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Golf Australia Express : Issue 21
By Damian Shutie VIEW THE GREEN, GREEN, green. We hear it so much these days you might wonder whether other colours exist. So vocal has the environmental push been in recent years that you might feel an outsider if not swallowing everything dished up by green groups. Without venturing into the politics of the contentious issue—and whether you’re a climate change believer or not (sounds a bit like religion, doesn’t it)—few would honestly argue that cleaning up our environment is a bad thing to do. Same goes for golf. A cleaner golf world can only benefit its users—us. That’s not to say if we don’t change everything we do with regards to golf the world’s going to blow up. But wouldn’t it be nice to play a round at a picturesque course without having it spoiled by the ugly sight of discarded cigarette butts on or just off the green? Or a chocolate bar wrapper flying across the fairway in the same wind you’ve been battling all round? Traditionally—and somewhat paradoxically— we spend millions of dollars changing and reforming a landscape, pour thousands of litres of water on it and spray it with pesticides until it’s just right and we feel that simply by walking it, we’re experiencing a bond with nature. The concept makes me laugh. Of course building and maintaining a golf course can have a negative effect on the environment. At least in the short term. But having looked into the PGA Tour’s Waste Management Phoenix Open, and Justin Timberlake’s eco-friendly Mirimichi course (which you’ll read about in this issue), I can’t help but be swayed to admire the brains and passion behind both projects. It’s about teaching our kids respect. Respect for nature. Respect for our courses. And respect for each other. OTG itself is about being green. Not for the ‘doom and gloom’ or ‘holier than thou’ stance many others take, but rather because we believe in producing and delivering a more effective product without creating excess waste. For example, in my years working in print magazines I learned that nearly 70% of any print run was eventually pulped. And as far as I’m concerned, that kind of waste is simply disgraceful. OTG TELL US YOUR THOUGHTS: firstname.lastname@example.org GREENER GOLFING Is it possible for a sport that impacts the environment so significantly to become eco-friendly? OTG editor Damian Shutie discusses.