The cost of keeping a golf course looking good has traditionally required massive amounts of water, fertilizers, and toxic pesticides that have been doing great damage to the environment. But as sustainable practices become more popular across the globe, many golf facilities go green. There is even a non-profit organization that advocates and recognizes sustainability in golf, the Golf Environment Organization (GEO). According to Jonathan Smith, CEO of GEO, “People working in golf are really starting to embrace a comprehensive sustainability agenda, and many more are looking for ways to reduce unnecessary capital and ongoing maintenance expenditures. There’s a return emphasis towards ecologically and environmentally driven golf development and management, that works closely with the land and ecosystems.”
Check out these top environmental courses!
Belas Clube de Campo, Portugal.
This course excels at innovative water management with recycling and reuse of irrigation water in a drought-prone region. Belas also selected a less water-hungry species of grass, limits its sprinkler use, and meticulously monitors its water consumption.
The Jockey Club Kau Sai Chau Public Golf Course, Hong Kong
All employees at this course are trained in efficient water management, habitat maintenance, waste reduction, pesticide disposal, energy use, and environmental planning. The course also reaches out to the community to fund and develop sustainable projects like their solar-powered golf carts and hybrid ferries. Additionally, the course issues a regular environmental newsletter and posts environmental education materials throughout the course to educate guests as they play.
Klosters Golf Club, Switzerland
This nine-hole course partners with nonprofits WWF and Pro Natura to ensure that it properly monitors and protects the sensitive alpine environment. Only twenty acres of the property’s forty nine require intensive turf management.
SilverTip Golf Course, Alberta, Canada
The course has been recognized by the Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary for its conservation and environmental education efforts, water quality, wildlife management, and minimal chemical pest management.
Mirimichi, Tennessee, USA
Reopened in 2009, this course incorporated many sustainable improvements including native species reintroduction efforts and habitat improvements which naturally lead to decreased fertilizer use and maintenance. Constructed and natural wetlands attract native species, while innovative but highly drought resistant grasses were added.
Check out more environmentally friendly golf courses here!
Source: National Geographic