Monday, August 13, 2012

Golf courses and other outrages

Golf courses and ski runs are the sports fields with the worst environmental impact. At first glance, nobody would believe it because these fields are very green (or white) and they look much more “natural” than a basketball court. But golf courses or ski runs are built in the middle of “really” green areas and they waste a huge amount of water for maintenance purposes, so these sports fields are real predators for our environment.
Two data to better understand the amount of water necessary to keep a golf course:
  • According to WWF/Adena, a golf course by the Mediterranean sea guzzles as much water as a town of 12,000 inhabitants.
  • Only in the US, golf courses require 7,800 million litres of water every day. Bear in mind that the US has a population of about 310 million people, so every day more than 25 litres per person are meant to water golf courses.

Recently, some solutions are being tested to solve this problem, including the introduction of a grass family of Paspalum genus, which can be watered with salt water. Moreover, this type of grass does not need to be watered so often. However, there is a more sustainable, simple and cheap solution: try another sport to have a good time.

WWF data about golf courses:
The data about the amount of water guzzled in US golf courses is taken from the printed edition of National Geographic (April 2010 issue):
US population:
Grass of Paspalum genus:




  1. Shifting to another sport would not entirely solve the problem as that move will only add to unemployment (which is the current issue in the US politics) should the golf courses wishes to close down due to lack of purpose. I think the Paspalum genus is a viable solution; however, it may require GC managements to shell out cash, which they may not currently have.


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