Golf courses are some of the most beautiful, serene, and luscious landscapes available in most communities. It’s the reason why so many people pay big bucks to live in houses that overlook a course’s beautiful green fairways and calm lakes. But golf courses are a source of a lot of water, pesticides, and energy usage. However, there are ways in which golf courses can set a good example as far as affecting the environment.
The three simple buzzwords for implementing a basic green friendly plan are “Reduce, Reuse and Recycle.” Following those three concepts can bring a golf course a long way in becoming more environmentally friendly. Below are five sustainable ideas that incorporate those three basic concepts in relation to a golf course.
Composting (Reduce, Reuse, Recycle)
A staple of many eco-friendly business plans is to find a way to turn waste into a sustainable source and one of the easiest ways to start is to create a compost. Compost is a process that recycles organic waste (such as leftover food) and ultimately produces a soil conditioner that is rich in nutrients. By setting up a compost for the trash that is produced in the golf course restaurant and then using that composted soil as fertilizer, a golf course would already be off to a solid start in going greener.
Solar Energy (Reduce & Reuse)
Solar energy is a very clean source of energy and is generally abundant in most areas of a golf course. By implementing solar panels on the clubhouse and golf cart barn, they could re-charge their electric golf carts via cleaner energy. Another, more radical, idea is to implement solar panels on each of the golf carts themselves, which would be very innovative.
Less Water Usage (“Reduce”)
This is the holy grail for sustainability within golf courses, but is also one of the hardest to implement as golf courses require a lot of water to function. Many golf courses have addressed the water usage issues by making the common areas (i.e., the areas of the course that aren’t meant to be played on) mulch, rock, or dirt. Not only does this cut down on water usage, but it can also create beautiful landscaping opportunities. As far as the bottom line, it can also save the golf course a ton of money.
While we’re on the subject of water, you may have noticed some clubs have stopped selling disposable water bottles, as more and more businesses aim to reduce the use of plastic. For you as a golfer, you could help by getting into the habit of bringing your own reusable bottle.
Improve Water Irrigation (“Reuse”)
If a course is unable to cut down on their overall water usage, then it should at least attempt at trying to install a recycled water irrigation system. A water recycling system for irrigation would help ensure that there is cleaner water and cleaner run-off (assuming they are also implementing organic fertilizers) emptying back into the water features on the course that is then recycled back into the irrigation system.
Course Recycling Program (“Recycle”)
Let’s finish this piece with going back to the roots of going greener and that is by implementing better course-wide recycling programs. This can be done by providing more recycling containers and instructions on what items are to be recycled and what is not. Get your employees engaged by offering gift cards or rewards for the staff department (i.e., pro-shop; kitchen staff; maintenance) that recycle the most/best.
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