Lawrence, Kansas, United States: Golf is a sport for a lifetime that delivers more than two million jobs and US$69 billion in annual economic impact while contributing US$3.9 billion per year for philanthropic causes – more than all other sports combined.
A professionally managed golf course can demonstrate environmental stewardship and provide a place to meet exercise and fitness goals. Just walking 18 holes, for example, can burn more than 2,000 calories.
As part of the celebration of ‘Earth Day’ on April 22, the Golf Course Superintendents Association of America and the United States Golf Association offer 10 facts about golf, promoting the sport and the environment:
(1) Golf courses are professionally managed landscapes where environmental stewardship is important – from using water and nutrients more efficiently to implementing improved methods of erosion control.
(2) In general, the golf industry is striving to deliver firm playing surfaces that are better for everyone and improve the bottom line. More than 70 per cent of golf courses report that they are keeping turfgrass drier than in the past.
(3) The golf industry is continually investing in research to identify drought-tolerant grasses and improve water conservation through best management practices.
(4) Golf courses adopt water conservation practices, reduce irrigated acreage and use innovative technologies, such as targeted irrigation systems and ground moisture measurement tools, along with weather monitoring systems, providing the science to water only when and where it is needed.
(5) Irrigated areas on golf courses have decreased by more than 14,430 acres between 2006 and 2013.
(6) Use of recycled water has increased by 32.7 per cent from 2006 to 2014. Recycled water accounts for 25 per cent of all water used on golf courses.
(7) Golf courses routinely have waste and water recycling programmes to reduce and reuse.
(8) More than 90 per cent of a typical golf course is comprised of turfgrass, a water feature or other natural areas that prevent erosion, filter run-off, and provide for cooler temperatures when compared to urban settings.
(9) More than 70 per cent of acreage on an 18-hole golf course is considered green space that provides benefits to the eco-system, reduces maintenance and supports wildlife habitat, including protected species.
(10) Through governmental affairs involvement, professional education and public information, the golf industry promotes environmental responsibility as a widespread industry practice.