It’s Earth Day, and golfers should pause and give thanks.
EARTH DAY should be every day, especially for golfers. We are outside, breathing the air, walking in the woods (to retrieve, we hope, that hook or sliced shot that seemed to want to get closer to nature), and at times listening to the birds or babbling brooks. It’s nature.
Yes, we’ve heard the pushback of all the water and fertilizers golf courses need to maintain the fairways and greens. However, plenty of golf course owners, managers and superintendents are doing their part to protect the health of the planet. Many courses are going the way of organics, using no synthetic pesticides, fertilizers or herbicides.
A course in Iowa has implemented a wetland system that collects the backwash from a nearby water tower to save water on the course. The grounds crew at Rockland Country Club in Sparkhill, N.Y., which is in the migration path of Monarch butterflies, has planted milkweed in butterfly zones along some cart paths. Other courses have added bird boxes to surrounding trees and created habitats for butterflies and bees. Going green was the mission at Northport Creek Golf Course in Northport, Mich. After several phases of installing solar panels, Northport Creek has sun-powered almost everything, from the clubhouse to the carts, to the energy needed to run the irrigation system.
Golfers, do your part. If the course you play does have some elements of being eco-friendly, say thank you. Use bio-degradable golf tees, bring your own water bottle (or birdie juice flask) and pick up any trash you see on the course.
Oh, and try not to lose your ball — make it last a few rounds, at least. You’ll help the planet, and maybe even your game.
Lin Clark is a GottaGoGolf fan whose goal is to play a round in all 50 states. Her home state is Colorado.