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Apr 22, 2015 | 11:30 AM

Green Practices

Today marks the 45th anniversary of Earth Day, which began in 1970, channeling the youthful engery of the anti-war movement into environmental concerns. Not only have we come a long way as a society (remember leaded gasoline and belching smokestacks?), but so have golf courses, from less water use to more natural habitats. The Golf Course Superintendents Association of America is celebrating the day by highlighting five key facts about courses and the environment.

  1. Golf courses are professionally managed landscapes where environmental stewardship is important – from using water and nutrients efficiently to implementing better methods of erosion control.
  2. In general, the golf industry is striving to deliver firm and fast playing surfaces that are better for everyone and improve the bottom line. More than two-thirds of golf courses report that they are keeping turfgrass drier than in the past.
  3. The golf industry is continually investing in research to identify drought-tolerant grasses, promote water conservation and improve best management practices.
  4. Golf courses provide habitats for wildlife, including protected species.
  5. Many golf courses have recycling programs to reduce and reuse.
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Apr 21, 2015 | 08:40 AM

R.I.P. Golfer’s Handbook

In another sign of the shifting media world, The R&A Golfer’s Handbook—an annual first published in 1899 and in continuous print ever since—has ceased publication. In recent years the Handbook—a 1000-page compendium of facts, figures, and features by British journalists—had been edited by Renton Laidlaw who retired last year after a long and distinguished career writing for the London Evening Standard and broadcasting for the BBC and Golf Channel. Another comprehensive annual—Mark McCormack’s World of Professional Golf—is still in publication, thanks to sponsorship from Rolex, and certain elements of the British coverage can be found at www.RandA.org, but as a single source of records, information, and good reading, the Golfer’s Handbook will be irreplaceable.

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Apr 20, 2015 | 11:08 AM

Be Safe In The Sun

Golfers are at extra risk from the sun’s harmful rays. According to the Skin Cancer Foundation (SCF), golfers can receive up to five times the amount of ultraviolet radiation in an hour needed to cause sunburn, increasing the chance of skin cancer. Sand and water can reflect more than 80% of the sun’s rays, and the likelihood of melanoma doubles after five or more sunburns. Follow these tips to remain sun and skin safe:

  • Wear lightweight moisture-wicking, sun-protective clothing
  • Wear a wide-brim hat to help protect neck and shoulders
  • Play early in the morning and late in the day when the radiation is less intense
  • Use sunscreen, reapplying every two hours or nine holes. Keep it in your golf bag
  • Use a golf umbrella for shade while walking or waiting
  • Wear sunglasses

For a full range of smart sun wear, check out Coolibar, the first clothing company to receive the SCF’s Seal of Recommendation, which makes hats, long-sleeve shirts, pants, and other attire, as shown above, that both look good and do good. Coolibar also makes swimwear, baby wear, and other sun-safe accessories.

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Apr 17, 2015 | 06:52 AM

Your Piece Of Paradise

If you have a few spare millions lying around and the hankering to be a course owner, this could be your lucky day. Makalei Golf Club is for sale. Located on the island of Hawaii, the course “is situated on the upper hillside of north Kailua-Kona and provides dramatic views of the Pacific Ocean and western coastline of the Island of Hawaii,” according to the website of the broker Dornbush & Co. Known as one of the toughest courses in the state, Makalei—designed by Dick Nugent in the late 1980s—measures nearly 7,100 yards from the back tees, and cost most than $40 million to build, including the land. Meaning the current $6.9 million purchase price is a steal.

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