The latest figures show that in 2021, the number of people playing golf on a full-length course (9 or 18 hole) in the UK rose by 2.1 million people from 2020. There are now 5.2 million golfers playing at thousands of golf courses around the country.
The world-famous Open golf tournament celebrates its 150th anniversary at St Andrews in July. With Tiger Woods due to play this year, the media spotlight is bound to be on golf. And this will encourage even more people to try the sport.
There’s no doubt about it, golf courses use a lot of water, and it’s not just for irrigating the extensive grounds to keep the greens in tip-top shape throughout the summer. Most golf clubs have bars and restaurants as well as function rooms which attract large events.
Club members have high expectations, which means the grounds need to be well maintained, vehicles kept clean, etc. This means, of course, that there are substantial cost savings to be made by introducing water efficiency measures at your golf club.
And the more water you save, the better it is for the environment. This means you will not only be saving money; your business will also be greener - and that’s something you can shout about on your social media channels.
One golf club that is already reaping the benefits of water-saving measures is Oxford Golf Club. The 86-acre club has installed ‘waste to water’ technology which will recycle wastewater. The main job of the technology is to reuse the water that’s used to wash maintenance vehicles, which regularly get covered in mud, grass clippings and leaves. The system separates the water that has been used to clean the vehicles from the contaminants collected in it during the cleaning process, enabling water that would normally be wasted to be recycled and reused. The club estimates that the technology will save nearly one million litres of clean water annually.
Golf clubs can also implement greywater recycling methods in the clubhouse. Divert the grey water from sinks, showers, dishwashers and washing machines to use to flush toilets, irrigate grounds, or wash vehicles, paths, and patios. Recycling grey water is gaining in popularity across all commercial businesses and industries as a way of saving water as well as saving money on clean water and wastewater charges.
How resilient is your grass? Some golf courses have changed their grass type to one that is more suited to the local climate. This means they use less water as well as fewer pesticides and fertilisers. For example, by changing the variety of its grass to one that uses less water and fewer fungicides, Hørsholm Golf club in Denmark was able to extend the golf season, bringing in more income at the same time as saving money and becoming more environmentally friendly.
You don’t need to make major changes to your golf course to save water. Simply readjusting your sprinklers could save you an enormous amount. In Finland, the Hirsala Golf course saved 50% of its irrigation water just by readjusting its sprinklers.
If you would like your golf club to have greener greens, download our free Water Efficiency Guide for water-saving suggestions that will also save your club money.
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