[Fwd: Golf looks beyond the 'Augusta National Syndrome']

Subject: [Fwd: Golf looks beyond the 'Augusta National Syndrome']
From: "M. S. O'Keeffe" <>
Date: Sat, 21 Jun 1997 00:08:21 -0700
Sorry to bring up the (shock, horror!) topic of golf and wildlife again,
but I thought those interested inthe debate might like to check out the
latest article on a movement to "green" golf courses in the USA its in
the latest online edition of the Smithsonian Magazine.
Scott O'Keeffe
Centre for Conservation Biology, University of Queensland
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Subject: Golf looks beyond the 'Augusta National Syndrome'
From: "M. S. O'Keeffe" <>
Date: Sat, 21 Jun 1997 00:05:39 -0700

Scott O'Keeffe
Centre for Conservation Biology, University of Queensland
Smithsonian Magazine April 1997
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Informative Links

Michael Hurdzan

What's green, has holes, and is larger than Delaware and Rhode Island combined?  All golf courses in America-over 15,000 of them!
Widow Walk golf courseFan palms on course
Golf gets back to nature, inviting everyone to play

Using natural landforms and native grasses and plants, golf course designers are creating links that are environmentally up to par

barn on golf courseWith more than 15,000 golf courses in the United States, golf's appeal just keeps growing. But is carving fairways out of a forest, moving sand dunes or planting thirsty Bermuda grass in a desert setting really an intelligent use of land? And to keep these courses free of bugs, weeds and brown spots, is it worth the liberal use of chemical fertilizers and pesticides?

Michael Hurzdan Working on the principle that a well-designed course can actually put health back into the land, some golf courses are providing eye-opening answers to these questions. In Scituate, Massachusetts, what was once an abandoned quarry and illegal dumping ground is now the site of Widow's Walk, a public golf course full of vegetation and wildlife. At Desert Willow, a $10 million project in Palm Desert, California, architect Michael Hurdzan created a public course Trees on golf coursethat's every bit a part of its desert environment by using plants native to the desert valley and limiting the grassy areas to a scant 75 to 80 acres.

Desert Willow golf courseCloverdale Golf Club in Washington State might be the essence of public golf. Once a working dairy farm, it had a herd of well-tended holsteins roaming this land just three years ago. But with milk prices in "the pits," owners Rick and Cynthia Witscher turned to golf. Their course, with its hardy turf of six native grasses, is as environmentally light on the land as an ancient Scottish links.

Writer Jay Stuller traveled from California to St. Andrews, Scotland, to find a new ethic in golf course design that provides, in his words, "a refreshing counterpoint to criticism of a sport that once seemed beyond reproach."

joggers on courseDesert willow course

View more of the work of photographer Michael Melford in our Image Gallery.

For more information on this topic, see our Additional Sources page.

Abstract of an article by Jay Stuller, originally published in the April 1997 issue of Smithsonian Magazine. All rights reserved. ©
Copyright 1997 Smithsonian Magazine All rights reserved.
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