Golf Course Architecture: Issue 57 - July 2019

50 INS IGHT T he protection of water supplies is critical. The UK Environment Agency speaks of a ‘25-year water bomb’, highlighting that, unless proactive action is taken, the country will simply run out of water by 2045. Periods of drought and flash flooding are also expected to rise in frequency. All of this will increasingly have a major impact on the businesses, like golf courses, that depend on a seamless water supply to operate successfully. So, what can golf course managers and architects do to balance water conservation without spoiling everyone’s fun? According to the Alliance for Water Efficiency in the US, a typical golf course requires 100,000 to 1,000,000 gallons of water per week in summer to maintain healthy vegetation – most courses use up to 50 per cent more water than is necessary. It may be an under-analysed line on the club’s profit ledger, but this water misuse adds up, so designing a course to reduce the amount of water required for irrigation is the best place to start. Many clubs and courses are already realising the benefits of strategically incorporating Huxley Golf’s all- weather surfaces – which require no irrigation and virtually no maintenance – into designs for new or replacement facilities. Bearwood Lakes Golf Club in Berkshire, England, for example, used the company’s premium exclusive PAUL CHESTER Water-aware course design Paul Chester provides an insight into how golf facilities are boosting profits while reducing water consumption