I love golf. I also love the environment. Do I have to choose between them?

Easy Answer: Yes. You probably do.

Think of it like this: If the environment is your wife, golf is your pricey mistress.

When you mess around with your mistress, you're hurting your wife. Why? Your mistress' alluring beauty doesn't come cheap. She requires manicures and facelifts, constant plucking, round-the-clock attention, and all those resources come right out of your family bank account.

Similarly, your golf course requires hundreds of thousands of gallons of water each day to stay fresh-faced. And she needs her powders and potions too -- pesticides and chemicals keep her that bright green shade that's so darn sexy.

You can try -- and here I'll stress TRY-- to work out some kind of, shall we say, "arrangement". But you're going to need to accept that you'll never be able to afford the starlet-perfection of your current mistress. Some golf courses are working to become more environmentally friendly. They are cutting back on water and chemical use and are trying to pretty-up with native plants. So if you're willing to be open-minded about looks, if you can get used to a few more blemishes, brown spots and rough patches, you may be able to make it work.

Is it enough? Is it even what you want? That's up to you. If you really love both, you're going to have to do some soul-searching. You could try to make everyone happy, try to have it both ways. But really, does that ever work out?

About the author

Adriene Hill is a senior multimedia reporter for the Marketplace sustainability desk, with a focus on consumer issues and the individual relationship to sustainability and the environment.
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Instead of trying to appear clever, Adriene, TRY comparing the impact of a golf course to a new high-density housing development and provide your readers some real information. People use far more water, household chemicals, create more local trash, create more runoff from toxic impervious surfaces, etc.. Yes, golf courses have an impact on the environment, but given the alternatives in suburbia, I'll take open green space over tar-surfaced roofs, streets, and parking lots any day. Please do some homework before you post content which is mainly opinion and devoid of unbiased information.

I quit golf for yoga.

Its better for you and the environment.

What is there to do with all that tertiary treated "reclaimed water". Playgrounds. No. Little League/PONY fields. NO. But a good golf course will do it every time.

And then there is the carbon footprint of all those trees; and a recreational amenity for children that is bereft of disfunctional parents, except for the "grandpas" that have to walk the course with them.

OK Adrienne, tell me what is not sustainable on all these levels and/or as opposed to another land use?

Besides, if there were no clubhouse, where would people play cribbage and gin?

Can only speak of the glof courses around my area, and note that McMansions would be where the golf courses are if the golf courses were not allowed. Most use wise water use, and most use 'green' solutions to weeds, pests etc.

In fact we have seen a huge increase in healthy wild life since the golf courses were built. And they are a visual pleasure over what was there before they were built.

Also appreciate that they are only allowing native trees, plants etc. Which also has cut down on allergies in the area.

check out Audubon International's program for certifying golf courses.

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