Are Golf Courses Bad for the Environment?
Are Golf Courses Bad for the Environment?
Golf courses are very dependent on the environment. In fact, for a long time now, golf courses have been closely associated with coastal areas – although this has diversified over the recent years and more golf courses are being developed inland. In as much as they draw inspiration from nature and the environment, there has been a lot of criticism about the impact golf courses on the environment. Some of the big concerns that bring up a concrete case against golf courses are the water pollution they cause courtesy of the pesticides and fertilizers, loss of natural habitat for various plant and animals, and generally watering down biodiversity.
The Negative impact of golf courses on the environment
The beautiful landscapes and the wonderful views of the surrounding are often a mask of the great wound the land bears beneath. To develop a golf course, you ought to clear several acres of land; land that actually bears great natural resources. The clearing of land, in turn, translates to an imbalance in the environment.
The chemicals used in the fertilizers for the grass and the pesticides, coupled with irrigation result in water pollution. The water pollution kills aquatic life and the surviving organisms eventually migrate to safer areas.
Establishment of beach resorts often attracts other developments in the surrounding areas. Within just a few years, a worrying number of houses, restaurants, and malls will have sprung up around the golf course. This will mean clearing of more land to accommodate these developments and diversion of water sources.
The opportunity to conserve the environment with golf courses
The question as to whether golf courses are bad for the environment or not can be debated for months and years to come. But the fact is that how the golf course is engineered will determine the kind of impact it will have on the environment. That said, there is a great opportunity for golf courses to bring a positive impact to the environment. Given the endless possibilities and room for creativity that the design and architecture of golf courses offer, admirable wildlife sanctuaries can be created out of golf courses. They can be designed to protect water resources be a means to rehabilitate landscapes that have been degraded over the years.
Management of wildlife and natural habitat
Golf courses utilize land that is a natural habitat for various plant and animal species located in a particular area. It is important that when a golf course is being designed – whether it is a new golf course or an upgrade of an old one – the knowledge of the local species and their habitat be taken into account. This knowledge should then be incorporated into the design of the golf course to ensure that there is harmony. The main aim should always be to cause the least possible, or no negative environmental impact. The very basic concepts like adding fish to the ponds, planting trees, and setting up birdhouses cause significant impact to the environment. Particular interest should be put on indigenous plants and animals to ensure their continued survival.
Without water, there would be no golf courses. While the golf courses need the water, it is important to embrace the fact that even the plants and organisms in the surrounding areas rely on that same water for survival. The importance of water conservation in golf courses cannot be emphasized further. The same can be achieved through the establishment of aggressive water usage plans and use of effective irrigation equipment that results in minimal water wastage.
What happens when water is not conserved is that the life is taken out of nature and the entire golf course including all that is in the surrounding eventually lose the life in them. As such, golf courses ought to take into account water quality management. This involves proper use of water without limiting others in the environment that utilize the same water.
Obviously, the golf courses come with a wide array of advantages attached like creating employment, is a good source of income to the owners, offer a great place to relax and have a good time, among many other benefits. However, if the main drive behind the establishment of golf courses is the money that comes along and if the proper measures are not taken to ensure that whatever was found existing in the environment is maintained and sustained, then the dangers that follow are diverse.
Some of the measures that can be employed to ensure no harm is brought to the environment as a result of establishing golf courses include:
• Growing of grass, trees, and other plant varieties that are indigenous to an area to ensure they do not go extinct.
• The design should ensure it has as little water runoff as possible
• Use reclaimed water or collected rainwater for the irrigation instead
• Protect sensitive habitats
• Minimize the use of chemicals
• Use renewable energy in the facility and in powering the golf cart
RunRex believes that it is important for golf courses to make environmental conservation a priority and incorporate the knowledge of what exists in the environment in their design. If the design is only based on aesthetic appeal and money generation is the only motive, then golf courses can prove to pose quite some serious danger to the environment.