Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 13 of 19
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2000
    Location
    Coastal Georgia
    Posts
    34,902



    America's 18,000 Golf Courses Are Devastating the Environment


    Thirsty golf courses drive environmental protests

    By JOAN LOWY
    Scripps Howard News Service
    22-APR-04

    After a seven-year battle, residents in the upscale suburb of Mount Kisco,
    N.Y., recently forced billionaire Donald Trump to back off a proposed golf
    course development that they said would pollute the town's only water supply
    with pesticides and fertilizers.

    In drought-plagued Nevada, just south of Reno, a new range war is
    threatening to begin between local property owners and a pricey golf club
    that has purchased senior water rights and is sucking up the available
    supply to keep its course in tournament condition.

    And in Wyoming, environmentalists lost a fight last year to halt a golf
    course development on the banks of the Snake River 17 miles south of Jackson
    Hole that they said would drives bald eagles from three nearby nests.

    This spring, as some wildlife biologists had predicted, all three nests are
    empty, including a nest that produced more eaglets during the past 26 years
    than any other nest in the greater Yellowstone region, an area roughly the
    size of West Virginia.

    "I don't like being right in this case," said Tim Preso, an attorney with
    Earthjustice, which represented environmental groups in the case. "Just
    because eagles have rebounded doesn't mean we ought to be wiping out their
    most productive habitat in our nation's premier ecological region for the
    sake of yet another golf course in Jackson Hole."

    Despite nearly a decade of effort by the golf industry to mitigate the
    sport's environmental impacts, golf courses remain as controversial as ever
    and the sport's soaring popularity has enlarged, not shrunk, its ecological
    footprint.

    Golf is big business, contributing more than $49 billion a year to the
    economy, according to the National Golf Foundation.

    During the past decade, there has been an explosion in new golf courses. The
    United States is now home to nearly 18,000 golf courses, more than half the
    world's 35,000 golf courses, according to the Worldwatch Institute, a think
    tank that monitors global environmental trends.

    In the United States, golf courses cover more than 1.7 million acres and
    soak up nearly 4 billion gallons of water daily, the institute estimates.
    They also use pesticides and fertilizers that contribute to water pollution.

    A 1994 review of death certificates for 618 golf course superintendents by
    researchers at the University of Iowa's College of Medicine found an
    unusually high numbers of deaths from certain cancers, including brain
    cancer and non-Hodgkin's lymphoma.

    The results were similar to other studies that have found an elevated risk
    for non-Hodgkin's lymphoma among farm workers and pesticide applicators.

    "Many environmentalists feel that Tiger Woods was one of the worst things to
    happen to the environment because of the enthusiasm he created for the game
    of golf and the growth that has ensued," said Neil Lewis, executive director
    of the Long Island Neighborhood Network in New York, an environmental group
    trying to reduce the use of pesticides and fertilizers.

    The network won two recent lawsuits forcing towns that want to build golf
    courses to consider alternative designs that reduce chemical usage. The
    group also is working with a sympathetic developer in South Hampton to build
    what Lewis said he believes will be the nation's first "100 percent organic"
    golf course.

    As an industry, golf has come a long way in trying to mitigate its
    environmental impact, said Jim Snow, director of the green section of U.S.
    Golf Association. New courses are often built with more advanced irrigation
    systems that prevent overwatering, he said.

    In the South, most courses use varieties of grass that require half the
    water than cool climate grasses need, Snow said. And in the arid West, golf
    courses are increasingly using treated liquid waste to water grass rather
    than drinking water.

    Many of the older pesticides that linger in the environment have been
    replaced with a new generation of pesticides that breakdown more quickly and
    thus are safer, Snow said.

    Nevertheless, the gains by individual courses have been more than offset by
    sport's rapid growth, Snow acknowledged.

    "Any big industry uses a lot of resources if it generates a lot of income
    and recreation for people," Snow said.

    Current practices also remain controversial. It's not clear that newer
    pesticides are safer since it often takes years of use before a chemical's
    health effects become apparent, Lewis said.

    In the West, where many communities are coping with a drought of historic
    proportions, golf courses have been scrambling to secure senior water
    rights. In dry conditions, that means junior downstream water users make do
    with less water.

    After a new golf club acquired senior water rights, the water levels in the
    stream that runs by Steve Gildesgard's home near Reno dropped so low that
    fish disappeared. Groundwater tables also have declined; filters Gildesgard
    has installed on his well and water heater no longer keep out sediment, rust
    and salt.

