1. Reduce Water Consumption
Okay, this is a little bit of low-hanging fruit, but it’s true. The rough 30 yards off the fairway shouldn’t be as watered and cared for as much as the fairway. Heck grow this out naturally with native grass or other natural states (i.e. Sand Valley, among others). It will look great and play tough. At the same time, dry the fairways out a bit and let them RUN. This makes the course fast and firm and ultimately harder to keep a drive in the fairway. Plus, who doesn’t like roasting one an extra 30 yards when they do hit the fairway?
2. Solar Power
Solar Power everything. But seriously, though. Put them on the Clubhouse, on the golf carts, and on top of the cart barn. This will not only save energy, but it can save MONEY and there are affordable install options on the market. Or you can carry your clubs and get some steps in. Maybe you can even put a little solar panel on your hat (there's an idea).
3. Encourage Animal Habitats & Species
We’re not saying let a pack of wolves roam the course (shout out Greyson Clothiers), or let a goose lay a steamy one down mid-fairway but encouraging biodiversity can go a long way for a golf course’s health. Letting streams or small forests run naturally throughout or around the course, building nesting boxes for birds and selecting natural vegetation can drastically improve the biodiversity of a golf course.
4. Go Plastic-Free or Close to It
Think of all the thrown away plastic bottles (and we’re not talking beer bottles) at the end of the round. It’s a ton and there are ways to simple ways to limit this. If you can’t go fully plastic-free, at least have a few recycling bins to toss bottles in. Offering recyclable or paper cups at water stations and at the turn are also great options.
5. Reduce Pesticide Use
It’s 2020, there are a few different ways to do this. The costliest way would be to change the turf entirely to an eco-friendlier grass. This isn't feasible or realistic for most courses. Having said this, these grass species use a fraction of the fertilizers and pesticides of traditional turf. So, in the long run it makes sense for some courses. Beyond that, use more organic methods to naturally treat the grass—it doesn't have to be for everything, but for as much as you can. Finally, less is more and being as mindful as possible can go a long way.
What can your course do to limit their footprint?