Golf courses take up a lot of land all around the country and the world. They can cause wildlife and local ecosystems to be pushed to the side, forgotten, and even destroyed while also using a large amount of water. These 12 golf courses have taken it upon themselves to reverse that damage and help prevent further harm to their local environments.
1. Barona Creek Golf Club – Lakeside, California
Barona Creek Golf Club is one of the top golf courses in California and also part of one of the best casinos in the area. The course welcomes golfers of all levels to test their mettle. Enjoy the rolling hills of the San Diego area as you play on this eco-friendly course.
Barona Creek Golf Club set the standard for environmentally friendly golf clubs as it prioritized sustainability during its design. Since its opening in 2001, Barona has operated on a limited water supply, using only runoff from winter rains. Any excess water water is collected in reservoirs and reused for irrigation for the course. When there isn’t enough water, they will shut down holes on the course to support the local environment.
2. Vineyard Golf Club – Edgartown, Massachusetts
Located on Martha’s Vineyard Island, The Vineyard Golf Club stretches across 235 acres of rolling land. The club has the relaxing feel of the countryside with all the luxury of the city. Every course comes with a different green length to keep golfers on their toes.
Vineyard Golf Club is recognized as being one of the most eco-friendly golf courses in the world. The club consulted various environmental experts when first building the courses to be as responsible as possible. Its courses are made of local plants and organic fixtures. They also avoid the use of pesticides.
3. The Broadmoor Golf Club – Colorado Springs, Colorado
Settled in the foothills of Cheyenne Mountain, The Broadmoor Golf Club is ranked as one of the best in the world. It offers luxury with a stunning view of the peaks of the Rocky Mountains in Colorado. The challenging courses have drawn celebrities, presidents, and professional players from all over the world.
The Broadmoor takes several different initiatives to minimize its impact on the environment. Its energy use is strictly monitored and controlled by a high-end management system to avoid any waste. It uses irrigation systems, recirculating water whenever possible.
4. Westchester Country Club – Rye, New York
Conveniently located only 40 minutes outside Manhattan, this exclusive club offers world-class facilities. There are two different championship golf courses and a nine-hole executive course to try out. The Westchester Country Club has hosted different championships over the years and remains one of the best clubs in the country.
The Westchester Country Club started with a normal golf course. Since opening, though, the club has made changes to be more sustainable. In certain areas of the course, natural vegetation grows wild, allowing local insects and wildlife to live and prosper. The native bluebird population has begun to flourish again thanks to the bird boxes around the club.
5. Bandon Dunes Golf Resort – Bandon, Oregon
The beautiful rolling sand dunes of Bandon offer a beautiful view and six different courses to challenge yourself on. Every course offers something new to experience and a unique view to enjoy that makes you feel like you are one with nature.
Located on the course is a 250-acre conservation area that has a variety of different natural communities designated to help local plant species survive and thrive. This conservation area even houses threatened plant species such as the Silvery Phacelia plant. The resort also utilizes solar energy and recycles ocean water to help power the entire thing.
6. Chambers Bay Golf Course – University Place, Washington
Chambers Bay Golf Course sets itself apart from other Pacific Northwest golf courses with its uphill greens, thick waste area, and constant Puget Sound. Massive dunes dot the area. Meanwhile, the view of the snow-capped Olympic Mountains will take your breath away as you navigate the different courses.
The majority of the course uses fescue grass, an extremely drought-resistant variant that requires less water than typical grass used on golf courses. The course is committed to using as limited water as possible and requiring less upkeep to help the environment.
7. Collier’s Reserve Golf & Country Club – Naples, Florida
Naples is the golf capital of the world and the Collier’s Reserve Golf and Country Club is among the best. Enjoy the natural wildlife and the sun’s warmth while engaging in various friendly games or challenging tournaments.
The members of this club are dedicated to the environment and want to see it flourish. They established their own reserve to become a refuge for many local wildlife and vegetation. It even became the first golfing community in the world to become recognized as an international signature sanctuary by Audubon International.
8. Los Robles Greens Golf Course – Thousand Oaks, California
Located just 39 miles from Los Angeles, Los Robles Greens Golf Course is nestled into the rolling foothills of the Santa Monica Mountains. It offers remarkable courses and services that challenge those of the best private golf clubs. However, it’s still accessible to the public seven days a week.
Los Robles Greens Golf Course did a complete renovation a few years ago to make itself more sustainable, winning awards for maintaining its course aesthetics while adjusting to environmental needs. The course redesigned its irrigation system and removed more than 30 acres of turf grass to cut water usage.
9. Old Corkscrew Golf Club – Estero, Florida
The Old Corkscrew Golf Club is one of the most challenging public golf courses. It has some amazing services available as well. The courses offer a chance to connect with wildlife.
Old Corkscrew Golf Club has over 275 acres of property consisting of luscious greens, a large pine forest, and wetlands. The actual course itself takes up only a little over 80 acres of land. The course also limits the use of turfgrass to decrease the need for irrigation, lowering overall water usage.
10. Sand Valley Golf Resort – Nekoosa, Wisconsin
At the heart of Sand Valley, this golf resort is one of the best public golf courses in the country and is on our list of the 24 top golf courses in the US. Massive exposed sand dunes and rolling hills make for a challenging course with strategic playing options around every corner.
Sand Valley Golf Resort is part of a restoration project involving over 8,900 acres of land. What was once the site of a paper mill is now transformed back into its unique ecosystem. Wildlife and plants that were once pushed out of the area are now able to flourish in their native habitat again.
11. Crystal Springs Resort – Hamburg, New Jersey
Crystal Springs Resort offers a true challenge to any experienced golf player by offering some of New Jersey’s top courses. Rolling hills line the fairways as you get to enjoy the view of natural springs. Located only an hour from the border to New York, this 4,000-acre resort is one of the largest in the country.
Crystal Springs Resort boasts one of the largest resort-based solar farms with over 19,000 solar panels across 25 acres. These panels cover much more than the total power consumption used by the courses. They also create awareness for the struggling bee population and help by contributing to regrowing their natural habitats.
12. Stone Creek Golf Club – Oregon City, Oregon
Stone Creek Golf Club maintains a relaxing, country feel with mature trees, thick bushes, and bubbling creeks. The club is family-friendly, ensuring everyone will enjoy themselves.
The course uses fine fescue to save on water and the sprinklers are programmed to prevent overwatering. They use bubbling aerators to control algae growth and dead trees are left to support the local insect population. Most recently, they have tackled energy efficiency by upgrading their systems.
How Can Golf Courses Be More Environmentally Friendly?
The best way for golf courses to become environmentally friendly is to reduce their water use. However, avoiding heavy use of pesticides, herbicides, and fungicides is also a good step.
Are Golf Courses Bad For The Environment?
Yes, golf courses are known for being terrible for the environment. They take up a lot of land that could be used to help local wildlife and vegetation, turning into non-native grasses filled with pesticides and chemicals that harm ecosystems.
When Is The Best Time To Visit Some Of These Courses?
Generally, the best time of year to visit golf courses is in the summer when it is warm and sunny. However, this is not always true and it can vary depending on the course and the local area. Look at our article on the best time of year for a golf trip for more exact information.