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Eco Golf

Golf is a very popular sport in Ireland for citizens and visitors alike and many people play courses as part of their vacation. It is a great way to meet people and see beautiful local countryside and vistas. For years golf courses were associated with pollution of local environments but an evolution towards greener golf has been happening in recent years. The golf industry is moving towards sustainability, and conserving the local environment and energy are vital parts of this sustainability. Some golf courses now have Special Areas Of Conservation (SACs) as part of their properties and are learning the value of a healthy environment. This includes enhancing native wildlife. Golf courses are large areas of land that have a natural habitat and as golfers only play on that habitat for at most twelve hours each day, and not in very large numbers, nature can quite happily co-exist when the golf course is designed with nature in mind. The Golf Environment are a not-for-profit organisation in Scotland that are driving sustainable practices in the golf industry and are helping a growing number of courses to become GEO Certified in Ireland and globally. See the list of Irish golf courses and learn more about Golf Environment Organisation's work here.

NO MOTORISED GOLF CARTS: Whenever possible hire a caddy/caddie when golfing at the bigger courses and enjoy the walk. Motorised golf carts use a lot of electricity for battery charging and these batteries eventually have to be replaced/disposed of. A professional caddy is a traditional craftsperson. Most caddies not only offer shot saving tips while navigating around a golf course but will also advise you on local amenities and actvities nearby. A good caddy is aware of the challenges and obstacles of the golf course being played, along with the best strategy in playing it. This includes knowing overall yardage, pin placements and club selection.

Artist Justin Timberlake owns a GEO Certified course called Mirimichi, near Memphis, Tennessee (he and his parents purchased their run down local course where they all played as a family growing up). As part of your golf vacation, check out Golf Environment Organisation's directory for whatever country you are visiting and support golf courses that are making an effort to conserve their local environment. PGA National in Florida also received GEO certfication in its efforts to become a responsible steward of the environment on Earth Day 2015.