display | more...
Golf is extremely popular around the world, notably so in California where i live. By itself golf is harmless, although I don't prefer it. Playing golf isn't always a bad thing. However, golf courses are. Golf courses are based on the English landscape - small ponds, sand dunes, short grass, wind-carved trees. In England, golf courses aren't really out of place. True, they take up space, but at least they fit into the landscape. But in California, especially in the desert, there are huge pieces of English landscape infesting the land like a mold. There are many problems with these little green patches of hell

  • Space. They take up huge amounts of space. There is a hilly area called Palos Verdes near where i once lived. There once were little canyons draining to steep, rocky seacliffs. Above these, the land was softly rolling, covered in fragnant sage and green lemonadeberry. Wildlife and flowers abounded in here; in the spring it was as green as Ireland. These places are gone now. What has replaced them? Golf Courses. Anyone who thinks these are 'beautiful' just doesn't know what is lost - because nothing is left.

  • Water. In the desert it takes huge amounts of water to keep a golf course alive. Los Angeles and Las Vegas have many, many golf courses. Neither cities get anywhere near enough rain to keep these green. So they are watered with stolen water. Los Angeles golf courses are mainly watered with the Owens River, a river to the North. Unfortunately, the river now dries up before it gets to Owens Lake, and Owens Lake is now dry. The river is dammed and diverted, and a ghost of its former self. This river was beautiful. The golf course in Chino Hills is not. Now most of the lower riverbed is dry, and Owens Lake no longer reflects Mt Whitney, or anything else, in its warm waters. The water is gone. Las Vegas steals its water from the Colorado River. This river once flowed in force into the Gulf of California. Now it never makes it this far. Instead, it flows into golf courses maring the desert. Palm Springs sits on an extraordinary aquifer of sweet, pure Ice Age water. It is drying up because huge golf courses are being watered via overhead sprinklers. Most of the water here gets evaporated and drifts to the east, or perhaps falls on Arizona in a thunderstorm. But the springs are drying up and the sweet water is being wasted.

  • Pollution. Yep, golf courses cause pollution of various types. All the water and fertillizer has to go somewhere. The fertillizer finds its way into nearby creeks, causing them to fill with algae and choke with weeds. The fish, frogs, and other wildlife generally die. Also, the mere addition of so much water can be harmful. Most creeks in the Southwest are dry most of the year; the animals have learned to cope with this. However, golf courses input water all year. This severely messes up the hydrology of the creeks, leading to colonization by alien species and loss of the unique 'vernal creek' habitat

    So golf isn't bad. But golf courses often are. Before you let your city put one in, go look at where it is being proposed. Imagine what it would be like to lose that land forever.

    As McSnarf mentioned, golf courses are not necessarily harmful. Unfortunately, golf courses in the United States are perhaps regulated less stringently than those in Germany. I've seen the sprinklers running on 120 degree days in Palm Springs.. I've seen creeks ruined by nitrogen seeping into streams.. I've seen Owens Lake's dry bed, while water was pouring on the golf courses 300 miles south. If the golf course administrators would but plant native plants and water-saving strains of grass, or even use the green dye you mentioned, golf courses could be a valuable ecological asset. Unfortunately, things rarely work that way.

  • Golf courses can also be beneficial to the environment - in areas where they do not use up scarce ressources like water or land.

    If we take Germany as an example, golf courses are usually built on spaces used for agricultural monocultures. To get a permit to build a course, the whole are has to be re-naturalized, a minimum of 1/10 of the area turned into a nature reserve, which is also closed to golfers.

    When it comes to fertilizer and pesticides, any green keeper using more than absolutely necessary not only hurts the environment but the quality of the course as well.

    Besides - if you see perfect, green greens on tv, on a course that is located in a hot, dry area, the chances are that it has been dyed green. (Yes, there is a special paint to dye grass a nice shade of green when it is brown...)

    Now - for the real downside of golf :
    it is addictive...

    Log in or register to write something here or to contact authors.