October 16, 2007

Sport is killing the planet: and Gary Player hates monks. Or so George Monbiot would have us believe.

posted by JJ to general at 05:10 AM - 14 comments

Does this strike anyone else as a case of fiddling while Rome burns?

posted by JJ at 05:12 AM on October 16, 2007

The sky is falling! The sky is falling!

posted by BlueCarp at 07:52 AM on October 16, 2007

Then someone suggested ultimate frisbee and we have never looked back. LMFAO!!!!!!!! I move for a man law vote..... Frisbee is an activity not a sport, and so men shall only engage in it while trying to impress bikini clad women.... All in favor?

posted by firecop at 08:54 AM on October 16, 2007

Although this really isn't a high priority for the world, the writer hits the nail on the head. I've worked on a private course before and the amount of chemicals put into the earth are frightening. The course lies on the highest point in the county so it is only logical to assume that all of these chemicals end up at the bottom of the hill in the creek that runs past my house. I often see kids fishing and playing in the water and I just wonder if thier parents even know whats going on.

posted by Steel_Town at 09:17 AM on October 16, 2007

He does have a point, but as ever with him, he makes it in a very childish way and his comments are littered with sweeping statements. All golf courses, he claims, use vast amounts of water and are covered in chemicals, but he neglects to mention the many courses in his native Britain that need not water, but drainage because *looking out the window* it never... stops... raining. He also doesn't mention that the rough on most German courses is virtually non-existant because of the tight restrictions on fertilisers there. Both omissions ironically would have furthered his cause had he included them - mentioning that it rains enough itn Britain indicates how much water is needed, mentioning the light rough in Germany highlights how much fertiliser must be needed to grow it up in other countries. As usual, he spends the first half of the article quoting obscure or irrelevant sources (a book Player wrote thirty years ago?) and accusing people of being vague with the facts, then he fills out the article with his own little collection of vague and unsubstantiated "facts". And why only talk about Player in the environmental context? If his company won't talk to you, talk to someone else. There are at least a dozen ex-pros with very high-profile course design businesses, any number of which would happily talk to you, George. Or maybe they did and he just didn't find what they had to say inflammatory enough. He lives about half a mile from my house. I'm going to the driving range on my way home tonight. Maybe I'll drop in on the way and see if wants to come too.

posted by JJ at 10:29 AM on October 16, 2007

Agreed JJ. I don't think he did much research. I once read in a trade mag that courses in Arizona, USA use more than 1,000,000 gals. a day. All that water is draining the Colorado River, for what?

posted by Steel_Town at 11:47 AM on October 16, 2007

Does this strike anyone else as a case of fiddling while Rome burns? Not quite. From the first article: One of the reasons why so little has been done to stop climate change is that everyone makes an exception for themselves. We can all agree, for example, that there are too many cars on the roads, while insisting that we cannot possibly leave ours at home. The same problem applies to businesses: the people who run them might agree that collective action urgently needs to be taken, but unfortunately their sector is just too important and its requirements too demanding. This seems to be the prevailing ethos at the moment in sport. He's got the central point right, IMO: any solution to the problems of climate change will require individuals to do the right thing and not proclaim their specialness and their entitlement to an exemption. Regardless of our politics, we've become far too accustomed to looking to policy solutions for big nasty problems, and neglecting our individual responsibility to create the solution in our everyday behavior. The devil is in the details, and the details add up: one person who says, "One person won't make any difference" and (for example) tosses a bag of litter out their car window won't have a big impact; a million people saying and doing the same thing will have a huge impact. The way to act is the way that you wish everyone else would act.

posted by lil_brown_bat at 12:37 PM on October 16, 2007

All that water is draining the Colorado River, for what? The guarantee of a good lie in the semi-rough, which is, as we all know, invaluable. I can't argue, lbb, and I guess there is virtue in bringing the fight to everyone. I suppose I'm being guilty of the old "Well, I can't fix everything, so what's the point in trying to fix anything?" attitude. Shame on me. It's still fucking raining.

posted by JJ at 01:58 PM on October 16, 2007

Is there any way that you can push that rain towards the Southeast part of the US? This is what is left of Raleigh's water supply: That was a lake. It hasn't always been some sort crazy-ass looking river.

posted by NoMich at 03:13 PM on October 16, 2007

NoMich, I guess you and Trox will be commiserating over beers soon since the ATL is about dry too. Me, I'm just hoping no earthquake or terrorist blows up the Hetch Hetchy transport.

posted by billsaysthis at 04:27 PM on October 16, 2007

I did some work for a humanitarian agency in Burma earlier this year. If you deal with the Burmese military in any way, shape or form, you are despicable, in my opinion. To get any kind of business underway there you will have had to pay off the junta. Maybe Player is ignorant or knows this but isn't saying. The only golfers who will be able to afford to play on the course are the same kind of people. Whatever George Monbiot's faults, he's right on this one. It's the middle of the worst drought in a century in Australia. My creek (and main water supply) nearly dried up for the first time ever, and my area isn't even drought-declared. In some places, any outdoor use of water is banned. The local football pitches have been rock hard for the last few seasons, but you get a good bounce off the fairways.

posted by owlhouse at 06:23 PM on October 16, 2007

The local football pitches have been rock hard for the last few seasons, but you get a good bounce off the fairways. Time to invent a sport played with superballs. Maybe some variation on ultimate frisbee?

posted by billsaysthis at 07:40 PM on October 18, 2007

No need for superballs, when you can actually hear a 40 metre wedge shot landing on the green, followed by 10 minutes fishing the ball out of the Brunswick River. Velcro balls would be good, but then they would stick to the club face.

posted by owlhouse at 10:27 PM on October 18, 2007

[warning: long, dull story] There was a guy - his son is now a European Tour pro - who won the Irish Close championship at a ripe old age (in his late fifties I think) in a year when the tournament was played in the middle of a really hot summer, and the course was hard as diamond. Unlike the youngsters vying with him for the title, all of whom sought out the softest balata balls they could find in the hope of getting something - anything - in the way of spin, he resigned himself to the fact that nothing would spin and wandered into the pro shop in search of a Pinnacle (which was probably the hardest ball around at the time, used almost exclusively by high-handicap women, old men and small children who wanted more distance). He saw his chance at last to counteract the one aspect of the game he couldn't keep in shape as he had gotten older - distance. The only Pinnacles the pro had were luminous yellow, but the eventual champion had no pride about that either and took them. He played the course more or less like one big putting green, hitting "pitch and run" shots from 190 yards with a 4 wood, and putting from anywhere inside 60 yards where he had a line to the hole. While everyone else fought against the conditions, he went with them and won going away. It was quite a thing.

posted by JJ at 07:40 AM on October 20, 2007

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