In recent times a good deal of anti-golf publicity has been generated,
which has centred mainly on pesticide concerns and land use issues. Golf
courses typically are an easy target for environmental groups and often
receive disproportionate amounts of negative coverage simply because of
the affluence of some of those who play the game. Golf courses can, in
reality, have a positive impact on the environment and the surrounding
Golf courses provide a unique opportunity to create within their boundaries
a 'Wildlife Sanctuary' to preserve and enhance an often rich variety of
native birdlife, animals and vegetation, whilst in broader terms golf
courses act as important 'links' of green space across a region.
OPEN SPACE AND REMNANT VEGETATION WITHIN URBAN ENVIRONMENTS
Golf courses within urban areas play an important role in the preservation
of open space in our cities and the remnant indigenous vegetation serves
to protect the gene stock of the native flora.
TOPSOIL FROM DEGRADATION
Vegetation, particularly turfgrass, successfully controls water's erosive
power. Research has shown that even during high rainfall periods turf
retains up to 20 times more soil than traditionally farmed cropland, thus
protecting the precious topsoils.
Golf courses play a significant role in the management of water, aiding
in the conservation and preservation of water resources and acting as
a natural filter of stormwater and runoff. Turfgrass filters contaminants
and traps sediments before they can enter common waterways. Modern computerised
irrigation systems and improved turfgrass varieties allow courses to use
less water more efficiently. A 150 acre golf course can also recharge
the water table with a net 90 million gallons of rainwater each year,
which is seven times more than it consumes.
Golf courses can provide a viable land use for land degraded over time
by intensive land use or mismanagement, such as urban landfills, mines,
farms, etc., and can return this land to a more natural state. Perhaps
the most significant benefit is in providing a new use for this land with
wide community benefits.
PHYSICAL AND MENTAL WELL BEING
Golf provides its participants with the motivation to pursue outdoor exercise
and exposes golfer to the positive benefits that an attractive landscape
can contribute to the mental well being of its viewer. These benefits,
together with the ability of the game to provide a temporary escape from
the pressures of day to day life make golf a healthy pursuit for mind
INDIGENOUS FLORA AND FAUNA
Golf courses provide an opportunity for a wide cross section of the community
to experience the natural landscape, and the native flora and fauna.
AIR QUALITY AND MODERATE HEAT
Vegetation has the unique capability of improving the quality of air we
breathe as well as converting carbon dioxide into life sustaining oxygen
through the process of photosynthesis. Research shows that an area of
180 square metres of turfgrass, grasslands, shrubs and trees produces
enough oxygen for one person for one year. The average golf course therefore
can sustain the oxygen requirements of around 4000 people per year. Turfgrass
and trees have an ameliorating effect on the heat of an area especially
in urban areas.
AND TREAT WATER RESOURCES SUCH AS EFFLUENT, SEWERAGE AND URBAN RUNOFF
Golf courses face the reality that when striving for sustainability they
must not only seek alternate water sources but more effective water usage/management
practices. As the costs of potable water rises there is an economic incentive
to supplement or replace potable water usage with effluent and/or storm
water. The use of secondary treated effluent for golf course irrigation
has an added advantage of providing up to 70% of the nutrient requirement
needed to maintain turfgrass, lessening the need for chemical fertilisers.
Use of effluent on golf courses also reduces environmental damage caused
when unwanted effluent water is discharged directly into our rivers and
THE ENVIRONMENT AND AID COMMUNITY EDUCATION ON ENVIRONMENTAL ISSUES
Golf courses provide an opportunity to enrich the environment by housing
a diverse and rich ecology. Significant ecosystems such as wetlands provide
a valuable resource in terms of an educational facility for golfers, interest
groups and our children. Guided walks can educate and alert participants
to the environmental features within the course as well as within a broader
addition to the above benefits, courses provide other important ecological
and community assets. Golf courses are:-
for non-golf recreational activities such as jogging, walking, bird
watching, cross country skiing and fishing.
breaks: Turfgrass provides a buffer zone that slows the spread of bushfires.
that provide skilled and semi-skilled jobs.
for social interaction and community events.
of a growing international industry.
improvements that add value to land, thus increasing local tax bases.
Golf Courses - Benefits to the Community and the Environment
The Society of Australian Golf Course Architects, 1996
PROJECTS & CLIENT BASE
PHILOSOPHY OF DESIGN