A Call To Environmental Action By Gary Player

In a recent USA Today interview Gary Player discusses the Personal Health Investment Today Act, aimed at saving physical education programs at American schools in an effort to combat child obesity. Although the interview centered on Player's efforts  to get this bill passed, he did drop a few strong statements about the state of the game and it's effects on the environment.

"We need our leaders in golf to make the right decisions" Gary says. "We haven't started to see all the problems we're going to have with water. Nobody should be getting a permit to build a golf course unless they are using effluent water. Nobody should be using potable water". Responding to a question about the current state of the industry, Player say's "It's healthy, but we've got to stop making golf courses longer, because it means you've got to use more water, more oil, more labor, more fertilizer, and these are all hurting the game... The whole economic problem we're facing now is because of greed, and golf is no different. From Timbuktu to Washington, D.C., to Augusta, everyone made their golf courses longer. Why? We wasted hundreds of millions of dollars".

Now that seems like a strong statement from someone who benefitted so much from the golf boom, but player is well known for his environmental efforts. Like what? Here's a few snippets I was able to dig up...

  • In that very same interview, Player goes on to say "I designed a golf course on my ranch which is 80% water-free with no fertilizer. That's the wave of the future and its going to take a new generation of leaders to figure that out".
  • Gary Players design firm Environmental and Social Responsibility statement.
  • The movement towards environmentally friendly golf course design is becoming more prevalent thanks in part to the Golf Environment Organization golfenvironment.org and its recent release of the GEO Legacy Guidance project, of which Gary Player design played a major role.
  • Although "down and brown" has a lot of opposition in the industry, Player is a proud supporter.
  • Player made quite the impression on me when he got himself involved in this video promoting the UgMO soil moisture meters.

  • In this interview at Kiawah Island Golf Resort, Gary Player declares that the "outside of nature is good for the inside of a human being".“Only through our connectedness with nature, do we understand our role as human beings.” – Gary Player
I'm not saying that Player is some kind of environmental saint, but he definitely stands out in our industry in a time that we desperately need it.