How to Make Your Golf Course More Sustainable

How to Make Your Golf Course More Sustainable

sustainable golf courseFrom land clearing to create them to the regular application of pesticides to keep them looking great, golf courses take their toll on the environment. And when you consider that studies indicate that up to 70% of U.S. consumers prefer doing business with eco-friendly brands—going green isn’t just good for the environment, it’s also good for business. The good news is that there are plenty of ways you can adjust the way your golf course operates to reduce its carbon footprint and its impact on the environment. Let’s examine ways to make your golf course more sustainable.

Use Eco-Friendly/Organic Fertilizers and Pesticides

Part of maintaining a green, picturesque golf course is feeding the grass, preventing weeds with fertilizer and keeping pests at bay. But rather than using conventional fertilizers, where chemical runoff can pollute ponds and other bodies of water, or pesticide sprays that threaten wildlife, consider using organic or environmentally-friendly blends. You can find them! Many of today’s brands offer quality products—but without the public health and environmental hazards.

Plant Drought-Resistant Grasses

If you’re developing a new golf course or need to replace a large amount of fairway or rough, consider planting heat and drought-resistant grasses that can reduce your overall water output. Grasses such as Bermuda or Zoysia grass can help conserve water and decrease your course’s utility bills. They’re especially helpful in areas that regularly experience drought.

Irrigate with Recycled Water

It’s estimated that U.S. golf courses use more than 2 billion combined gallons of water per day. One way to conserve water is to irrigate with recycled water. Recycled water is that which is reclaimed from a variety of sources, treated and then reused. Recycled water may come from sewage systems, industrial wastewater, stormwater runoff—or a combination of all three. Recycled water isn’t approved for drinking, but it’s great for irrigation. To date, however, less than 15% of golf courses in the United States irrigate with recycled water.

Go Electric with Carts and Maintenance Equipment

If you want to reduce emissions, electrify your golf cart fleet and what maintenance equipment you can. If you can even go so far as to eliminate golf cart usage altogether and have golfers utilize caddies instead, that will reduce emissions and green your operations even further.

Green Your Clubhouse

Aside from all the ways you can enhance sustainability when maintaining the course, you can also take some key steps in your clubhouse too. For example:

  • Consider installing solar panels to partially help provide electricity to your facility.
  • Replace incandescent bulbs with more energy-efficient LED bulbs.
  • Install low-flow, water-conserving toilets and faucets in restrooms. If your course has a locker room area, install low-flow shower heads.
  • Eliminate single-use plastics in the restrooms, drinking stations, etc.

Contact Soil & Water Consulting Today

As a Brookside Labs partner, Soil and Water Consulting is committed to helping you conserve energy, water and other resources on your golf course. For more information on how to understand your soil better and the water that’s feeding your course’s grass, contact us today.

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