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The natural world. Looking pretty for 3.5b years.

What to do with an abandoned golf course?

Author: Hugh Bollinger/Tuesday, July 7, 2015/Categories: sustainability, art and design, environment

During the 1980's-2000's, there seemed to be a never ending boom in developing golf courses, particularly in Japan and the western USA deserts. Besides the expense of converting open space to low-trimmed green meadows, the thick turfgrass required cheap water, heavy applications of chemical fertilizers, and intensive maintenance to keep them looking nice. The courses also required lots of golfers. Times have changed and some courses are now going bankrupt. What to do with all these abandoned landscapes?

The Japanese company Kyocera Corporation has devised a novel approach to the problem and sees a business opportunity: convert them to alternative energy farms . According to their announcement, Kyocera: "is developing a 92MW solar power plant at a site in Kagoshima Prefecture which was originally designated as a golf course more than 30 years ago but subsequently abandoned.  Over-development of golf properties during the real-estate boom of the last century has led to hundreds of idle courses today that are now under analysis for re-purposing. In the United States, the states of Florida, Utah, Kansas, and Minnesota are having similar discussions and considering proposals on how best to deal with closed golf courses."

                           
                                
Abandoned Golf Course, Japan (credit: Kyocera Corporation)
                     

Kyocera's good idea could well be replicated on many over-developed locations in the USA where California, Arizona, Nevada, and Utah could provide many sites of golf converted land that could be re-developed into productive alternative energy uses.

                          
                             The 'future of golf' Altmont Pass, California  (credit: The Guardian )

The Japanese used to fly over to America on golfing tours. They invested heavily in golf courses and brand-name golfers as promoters. It will be interesting to see if various states in the US will now follow their lead and "tee up" to turn abandoned golf courses here into far more productive uses like solar energy farms.

WHB

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