Captain Planet Was a Golfer

While everyone turns the discussion to making sacrifices for the sake of the planet, some bells and whistles can actually help save it.

Image by Dru Bloomfield via Flickr
Image by Dru Bloomfield via Flickr

 

Don’t put the five-iron down, and relax. By supporting your local golf course, you might actually be helping reverse global warming –or in the least, you may not be making it worse.

It’s true.

The green-conscious eco-movement isn’t only a cause fought for by Birkenstock wearing, tree-hugging hippies. Golf-enthusiasts can fight the cause, too; from the turf.

So don’t re-book that Friday afternoon business meeting. The only earth-friendly decision you may need to make today is which golf course to spend your money on.

Not every golf course is a mecca for eco-friendliness, so it’s important to know what to look for. Here are a few tips on how golf courses are going green.

  1. Pass the Grass

Not all golf course turf is created equal. If you’re going to spend time on a course, and the environment your playing golf on is of conscientious consequence for you; be sure to select a golf course that uses turf composed of grass that relies on less water consumption.

Some strains of grass that consume water differently are Buchloe dactyloides, Cynodon dactylon, and Paspalum vaginatum.

Buchloe dactyloides has been bred by the University of Nebraska, and it is a special grass turf that can use up to 50% less water than typical turf grass.

Cynodon dactylon was developed by the Oklahoma State University for colder climates, and conserves 30% – 50% water savings.

The University of Georgia’s Paspalum vaginatum is inherently salt-water tolerant, so water can be irrigated directly from the ocean without further tampering or filtration.

  1. Irrigation Practices

Golf courses that cycle irrigation as opposed to using fresh water all day long, day in, day out, are high on the list of eco-friendly golf course practices –however more attention can be paid to other facets of modern golf course practices such as limiting traffic to paths which minimize turf wear and tear, or root-pruning trees near critical turf areas to conserve water consumption.

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Employing mulches that reduce water evaporation will also maximise water use, and ensure that no drop is wasted.

  1. Creative Water Sources

Ponds that line your turf should provide more utility than looking good cosmetically; they can serve as water reservoirs to feed the green above and beyond municipal reserves.

golf pond

As mentioned earlier, University of Georgia’s Paspalum vaginatum is salt-water tolerant, and allows for the use of ocean water to feed the green. Not only is it the right thing to do ecologically, it saves money, too.

Even a desalinization plant on-site will allow for the use of ocean salt water, without burdening local infrastructure and provide an unlimited source of grass turf hydration.

  1. Landscaping and “Earth Shaping”

Drainage isn’t just about preventing flooding on the gold course, it’s also about water catchment for the recycling of available water.

Capping golf courses with a 6-inch layer of sand allow for the free-flowing of water which will prevent stale water and rot, while allowing water to flow back into a water catchment system for redistribution.

  1. Aerification and Cultivation

Healthy grass ensures proper use of water resources. Using effective nutrient levels will ensure grass remains healthy, while absorbing water that might otherwise evaporate and get wasted.

Further to this, golf courses that facilitate effective spiking, slicing, and core aerification practices improve water infiltration, and minimize water runoff.

In closing, you can either take this checklist to every single golf course in town, or you can take our word on it;  Murray Downs Resort has what you’re looking for.

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