Why isn’t there pressure on golf courses and golf resorts to become environmentally friendly?

The average golf course uses as much water per year as 1,400 people. The pesticides and fertilizers they use boggle the mind. I drive through dry places like Arizona and I see unnaturally lush green golf courses stretching out as far as the eye can see. Why don’t we see pressure on them from government or the public to clean up their act and find more environmentally-responsible solutions?



  1. 0 Votes

    Business, more than anything. According to the National Golf Foundation, golf contributes more than 49 billion dollars a year to the U.S. economy. It’s frustrating, but the golf industry has made recent efforts to mitigate its environment impacts; new courses are now often built with more advanced systems that prevent over-watering. 

  2. 0 Votes

    A good example to show for this debate is the Palouse Ridge golf course in Pullman, WA.  This area gets its water from the Grand Ronde aquifer, which has the ability to replenish itself but already supports two college campuses.  Previous to the golf course being proposed, the aquifer was already being drained by 1-2 feet per year.  When the proposition of the course came up, a 3 year battle pursued over whether or not it was worth building a lavish golf course in an area already overusing its water capacity.

    Finally the course was approved, and this was the statement that Washington State University released.  “Not only will it give WSU national and international exposure by hosting competitions and tournaments, it will also provide research opportunities, help with the retention of students and athletes, attract new visitors to the Palouse, boost hotel occupancy and increase revenues.”

    Basically it comes down to money, and until it becomes profitable to build or convert more eco-friendly courses we won’t see it happen.  If the public is willing to boycott a course like this, or if the local government is willing to take a financial hit, then we will begin to see golf courses which benefit the environment instead of detracting from it.

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