PGA Championship

Valhalla Golf Club

The Loop

Golf and the Environment

Hard not to think of the environment with those breathtaking coastal shots coming at you from Torrey Pines. We noted the opinion piece by Frank Deford on National Public Radio. Please also check out an interview with John Barton, who created Golf Digest's "How Green is Golf?" package in May by Geoff Shackelford.


Shackelford: What surprised you most in your conversations?



Barton: So many things surprised me. I learned so much from talking to these guys. They were all without exception passionate and knowledgeable about the subject and I think very happy that Golf Digest was doing this piece. I was surprised at how everyone basically agreed that water is going to be a huge problem, if it isn't already. I was surprised at how terrific the Vineyard Club in Martha's Vineyard looked ... beautiful, natural and free from any synthetic chemicals. I suppose I was most moved by the sessions with Jay Feldman and Brent Blackwelder. They are both environmental activists. I'm sure there was some bluster and hyperbole among their comments. But, nevertheless, I found what they had to say very compelling, and quite different from what you hear if you only listen to industry types. Like most people, I blithely assumed that products that have been approved, that are in general use — whether it be golf course maintenance products, consumer products, food, drink — are safe. I don't necessarily think that anymore. A lot of people in the industry, for instance, will tell you that pesticide use on golf courses is perfectly safe, but then in the next breath they'll tell you how the industry is doing a marvelous job of drastically reducing pesticides across the board.

While you're at it, go back and review the interview Peter Kessler did with Managing Editor Roger Schiffman recently on the subject on XM radio. And enjoy the views.

--Bob Carney