Monday, 8 March 2010

Eco Golf

Golf and the Environment

Good day ladies and gents. 'Golf and Climate Change', it sounds like an epic subject/topic. I would take a seat, but I am in fact sitting. When you think of a traditional golf course, one might assume that there was deforestation, inhabitants moved and local wild life affected. This is potentially a hot topic.

A true trade off is the economic benefit brought to an area that comes along with a golf course vs the economic significance of 'nature' (which some might argue is priceless) but not reported/quantified on an organisation's balance sheet. Hence some folk may argue it is 'valued less' as a result. Let us continue....

Golf courses can certainly bring economic benefit to an area. Think of the jobs, from course construction, to restaurant workers, shop employees and the network of suppliers connected to the course. Just because a golf course is/was built, does not automatically mean a trade off, golf course =harm to the environment, or no golf course=good for the environment. The management of a golf course can do much to make 'their club' greener. With the business world becoming 'greener', and climate change firmly cemented in the world media (and rightly so), there is arguably a drive for golf clubs to too 'become greener' and adopt better practices. This would not only apply to those courses under current construction, but those already in existence.

Would a green golf club be a better club than a non green club? The environment/world would be a better place if every golf club in the UK recycled 50% of rubbish, or installed energy sufficient technology. It is through collective change that a greater change regarding the climate can be brought about.

Initially what may begin to be a niche, I predict will evolve and become mainstream. Although difficult to quantify, a given percentage of golfers may restrict their course play to those clubs which are seen to be 'green' or behold eco-accreditation. If golfers voted with the £ in their wallet, other courses would be forced to adapt/change. Going green may in fact save a golf club revenue and improve efficiencies. For example a water wheel on a river running through a course could lead to the generation of cheap energy (over the longterm). Other forces at work which may make a 'club play ball' are legislative measures. If X number of companies are forced to adapt, due to legislation, change would be enforced and enshrined.

An interesting organisation that caught my eye was NGO, the National Golf Organisation, their mission is to protect the environment and introduce better and greener practices to golf courses around the world.

The green club is here to stay, which can only be a good thing, but the key question is how will the uptake increase over time and at what rate....and will it lead to a more expensive round of golf?

Next Blog Entry
The next entry will take a look at some of the golf lingo to help any beginners adjust to the great sport....

If you liked the above take a look at the blog entries for the month of February located in the archive in the right column.

You can contact www.captaingolf.blogspot.com by emailing cgcaptaingolf@gmail.com. See you soon comrades....

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