CHINA’S GREEN LEAP FORWARD
By Costas Christ, Executive summary by darmansjah
A confession: I don’t play golf, partly because I’m unable to reconcile my conservation work with a sport also known for habitat destruction, massive water consumption, and heavy use of herbicides and pesticides. And yet, until the 1950s, the sport of golf as played in the pastures of Scotland existed in harmony with nature. Can the pastime reconnect wit hits greener roots?
Some groups are trying: Europe’s Golf Environment Organization launched a sustainability program, and Dudubon International has eco-certified 988 courses. Now golf may be about to take a big step, in a surprising place. “I want to introduce SUSTAINABLE GOLF on a scale never done before,” says Ken Chu, the chairman of china’s Mission Hills-the largest golf club in the world. We are riding in a solar powered golf cart looking at a few of the 12 coursed he irrigates using only recycled gray water. I meet scientists monitoring air quality in a high-tech field station that Chu established. Shark-fin soup has been banned from resort menus, and no retailer doing business with Mission Hills is allowed to sell ivory. The verdict isn’t in yet, but I’m encouraged enough to start practicing my swing.