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Display # 
Title Created Date
DIRT - The Movie 27 February 2016
Badru's Story: Inside Africa's Impenetrable Forest 05 September 2014
Adapting to Sea Level Rise 18 August 2014
The Montana Heritage Act 06 August 2014
Migration Season 22 March 2014
Texas Parks & Wildlife 20 February 2014
Hope in a Changing Climate 17 February 2014
Controlling Storm Water 13 August 2013
Neo-tropical Migratory Bird Act 24 July 2013
LA Dodgers Landscaping 16 July 2013

SustainAbility Newsletter Archive Article (random)

Golf Cars and Sustainability

By: Brian Kington

Solar Golf CartLet’s first take a few seconds to discuss proper terminology.  They’re actually called golf cars not golf carts.    Golf carts are something players use who prefer pulling or pushing their clubs to riding or schlepping them around the course.   Of the many factors influencing the future of the golf industry, the use of golf cars is a unique topic for discussion because, in my opinion, they have both positive and negative effects on the sustainability of the game. 

The traditional round of golf 100 years ago saw a player carrying his own bag, or hiring a caddie, but with either choice walking 5 miles across undulating terrain was a regular aspect of the game.    At private clubs today, it appears that the majority of members still walk the course, however at public facilities walking is much more rare.   Encouraging this puzzling trend for players to choose riding over walking is the common business strategy for daily fee courses to pad their greens fees by including a golf car with the round.
 
There are some obvious environmental benefits that come with encouraging the non-use of golf cars, such as conservation of fossil fuels and energy.    But consider the social benefits of walking, such as additional exercise, which is important and much needed for all of us, not to mention an enhanced interaction with nature for walkers.    I would also argue the use of golf cars actually worsens pace of play, an already serious issue in the game at present, especially in wet conditions when golf cars are not permitted on the fairways and players are constantly going back and forth to retrieve clubs.  
A counter argument supporting use of golf cars could be the loss in revenue for a course already struggling to meet their bottom line in today’s down economy.  However, with the increased cost savings for the maintenance staff resulting from less wear and tear to the roughs and fairway, and reduced energy requirements, it may be close to a wash economically.   
  
The conversation gets more interesting when you consider a much larger resort community because golf cars can be used for more than carrying clubs.     Expansive interconnected areas of open space, plant and wildlife habitat, and recreation are generously incorporated into the communities to provide basic needs such as improved air and water quality, enhancement of biodiversity and green space.   This integrated planning approach of blending human uses and nature also offers a unique design opportunity to consider alternative strategies for vehicular circulation.     Often times elaborate trail systems are incorporated throughout the property which not only provide recreational opportunities for hiking, biking, bird watching, but that also accommodates and encourages using golf cars for everyday movement within the community instead of using automobiles. 
  
Certainly some senior players and others with physical limitations may require a golf car simply to participate in the sport.  This should be highly encouraged, as it is very important for golf to be accessible for everyone for the sustainability of the game.   Designers should recognize the increased value in promoting the use of golf cars as an alternative means of transportation and incorporate the concept into the planning process.  As far as a typical 18 hole outing is concerned, most players might reconsider throwing the strap of their bag over their shoulder instead of strapping the bag into a golf car—and if not for their own health and well-being, then for the well-being of golf.  

Brian Kington, is a Landscape Architect with Love & Dodson, LLC.

Read more about Sustainable Golf at: www.sustainablegolfdevelopment.com
 


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References and Sources used in this issue of SustainAbility Newsletter Include:

Audubon Lifestyles
www.audubonlifestyles.org 

The International Sustainability Council

www.thesustainabilitycouncil.org 

Sustainability Campaign
sustainabilitycampaign.blogspot.com

eNature.com
www.enature.com

Golfs Drive Toward Sustainability
www.eifg.org/sustainability

World Migratory Bird Day
www.worldmigratorybirdday.org

The Golf Course Superintendents Association of America
www.gcsaa.org

The United States Golf Association (USGA)
www.usga.org

Sustainable Golf & Development
www.sustainablegolfdevelopment.com

Sustainable Forest Initiative
www.sfiprogram.org

National Geographic
www.nationalgeographic.org

International Migratory Bird Day 2011
www.birdday.org

 

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A Coalition for Good - Spreading the Seeds of Sustainability

ISC-Audubon is a coalition of non-profit organizations and initiatives that include The International Sustainability Council (ISC), Audubon Lifestyles, Audubon Outdoors, Planit Green, Broadcast Audubon, and the Audubon Network for Sustainability. 

Funds generated through memberships and donations are used to provide fruit & vegetable seeds, wildflower seed mix, and wildlife feed & birdseed to urban and suburban communities around the world. These seeds are used by communities to establish fruit and vegetable gardens, bird and wildlife sanctuaries, and for the beautification of urban and suburban landscapes by creating flower and native plant gardens.

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