News

Editorial: Warming Up To Golf, Globally

By P. O’Seidon
The Golf world may have missed one of the most contentious and important news releases of the past century February 2nd in Paris, where a report based on the work of thousands of scientists, under the title of IPCC (International Panel in Climatic Change or some such descriptive), has concluded that weather patterns are changing. I do think the last time I walked outside I could have come to that same conclusion, except I wouldn’t have the benefit of several hundred millions of dollars of research to back me up.
Note, please, that none of our local weather forecasters work with these scientists, who actually do look like they know what they are talking about.
Some years ago I read a quote from Albert Einstein that one should never underestimate the violent opposition of mediocre minds to innovative ideas. That same principle applies to this “global warming” debate that rides at the crest of the IPCC news conference. There are simple facts that show our carbon emissions over the past centuries have achieved (note: “achieved” has a positive connotation) a critical point in the atmosphere, resulting in irreversible (our lifetimes) global warming. “How horrible!” say many in the media. The common reaction to any possible change in climate is highly emotional, whether pro or con. But, let me take the opposite position from the Chicken Littles who foresee the end of the world, “How wonderful this could be, especially if you love golf!”
Just think, in a few short centuries, Ireland and Scotland could be playable all year long! The need to overseed dormant bermuda grasses in the south and suffer through freezes would be gone! Increased rainfall and less harsh winters would open the upper mid-west, much of Canada, and (perish the thought) much of China and Russia to golf and resort development. Sure, we’ll lose half of the Bahamas and south Florida, but there are positive aspects to any eventuality. If South Beach is gone, then what’s left can be re-converted to the development of seaside golf courses. If they are inundated one hundred years later by rising sea levels, that’s not an issue…good golf courses must be redone regularly anyway, and flat, seaside courses can be innately boring. After fifty or one hundred years of play, golfers want to move along, and rising seawater would facilitate that.
I understand from reading some of the scientists’ work that this gradual warming will melt the ice packs and create warmer and less salty seas. Wonderful, as we need more water availability anyway, and then grasses could be watered by the seas in coastal regions such as those that will be created in western Arizona when the Gulf of California rises twenty feet! Oceanside golf in Yuma, Arizona…just think of it! (Sorry about Hilton Head, though. There are wonderful courses there you should play in the next fifty years before they go away.)
So there you have it. Global Warming is here to stay, and the only thing missing is the long-life pill that will allow today’s golfers to enjoy the coming changes…better weather worldwide for golf, more land available for new courses and warmer oceans for the few days a year when you need to take a break from golf and go scuba diving in search of South Beach!