It sounds like something you would hear from your typical “tree-huger” (not my term, used for generic comparison, not intended to be offensive to any persons or groups – so please keep reading), but after 17 years of meetings, workshops, and national conferences the consensus is there are a lot of things the golfing community can do to better help our environment. One of the first items under consideration is the amount of water that a typical golf course goes through to keep their grass green; about 300,000 gallons a day!! In the upcoming years and decades water is going to be come a scarce commodity and if it is not beginning to be controlled now, our future looks painfully dry.
Another item of consideration is the pesticides used by most golf courses. The grounds keepers at courses around the country are under extreme pressure to keep their grass green. Quite frankly, I am under a lot of pressure at home to keep my yard green as well. We all know that there are lots of know problems when it comes to pesticides, but it is the unknown that really have the environmentalist side concerned – and rightfully so. It is agreed, on both sides, that pesticides can be a good and bad thing. Think of taking medicine for an illness, in this circumstance medicine is a good thing. What about those that abuse the prescriptions? Then, medicine can quickly become something completely different. I believe the same applies here. If pesticides are used under a controlled environment, they may do good for the golf community – and my home – as well as not being damaging on the environment.
Golf course can be a good thing. Where I am from in Ohio, they took an old trash burning power plant and landfill and turn it into a beautiful golf course. Now, granted there are not a lot of trees, but developers were able to take something that was a hindrance to the environment and give back to the community, and environment. Check it out here.
For a complete guide on golf and the environment, I found this publication by John Barton from Golf Digest. He does a great balancing act between all sides; he even sits down and interviews golf advocates, environmentalists, and architects. Check out his complete findings here.