With the movement towards green technologies and eco-friendly products and inventions, how will all this change affect the golf industry? What kind of radical changes are we going to see so golf courses can do their part? What will the golf course of the future look like?
5) Wind Turbines in the Rough
Despite the on-going rumors of wind turbine noise and hazards to wildlife – I think the golf courses of the future will be using their wide open space and frequent high winds to their advantage. The Highlands Golf Course in Vernon, BC, Canada is on the right track with installing a wind turbine to help curb energy costs. Many more courses are also joining in – the wind turbines are in an investment – but one that saves quite a lot of money in the long run. With technology advancements, wind turbine capacity and effectiveness is improving everyday – their potential is endless.
4) Golf Carts Running on Sunlight and… Cow Dung?
It only makes sense, we’ve had electric golf carts around for awhile… although their purpose was focused on “quieting play’. Now, Sunray has developed golf carts that use solar panels to re-charge the batteries while you’re spending your day in the sun. Taking the eco-friendly golf cart to a new level, Yamaha has developed a golf cart that runs on methane – specifically from cow dung. This golf cart of the future may just be an unique solution to one of the largest contributors to global warming – animal wastes.
3) The weather calls for overcast… permanently.
Enjoy those sunny days while you still can, they may be few and far between. One of the most radical ways to help quell global warming is a recent brainwave by Stephen Salter and John Latham to make cloud-producing machines (see picture above). These wind powered machines based at sea would continuously spray ocean mist into the air, producing clouds that, over time would help to reflect the suns rays and gradually reduce the worlds temperature. There are some skeptics however, some believe that the “salt clouds” may actually lead to potential droughts – future study is still needed.
2) Artificial Forests and Trees
What would you say to thousands of these beauties spaced randomly on your golf course (those box like things on the side of the road)? There’s plenty of space for them around tee boxes, bathrooms, above lakes – and hey, much like those pesky power lines, I’m sure you’d get to re-tee if you nailed one (listen up USGA). These artificial oxygen creating trees remove 1 ton of CO2 per day. If these eco-machines are as effective as the inventor, Klaus Lackner, believes, you may find them in massive fields in deserts, along major highways and throughout city centers. To give you an example, though, to offset the amount of carbon dioxide created by humans, you’d need to cover a land mass as large as Italy. Only time will tell…
1) Genetically Engineered Golf Grass
You may have heard of this already as it’s been done before – irresponsibly however. A genetically engineered version of creeping bent grass was created that would resist pesticides and weeds – although it seemed like a good idea at the time, all it really did was enable greenskeepers to go overboard on the pesticides – causing more problems than it solved.
Ironically, the man who’s proposing this concept for a “supergrass” also has the most to lose from its creation – Jim Hagedorn, CEO of ScottsMiracle-Gro envisions a world with genetically engineered, disease proof, slow growing, and limited water consuming grass.
Sounds pretty cool eh? You’d think if those genetic engineers can make this happen, with time I'm sure they could create a supergrass that does all this, while surviving in a variety of temperatures and producing tons more oxygen than your conventional grass – now that would make a difference. Over time, parks, lawns and more importantly, golf courses would become a crucial part of the solution to Global Warming.