Forward thinking golf tournament organizers are beginning to take environmental considerations when planning. Golfing is not the most environmentally sound sport. Golf courses are traditionally built in hot, dry locations. A large amount of water, pesticides and gas for mowers are used to maintain them. Still, green golf tournaments are popping up everywhere. How would you plan a green golf tournament? Is there anything you can do to change or offset existing conditions? How can you make your golf course truly green?
If your course is located in an arid region, maintenance can be an ongoing environmental waste. Even in humid climates, green maintenance may not be the norm for you. Consider making gradual permanent changes such as using landscape materials that require less water or maintenance. Implement green fertilizers and pesticides for a green golf course year round. Encourage golfers to use manual carts for the exercise and less use of resources. Yes, golf carts are electric but batteries are well known as environmental hazards.
Using cactus and other succulents in place of tropicals on the golf course can cut down greatly on water usage. Another way to curb golf course water usage is by using grass that takes less water to grow. Irrigating with reclaimed or gray water is an alternative as well. What about the water served at golf tournaments? A good option is using tap water in place of bottled water. When choosing to serve bottled water, be sure the containers are recyclable. Always include clearly labeled recycling bins to encourage patrons to do the right thing.
Motor Oils and Gas
Of course the most green method of cutting grass would be a manual push mower. Unfortunately, this method is a bit impractical for mowing acres of greens. Most golf courses use gas powered riding mowers. A good way to green your golf course for tournaments or daily use is by seeking out environmentally friendly fuels and oils for your mowers. Consider recycled oil or oils that do not impact the environment when mowers leak or malfunction. Look for eco-friendly labels.
Pesticides and Fertilizers
There are numerous green fertilizer and pesticide alternatives. Why contaminate soil and ground water with chemicals and risking the health of players? In addition to commercially available green products, there are other, less expensive alternatives. For instance, tea makes an excellent fertilizer for grass. Tannin and other nutrients in tea can create a superior green lawn, even in arid climates. A fertilizing tea can be made with compost or grass clippings as well. There are plenty of natural pesticides on the market, or choose disease and pest resistant varieties of grass.
Previously, golf courses have been looked down upon for their displacement of wildlife in natural habitats. Newer green courses are actually being used to border and protest wild life areas. The idea is to create a barrier between wildlife areas and urban or human habitats. This border keeps the two from blending, especially when the golf course uses green practices. This approach makes green golf tournaments even more meaningful and important.