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The Loop

Golf's Water Issue

In his May story, "How Green is Golf?", John Barton suggested that in the 21st century, water was the new oil. For those of you interested in the increasing pinch on courses to conserve water, check out Trent Bouts' story in Golf Business. Bouts quotes Clark Throssell, director of research for the Golf Course Superintendents Assocation of America (GCSAA):



"I wouldn't say we're at a crisis point, but water--the quantity and quality of it--is the No. 1 challenge in golf. ">

__One surprising bit of news (to me) is the fact that course owners are being forced to curtail use of water they pump from their own wells. "I always felt if you were using a well on your property, it was your water. But apparently not," says Roy Barr, owner of Meadowlake Golf and Swim Club in Ohio. In Georgia, according to the Golf Business article, authorities "have deemed all water as 'waters of the state' and, therefore, subject to restriction."

Bouts notes that Golf Digest this year changed it's course-evaluation definition of "conditioning" to "how fast, firm and rolling" are fairways and "how firm yet receptive" are greens. But, he says, "It would take a bold golf course owner to 'go dry and brown' if the market won't buy the product, even if it is the right thing to do."

Much more to come on the water issue, I'm afraid.

--Bob Carney