Are Golf Courses Destroying Our Environment?

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Golf. It's the lamest "sport" ever invented. Even the people who play it hate it. It's expensive, requires nice weather and tons of gear and it takes FOREVER. Some people say it's like watching paint dry. I say it's like watching paint dry, crack, peel and be repainted again.


Golf. The game of tools. handstandpromo


Do I suck at golf? Is that why I hate it? Well, I probably suck, but to be fair I've only tried it a few times. Even if I liked it- who has the time? Or money? Why not just get drunk and swear since that's all most golfers do anyway?

But the real reason I hate golf is simple: it's the biggest waste of real estate there is. If unchecked, studies suggest that the world could be a giant golf course by 2030.

But honestly, it's a waste. The average golf course takes 100 to 190 acres of land. That is a lot. That is like a (very small) country. A country of golf. Plaid pants, polo shirts and those stupid hats reign supreme.


Looking good there, sport, funny-potato


So, how many golf courses are there in the world? A lot. 32,000, give or take. At 145 acres on average that's 4,640,000 acres. That's a lot. In America alone there's 18,514 courses. That's 2, 684,530 acres.

By comparison, farms in the US take up only 2,076,000 acres between 930,920 farms. So, yes, we use more of our precious land to play golf than to make food. Food, of course, keeps us alive. Golf . . . does not.

So, golf courses are a blatant, nearly suicidal-waste of land. What else?

Water.

Yes, water. The most essential element of our existence is being wasted by the millions of gallons to keep the fairways nicely groomed. 

The United Nations estimates that, worldwide, golf courses consume about 2.5 billion gallons/9.5 billion liters of water per day.


Thirsty? mediabakery 


That equates to approximately 1.08 billion gallons of water per day for golf course irrigation in the United States. According to the U.S. Geological Survey's "Estimated Use of Watering the United States in 2000" report, approximately 408 billion gallons of water per day are withdrawn in the U.S.

Now, I realize that 1.08 BILLION gallons may not seem like much when compared to the 408 billion total, but that's still a hell of a lot of water. But we Americans suck down more of the clear stuff than most.

At 50 gallons per day, residential Europeans use about half of the water that residential Americans use.

That's nothing compared to residents of sub-Saharan Africa who use only 2-5 gallons of water per day. In the desert.


Wow. Desert-y, hdwallpapers


So now that we know golf courses waste land, food, and water, what's left?

Well, the chemicals and pesticides used to keep courses in tip-top shape turn out to not be so great for the environment. And some residents have protested that fact. 

For a while a chemical called Diazon was used in golf course maintenance until it was banned in 1988 for killing local bird species. Of course, the golf courses themselves take away birds and other animals natural habitat simply by existing.

But there is actually a sort-of legitimate reason to fight for golf courses. Why? That's where business gets done. While low-level employees and managers are toiling away in offices, the CEOs and CFOs are out hitting the links. It's pretty common to have business meetings on the golf course these days.

One of my formers bosses, CEO of his own company, would take clients golfing about twice a week. And half the time he'd close a deal with them. It makes sense- would you rather negotiate in a stuffy board room or outside in the sun?


What's a sun?, business-ethics


But here's the problem- the number of other places that higher-ups could hold their meetings is almost infinite. Bars, restaurants, roller rinks . . . well, I guess that's about it. But still- is it impossible to close big deals anywhere but the golf course? Of course not.

And do insanely rich CEOs who spend a cool $1 million on  swanky country club memberships care about that? Nah. Not really. They want to play golf, because that's what businessmen do. And because polo is too hard.

Not really a fair shake for the environment, though. In exchange for being deforested and sprayed with chemicals, it gets used as an outdoor boardroom and not much else. I mean, sure, regular people actually play golf for . . . fun? I guess? But they're no better than businessmen making deals. In fact they're worse because they aren't accomplishing anything.

Stop building golf courses. We have enough.

Stop playing golf. It's stupid.

And stop being elitists and try throwing around a baseball or a football like a real man.
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