Golf and its Environmental Implications

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Sporting activity is one of the most popular New Year’s resolutions. However, this world environment day, let’s explore sustainable sports. Is Golf a sustainable sport? As a part of our Earth festival today, we will discuss the current state of environmental impacts caused by golf courses and some strategies for reducing, controlling, and managing them. So this is all about golf and its environmental implications.

Golf courses have a long history of being associated with environmental damage. Golf has increased in popularity and infrastructure around the world; however, ecological effects have been reported during the development and operation of the fields. The evaluation of these impacts has sparked widespread concern, with findings revealing chemical, heavy metal, and nutrient concentrations in water and soil that often surpass existing health and environmental regulations. Furthermore, high water consumption causes changes in surrounding habitats and may result in introducing foreign species. As a result, government agencies and organizations in various countries have become concerned about these concerns, prompting several countries to begin developing methodologies and uniform procedures for ensuring the sport’s environmental sustainability. 

CRITICISM OF GOLF COURSES: PROBLEMS THAT SHOULD BE ADDRESSED

Golf and its Environmental Implications

Harming Ecosystems

Golf courses must be weed-free and free of rodents that might damage the grass. Grass makes up the bulk of a golf course. Also, a clear fairway and green are needed. Unfortunately, several steps must be followed to make golf courses green and hence make golf a sustainable sport. It is normal practice to clear land to create a golf course. Golf course land is currently causing damage to habitats and ecosystems. Unfortunately, when a golf course is built, valuable land must often be cleared. Fairways are typically devoid of bushes and trees, necessitating the removal of these natural resources. Since this disturbs the soil, it can have negative consequences for the ecosystem and surrounding ecosystems.

The cutting down of trees to make fairways and pave ways for different holes is one-way golf courses can damage ecosystems. According to environmentalist Brent Blackwelder, cutting down a forest to create a course is detrimental to the ecosystem. Green plants abound on golf courses, adding oxygen and removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.

Water Usage

When talking about golf and its environmental implications, a golf course takes a lot of water to keep it green, which raises another issue. Since water conservation has always been a priority in the United States, this extensive water use can be considered an issue that golf courses contribute. When the number of gallons of water used by courses is compounded by the number of courses in the United States alone, a significant amount of water is diverted from other sources. This is one of the main reasons for the drive to restrict golf course construction and why many people think golf courses are bad for the environment.

Harmful Pesticides

Many activists are also concerned about the pesticides and chemicals used to keep golf courses looking pristine and free of pests and weeds. Jay Feldman, co-founder and director of Beyond Pesticides, a non-profit membership group dedicated to preserving public health and moving the world toward pesticide-free living, has been active with Golf and its environmental implications.

In an interview with Golf Digest, he claimed that pesticides are harmful to people’s health and that golf course superintendents are unaware of the effects of the pesticides they use. Many people believe that since these goods have been licenced, they are safe to use; however, there are still risks. Runoff into rivers and lakes, as well as contaminants that become airborne, are examples.

SOLUTIONS: WHAT CAN STILL BE IMPROVED TO MAKE GOLF A SUSTAINABLE SPORT

Although there are arguments that golf and its environmental implications, several strategies have been developed to minimize the impact and initiatives to improve the environment. This World environment day 2021 as a part of our ongoing Earth festival, let’s explore the possibilities for further change. To reduce the negative effects of golf courses, more work needs to be done on each of the above issues (harming habitats, water use, and pesticides). But it’s not just doom and gloom. There are several solutions to these issues and ways to continue to enhance golf course environmental impacts.

EPA Regulations

The Golf Course Superintendents Association of America (GCSAA) works to ensure that chemicals, water use, and waste are all in compliance with EPA regulations. These factors, according to the EPA, affect golf course maintenance. These regulations also allow golf courses to remain in compliance while also allowing them to develop better ways to maintain a golf course. However, there is one thing that could be done better. Local governments should get active to ensure the steady improvement of and construction of environmentally sustainable golf courses. Each golf course should send an annual report to the government detailing the pesticides they use. Furthermore, if a golf course is found to be in breach or not compliant with this new law, the GSCAA and the local government can place the course on probation and put it out of operation before it is found to be in compliance. This will work for golf and its environmental implications.

Increased Building on Condemned Land

Building on condemned land has many environmental advantages. Uninhabitable land is cleaned up and transformed into a grassy area where animals and people can interact. However, there are currently no laws requiring new golf courses to be built on the condemned property. The USGA and the EPA, and other government agencies and environmentalists should continue to collaborate in the future to develop a plan for new golf course construction.

For increased construction on condemned land to become more common, the USGA and EPA should collaborate with local communities and governments in charge of golf course growth and construction. A list of conditions for any developer intending to construct a golf course should be available from the local government.

 Wildlife Sanctuaries

When it comes to golf and its environmental implications,many people are unaware of the detrimental impact that a new golf course may have on wildlife habitats in the region to be built when a golf course developer wishes to create one. The effect, however, does not have to be negative.

The use of golf courses as wildlife sanctuaries may be an excellent solution to the issue of misplaced wildlife caused by golf course construction and maintenance. On a golf course, there is obviously a lot of unutilized space. Rather than allowing them to become unused property, the USGA should create incentives to ensure that the unused land is used exclusively to protect native wildlife. So that’s all about golf and its environmental implications.

This world environment day 2021, join us in celebrating the Earth festival brought to you by Buzzonearth. Click Here to read on Ways to help environment at home.

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