PROFESSIONAL/ Golf Tourism: Getting on the Green

Every year new golf courses and golf clubs are opened to the public offering shiny greens and peaceful ambience. However, what is the impact of golf courses on the environment, water sources and local communities?


Golf Tourism: Economic Benefits vs. Environmental Impacts

Chris Grad

“In this age of increasing environmental awareness, there is no more room on Earth to destroy nature for the sake of a mere game.” The Global Anti-Golf Movement (GAM) Tourism Concern first took issues with golf nearly twenty years ago – an unwinnable campaign - one we could not ignore. The phenomenal growth of golf tourism had even the driest countries competing for tourists by prioritising golf course development. The situation still shocks: Cyprus, seriously short of water, is developing 1...

Japan: Polluted by Golf Courses

Theodore Slate

Japan’s economic success is causing many serious environmental problems, but one stems not from its factories but from too many golfers. In the late 1980s, several groups actively opposing golf course throughout Japan met in Kobe for their third annual national convention. Here is powerful testimony to the seriousness with which communities consider the adverse effects of golf courses. According to a report by the OECD, Japan’s early success in combating pollution is threatened by...

Québec: Environmentally Friendly Golf Courses?

Vanderlei J. Pollack

As far as environmental responsibility is concerned, golf is neither ahead, nor behind other sectors, and it may take some time before it is considered as ‘responsible recreation’. Golf courses have a long history of being environmentally unfriendly, due to their high water and chemical use, impact on local topography, hydrology and wildlife. Nonetheless, golf remains an important activity across Québec’s 362 golf clubs, while worldwide an estimated 25,000 golf course...

The Impact of Golf Estates in South Africa

Bill Alen

The amount of water golf courses use varies greatly depending on the region, but on average they use about 10 800 000 liters of water per year (according to the Golf Course Superintendents Association, US golf courses use, on average, 414 500 000 liters a year). In essence each golf course uses enough water to provide at least 1200 people with their basic water needs for a year. South Africa is a dry country and many people still do not have access to running water. However, using water-savin...