"That’s akin to eliminating the need to water six courses, saving an estimated 1.5 billion gallons each year."
Because I was going for a big picture take on Obama, bailouts, the WPA and golf, my Golf World viewpoint did not get into too many specifics regarding environmental retrofitting of existing courses. However, I can't think of a simpler, more sensical model for saving water, improving energy efficiency, creating courses that better co-exist with the environment or doing more to improve golf's image than the Southern Nevada Water Authority's "Water Smart Landscape Program."
Cindy Elliott recently wrote about it and other water-saving programs for Golfweek:
...the program provides courses and other property owners with a rebate of $1.50 for every square foot of turf converted to xeriscape, a lush but water-efficient landscape alternative that requires virtually no maintenance once established.
Major conversions at facilities, including Spanish Trails Golf and Country Club, Red Rock Country Club and Wild Horse Golf Course, have contributed to the transformation of 629 existing acres. That’s akin to eliminating the need to water six courses, saving an estimated 1.5 billion gallons each year.
Imagine how much water and energy could be saved if we could establish a federal program mimicking the SNWA's concept. Seems like a serious win-win here for our courses and the country.