    "I turned off the ice maker because I don't like orange ice cubes," said
    Gildesgard, a construction engineer. "We're all going to go thirsty while
    the rich people up there are playing golf."

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    SC
    Posts
    20,677
    This place is rife with golf courses. You cannot drive over 2 miles without running from one into another. The shellfish population in creeks has been decimated due to fertilizer runoff. If the golfing community had top comply with the same ridiculous restrictions that oil companies do, there'd be hell to pay.

    No reserve. No retreat. No regrets.

    For those who have fought for it, freedom has a sweetness the protected will never know.

    http://www.airwarvietnam.com/16thSOSGunners2.jpg

    Proud member of KA Club

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2000
    Location
    Coastal Georgia
    Posts
    34,902
    And the parking lot is full of ozone depleting gas guzzling SUV's

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Posts
    393
    Has geer ever said what he drives?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2000
    Location
    I'm an old cowhand from the Rio Grande
    Posts
    17,089
    Ecological damage due to golf courses is a concern. Fortunately these concerns are being addressed but more needs to be done.

    I would have no problem with paying a higher fee for increased ecological mitigation.

    In fact 1 of the golf courses I play is certified by the Audobon Society as meeting strict environmental standards in habitat preservation and construction, water usage, fertilizer and pesticide usage and native flora preservation.

    Needless to say the green fees are higher on this courses but I am glad to pay the fees and support their programs.



    Gods are fragile things; they may be killed by a whiff of science or a dose of common sense.

    Chapman Cohen

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    Woburn, MA
    Posts
    6,649
    I agree with Geer. You know, I never really thought about environmental effects before hearing others talk about it. I mean... it's logical... just not something that came to my mind.

    In any case, I just tried various google searches using keywords "Golf + courses + environment" and I was pleased to find that there is very little resistence to the concept of more environmentally friendly courses within the golf community. In many cases, efforts are in the planning stages or already underway.

    My Hyundai transports my clubs to the course just fine, BTW.

    Like Geer, I am still searching for divine intervention with regards to my putting though.
    "Social networking" is an oxymoron.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    Illinois
    Posts
    2,843
    Has your golf cart been retrofitted with a catalytic converter?
    "If I had my life to live over again, I'd be a KA." - Albert Einstein

    It's later than you think.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    Woburn, MA
    Posts
    6,649
    Nay, my friend. I carry my clubs... like a barbarian. No carts of any kind, not even the walkers.

    Golf is excercise for me. I prefer to keep it that way.
    "Social networking" is an oxymoron.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2000
    Location
    I'm an old cowhand from the Rio Grande
    Posts
    17,089
    Originally posted by ralphtheplumber
    Has your golf cart been retrofitted with a catalytic converter?
    On a battery powered golf cart?
    Gods are fragile things; they may be killed by a whiff of science or a dose of common sense.

    Chapman Cohen

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2000
    Location
    I'm an old cowhand from the Rio Grande
    Posts
    17,089
    Originally posted by scrogdog
    Nay, my friend. I carry my clubs... like a barbarian. No carts of any kind, not even the walkers.

    Golf is excercise for me. I prefer to keep it that way.
    Well hell, where do you carry your beer?
    Gods are fragile things; they may be killed by a whiff of science or a dose of common sense.

    Chapman Cohen

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    Woburn, MA
    Posts
    6,649
    I do not drink until the 19th hole is reached.

    I do carry water in my bag though.
    "Social networking" is an oxymoron.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Posts
    393

    Talking

    Hope you all aren't thinking that just because you drive an electric golf cart you have become green...the power plant across the river from one of the golf courses here pukes out one of those nice yellow clouds, along with several tons of emissions per year.

    Scrog may put out a few more emissions himself, lugging a bag of clubs across 18 holes.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Dec 2000
    Location
    I'm an old cowhand from the Rio Grande
    Posts
    17,089
    Originally posted by scrogdog
    I do not drink until the 19th hole is reached.

    I do carry water in my bag though.
    Carrying your own bag and not drinking on the course? And you call yourself a golfer?
    Gods are fragile things; they may be killed by a whiff of science or a dose of common sense.

    Chapman Cohen

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
Comfortech Show Promo Image

Related Forums

Plumbing Talks | Contractor Magazine
Forums | Electrical Construction & Maintenance (EC&M) Magazine
Comfortech365 Virtual Event