Environmentalists have long derided golf courses, but the Grid, in an opinion piece, concedes that “they can carve out a little bit of habitat while bringing in cash.”
Forget that a single, 18-hole game of golf, all in, can cost more than $1,000 to play and that until recently, private golf clubs had policies to exclude minorities and women.
Put aside the fact that a 150-acre golf course could, instead, be converted to 2,000 tennis courts or, potentially, twice or three times as many private homes, Grid says.
Cast aside concerns that it takes a minimum of 90 million gallons of water to irrigate a golf course each year. Or that they are doused in chemicals that run off into water supplies.
Don’t even think about how many thousands of forested trees populated by hundreds of animals may be chopped down, or how many hundreds of acres of wetlands may be filled in, their fragile ecosystems destroyed, to create a single golf course.
Golf courses do have merit in that they “can save something that looks a bit like nature in a valuable urban area while bringing in cash rather than costing it,” Grid says.
Some golf courses have actually been built on landfills, turning toxic dumps with poisonous methane gas into things of beauty.
More costly pesticides and fertilizers have also prompted greens keepers to be more sparing in their use of these chemicals.
Consider distancing yourself from the “Augusta National Syndrome,” the publication offers. Understand that environmentalists and golf course proprietors are beginning to partner on “sustainability.”
In other words, give golf courses, for all of their drawbacks and bad rap, a break.
They do offer “habitat for amphibians, native trees or nest boxes to attract birds…and unmown areas filled with wildflowers to attract pollinators.”
In fact, golf courses take up a scant 2 million of the 40 million square acres of turf grass owned by 81% of the population in the United States.
As polished, as pristine as golf courses may be, they are beautiful, calming, welcoming oases that can be celebrated.
Maybe even given a tax break.
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