Environmentalists have traditionally been critical of golf. The manicured links require massive amounts of water, chemicals and other unsustainable maintenance.

But golf is becoming greener, wrote the New York Times.

The number of golf courses certified as eco-friendly was 965 in 27 countries this year, a 56 percent increase from 2010, according to Audubon International. Now the homes that surround those golf courses are increasingly more sustainable, too.

Solar panels, geothermal heating and cooling systems, more efficient lights and windows are among the features that affluent buyers are seeking in homes around the links. Those amenities tend to increase the cost of the homes by around 15 percent.

The newspaper featured a number of new homes, including one in the wine region of South Africa near Cape Town. The house in the golf community of Pearl Valley. The community has green space, undeveloped land safeguarded against development, land set aside to promote biodiversity, a water filtration plant and a private water supply in case of drought.

In Costa Rica, the newspaper reported, a house called Villa Serena in Reserva Conchal, a beach and golf resort on the country’s northern Pacific coast, uses locally sourced wood, ceiling fans that replicate air conditioning and gray water recycling for the bathrooms and irrigation.

Reserva Conchal uses 1,400 solar panels that power its streetlights, a desalination plant and an irrigation system that utilizes artificial intelligence to prevent overwatering.

The properties reflect a push throughout the sport of golf to reconsider how to return to play after the coronavirus pandemic. Pitchcare, a trade publication, has organized a series of online events as well as a poll to discover what kind of sustainable changes players, designers and others might want to see in the future.

“Are there elements of naturalisation or reduced input you can retain that will help focus resources on the priority surfaces, and that can be presented to golfers as enhancements to their golfing landscapes and playing experience?” asked Pitchcare.


Image credit: Markus Spiske via Unsplash

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