> The tendency in golf courses is, I believe towards more "manicured"
> courses, ie
> less diverse less areas of rough. Certainly it depends where the
> courses are
> developed as well. In the UK some of the old golf courses ( with a
> lot of rough,
> and in sand-dune habitats (the original bunkers) are of national
> significance in
> conservation terms. I am thinking particularly of royal St Georges at
> Sandwich in
> Kent. I suppose there its a matter of how little biodiversity/
> relatively udeveloped
> land is left elsewhere.
> Nevil is spot on here. Courses such as Swan Island at Queenscliff in
> Victoria have saltmarsh and tussock grassland/sedgeland as "the
> rough", and to that extent Swan Island is unique in having
> Orange-bellied Parrots that feed in the rough and on the fairways.
> Heavily manicured, US-style courses ARE by and large green deserts. A
> few birds might venture in from surrounding habitats, but the bright
> green, over-watered, chemically-weeded golf course is not primary
> habitat for anything except plus-four wearing hackers!! At Cibodas
> golf course (1,000+ m ASL) next to Gunung Gede-Pangrango National Park
> in Java, there were 2 "farmland" species on the course - a pair of
> Spotted Kestrels on fairway 3, and a Grey Wagtail on the rocky stream.
> The surrounding montane forest is full of rather more typical forest
> birds, and even the nearby botanic gardens have a mostly forest bird
> I play the occasional game of golf, and comensurate with my meagre
> golfing skills, that's usually on primitive rural or provincial
> courses. Many of those are quite birdy, as there's little difference
> between the course and local farmland or bushland patches. One
> disturbing trend though is that country courses are often carved out
> of remnant bush, as are refuse tips and sewerage treatment complexes,
> rather than recycling some marginal farmland.
> Lawrie Conole
> Geelong, Victoria, Australia