeeper's Work

Lees, claiming authorship as a Golf Course Architect, with a title page listing of courses in both America (including Lido and National Links!) and Europe, addresses construction and maintenance far more than design throughout the work. Opinions, and suggestions, abound, for example:

"I am perhaps a bit old fashioned in some people's opinion, but I hold the opinion and I am speaking from experience that too little sand is used on the greens nowadays. I am a strong believer in sand as a dressing for turf, especially so....." (p. 30), and,
"I have seen over and over again greens watered almost every day. Now I contend this is not natural. We do not look for rain every day, then why water every day? To me this sounds only common sense and if this system is kept up something is bound to happen sooner or later and those in charge will find themselves in a fix." (p. 31)

Worms, rolling, winterkill, and weeds all get their share of attention under Lees' observant eye.

Welcome back to the turfgrass literature, Mr. Lees!

We gratefully acknowledge the special support of the MSU Libraries in acquiring this work.

This item is now housed in the Special Collections Division of the MSU Libraries. It is available for in-room use under special handling conditions; a "use" photocopy is also available in the Vertical Files of the Turfgrass Information Center.

View the complete TGIF record for this item

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