Usually, when people think about golf, they think about a game that caters to rich people. It doesn’t matter what you look like, it doesn’t matter where you come from, it seems like regardless of culture, society or religion, golf tends to attract fairly well-heeled and wealthy individuals.
It’s very easy to see why. Golf is not a cheap sport to get in. First of all, you have to buy golf clubs. The last time I checked, these clubs are not free. Not even close. Also, the better the equipment, the more money you have to fork over.
Second, you have to pay green fees. You essentially are renting a very large piece of land so you can play golf. Golf courses don’t just pop out of nowhere. Golf courses require a tremendous amount of engineering and design to produce the kind of experience golfers are accustomed to. They are very discriminating. They know what they’re looking for. They have a certain set of standards when it comes to the courses they would want to play on.
Third, golf tends to attract people who have very high standards. Nine times out of ten, when you go on a golf course, people there have a very discriminating eye regarding the details of the course that they are playing. The more discriminating you are, the more money you are willing to pay for a course that would give you the experience that you’re looking for.
Given all this, it really is kind of mind boggling to realize that golf can actually turn you into quite a bit of an environmentalist. Now, a lot of business people are not particularly keen on environmental protection or climate change. It would seem that, given the pro-business orientation of a lot of people who play golf all over the world, environmentalism is a low priority, assuming it’s a priority at all.
Well, you would be quite mistaken because if you play golf at whatever level of intensity, golf game play has elements in it that can open your mind to the benefits of environmentalism.
Now, this doesn’t necessarily mean that you would become some sort of tree hugging environmentalist extremist. Still, it can open your eyes to certain aspects of environmentalism where you can find yourself insisting on a more responsible attitude towards mother nature.
Here are 8 ways golf can give you a much more pronounced environmental consciousness.
Golf Courses and Mother Nature Don’t Have to Be Enemies
The first thing that you notice when you’re on a golf course is that there are natural elements around. While these elements are often heavily manicured and controlled, they’re still natural.
The essence of golf course design is to work with mother nature or work with existing terrain instead of overwhelming it, overpowering it, and transforming it beyond recognition. As a golf course design continues to evolve, mother nature plays a bigger and bigger role.
Even if you were playing on a course that is a little bit older and used older design standards, mother nature is still easy to detect. At the very least, the terrain and other features of the golf course have no choice, but to reflect the natural terrain. Understanding these clues you in to the
conclusion that mother nature and golf courses have to work together. They might not necessarily be natural allies, but it also means that they don’t necessarily have to be enemies.
Golf CAN Make You More Environmentally Conscious
There’s just something about the great outdoors, breathing in, filling your lungs with natural air from the open space, that helps you feel at one with mother nature at some level or another. You’re out there. You’re not in some sort of artificial environment. You cannot control the weather. You may be having a great game, but it can start to rain.
This sense of dependency on natural contingencies can’t help but make you more environmentally conscious. Instead of walking away with the conclusion that nature is something that you have to beat, to control, put in a box, slice and dice, or otherwise bend to your will, you end up with a more humble experience.
It doesn’t matter how great your game is. It doesn’t matter how expensive your golf clubs are, if it starts to rain, you head indoors. This awakens in you a humble, yet tremendous respect for forces greater than you.
Water traps and bodies of water are crucial to golf. While they can be a pain in the butt to get out of, you can’t help but respect them because they make a typical golf course more challenging. Since there is water involved, you wake up to the fact that there has to be enough water in the course to make it challenging enough. This brings to the table the issue of water conservation.
There are many golf courses that are set up in a very wasteful way that they end up evaporating quite a bit of water because the water elements of the course were designed improperly. Golfers understand this. This is why, out of sheer necessity for game play, they insist that there be enough water there, which of course triggers better water conservation on the part of the company or body managing the golf course.
Water management doesn’t just involve making sure that the water on a golf course is available, but it also means that the grass is well maintained. Grass, after all, drinks up quite a bit of water in a golf course. This is especially true if the course is located in a desert.
Water management is a big deal because if you were a golfer, you insist on golfing on grass. You insist on grass that is cut the right way and is the right height. To make all this happen, you need water. And accordingly, regardless of whether you’re a big fan of environmental actions or environmental protection, you become aware of and insist on proper water management.
Golf Ball Recycling and Resource Management
If you worked to play golf, you will quickly discover that one of the reasons why golf is so expensive is because you have to replace balls. Golf balls are not free. Buying a package of golf balls can set you back a few bucks.
Now, most people can swing a few golf ball packages. It’s not going to bankrupt them. But if you worked to play a lot of golf and insist on buying new golf balls each time you lose a ball, it can all add up very quickly. You might find yourself stuck with a very expensive golf ball replacement bill. This is why there is a thriving business in recycling golf balls.
People would send workers to scour golf courses for stray balls. They would then wash the balls and then sell it to golfers. If you buy recycled golf balls, you are clued in, in no uncertain terms, to the power of resources management. Instead of insisting that your golf balls be brand new all the time, you realize that you save a tremendous amount of time, money and resources recycling. This is a very important realization for a lot of golfers.
The Wide Open Space of Golf Courses Give You a Clue About Mother Nature’s Wide Open Spaces
There’s just something about under that blanket of blue sky and the rolling infinite clouds above to let you know that mother nature has a lot of things to offer. That mother nature is not just a source of resources or something to be controlled for your benefit. Instead, mother nature has its own agenda and deserves respect because there’s a tremendous amount of power, and also danger, in mother nature. The more you respect nature, the more you tap into its beauty and power.
Driving Ranges Teach Us About Green Space Coexisting with Urban Space
If you live within a comfortable distance of a driving range, you know full well that, in most cases, there would be an urban space around it. Unless you’re perfectly okay with getting in your car and driving an hour and a half just for a pristine and perfectly natural outside space for your driving range, chances are, the nearest driving range has buildings next to it. Practicing driving at those ranges quickly clues you in to the fact that green space can coexist with urban space.
They don’t have to cancel each other out, you don’t have to go out of your way to experience wide open green space. This realization at driving ranges can help awaken in you a desire for more green spaces in an otherwise concrete jungle.
Walking a Golf Course Helps You Get In Touch With Nature
Usually, people use golf carts to get from point a to point b on golf courses, but believe me, one of the most rewarding things you could do on a golf course is to simply walk its full distance. When you do this, you see seemingly endless landscapes of green space. This enables you to get in touch with nature.
Sure, in this particular picture, nature is heavily manicured, controlled, cropped and is otherwise bent for the purposes of the golf course designer. Still, seeing all that greenery, trees and bodies of water can seep into your consciousness to teach you that you are not a synthetic being.
You’re not manufactured. You don’t live in a purely artificial world. The green color that you see is natural. It has its own agenda, it has its own cycles and its rhythms and, ultimately, you share part of that rhythm. A little bit of respect here can grow to a greater and greater realization of the power of nature in you.