The environmental movement is steadily raising in importance to people in the world. Because of this, individuals and businesses are being held to a higher standard as the world is continuing to support the movement more and more. As an industry, golf has taken it's commitment to going green very seriously.
According to golfdigest.com, leaders in the golf industry are already planning as the future could be grim if they don't. Water scarcity, they predict, will continue to grow nationally and especially globally. One obvious fear for the industry is using water for golf courses when there are more serious needs around the world like saving people's lives from water scarcity. Due to this potential problem, golf courses are planning for that. It is reported that golf courses in the United States use 300,000 gallons of water every day. How this looks going forward is going to change.
The first way it is going to change is through the use of different grasses that require drastically less water. With that gain, they suffer a loss. They gain environmentalism, but they will lose some of the softness of the ground with these sorts of grasses. It's going to change the game. The ball will hit hard and run. The "bump and run" may become a more popular approach to chipping. It will be different, and I think in a way no less than awesome. Many golf fans love the ruggedness of courses like St. Andrews. For some, it will be a hard adjustment since a golf course normally plays more difficult in firm conditions compared to soft. I'm still convinced that links style golf isn't going to hurt the game. Many golfers find it equally great and the others will learn to adjust. The biggest adjustment will be around the greens compared to off the tee. Off the tee, people will love hitting some longer drives due to the firm conditions.
The second way where golf courses will change is by not giving the grass drinkable water. Golf courses give grass the same water as humans. That's crazy, right? Common sense is arising as this new strain for water is being put on the game. They are starting to use treated effluent water or wastewater instead of drinkable water, irrigating smaller areas of the property, irrigating more efficiently and with better equipment, and raising mowing heights. Even though fresh water is a strain, waste water is not in a short supply to many areas.
A controversial yet major issue is the use of pesticides on golf courses. The current movement in the golf industry is to move to fertilizers that don't use pesticides. There are positive and negative reactions. The positive are prevailing as action is taking place on courses across the country. The biggest activist is Augusta National, the course where the Masters golf tournament is held.
Golf is becoming a leader in going green. Not just to make make themselves look better, but because eventually they're going to have to be able to survive. The steps they're taking now are will also prepare them to help other industries think through the steps they will need to talk to join them in the movement as water scarcity and global environmental problems become more crucial to deal with.