Eric Beul points out that golf greens are always watered

Emphasis – in anti-drought decisions, the restriction allows watering of green spaces (vegetables) golf. Grenoble Mayor Eric Buell denounced an appropriate measure aimed at “protecting the rich and the powerful”. But is golf only for the rich? Are golf course managers and practitioners too careless about the environment? No, according to industry professionals who see it as a stubborn cliché.

Why can we water golf courses when everyone is short of water? »Pretending to question Grenoble Mayor Eric Buell on BFM TV set, July 31, 2022.” It just shows that the state of mind is not the right state […], where we continue to protect the richest and the strongest. I think Emmanuel Macron’s tenure has been emblematic of that for five years. “, he added.

Thus, do golf professionals evade water restrictions in order to always take care of a privileged audience? Eric Pace, Director of Bresson and Seyssins Golf Courses for Bluegreen Course Manager, sees more pertinent clichés “A relentless ideology that does not reflect the reality on the ground.”

irrigation restrictions

What is this fact? The golf course consists first of all starting area (1), then passes through fairway (7), an alley leading to Green color (8), a short grass area where the pit is, at the end of the course. However, water consumption on golf courses has already been recently reduced by 60%, as part of the drought regime stipulated in the Framework Convention on Golf and the Environment 2020-2024 signed by the state and players in this sector in France.

With drought alert 4, only the tee (1) and green (8) are still watered. Lanes (7) received no water for four weeks in Bryson. © R. Engelhardt – Wikipedia

This framework agreement provides that if ” The growing crisis threshold » As in the case of Alert 4 of dehydration, Irrigation of golf courses as a whole is prohibited. ” However, greens can be preserved. But the amount of water used can not exceed 30% of the usual volumes.

The Bresson site, for example, has 18 green areas, which must be maintained. ” With drought alert 4, only tee (1) and green (8) are still wateredsays Eric Pace. Lanes (7) received no water for four weeks in Bryson. » Illustrated by the dry grass in the course.

© Eric Pace / Bluegreen

On the courses, irrigation is limited to what is absolutely necessary to keep the golf course’s core alive. © Eric Pace – Bluegreen

“If there were no more golf courses, there would be no more golf!”, Eric Press confirms. However, the central part of the course requires a large initial investment. About 300,000 euros, according to the director.

Regulated consumption golf courses

Should golf courses be closed during droughts? ‘A counterproductive action’ For the manager, because watering vegetables It will still be saved. This would also have social consequences insofar as the Bresson structure employs about thirty employees.

“The French Golf Federation has been working for ten years with the Prefecture to establish irrigation restriction areas on golf courses in the event of a drought”, Also identifies Eric Pace. Decisions to maintain the golf course are governed by networks and standards based on Water Services and the Department of Agriculture. However, there may be exceptions depending on the regions, provinces and water origin in order to be able to irrigate more.

© Eric Pace / Bluegreen

Golf courses in the province apply the Prefectural Ordinance of May 18, 2022 which sets the framework for measures to manage and conserve water resources in times of drought in the province of Isere © Eric Besse – Bluegreen

The Director of Bluegreen has been working for several years to improve the water consumption of his establishments. Hence a change in the irrigation system occurred. In addition, during this period of high heat, greens and T-shirts are watered at night two to three times a week (compared to every day at normal times).

Drought and golf are necessarily opposites?

For the director of the tournament, it is not out of the question to play during this period. The approach is quite different and very similar to what the English do, with only greens and shirts. Historically, pastures in Anglo-Saxon countries are dry during dry periods. “The idea is to get the golf association and all partners to work in this direction.”

© Eric Pace / Bluegreen

Regional, national and international clients will have to deal with drought. © Eric Pace – Bluegreen

Practitioners are informed in advance of the status of the courses and prices are adapted to the drought situation. At Bresson and Seyssins, prices are reduced by 30% to encourage golfers to practice in these far from ideal conditions. “In fact, the balls do not stop rolling on dry ground, especially in Bryson, a track with a drop,” Eric Pace says.

practice has become more democratic
Is golf still reserved for ultra-wealthy clients? No, this professional asserts. He says his practice has become more democratic. “Today, you can learn to play for 79 euros per month.” The policy is to allow as many people as possible to try. Free courses are offered for a month and a half, approximately in September. The structure lends the bag for a year, if extension, and cycles are unlimited.
“The pool of people playing golf today is more open than before. But even if we tried to invite Eric Peul to see it, he definitely wouldn’t come!” Ironically, Eric Pace.

However, it is still difficult to know the exact water consumption of greens.

How many cubic meters does a golf course consume? Water consumption varies greatly depending on the type of path, the nature of the soil, the region, etc. However, the average annual water consumption for a golf course nationally is 25,000 cubic meters per 9-hole section, according to the French. Golf Association.

© Eric Pace / Bluegreen

Currently, the 70 hectares of vegetation on Bryson Golf Course is more like an African savannah than a green grove. © Eric Besse – Bluegreen Water quality and sanitation in France

According to the association, total water consumption on all French golf courses would have decreased by 14% over the 2006-2010 period. Data from the National Golf and Environment Charter dated March 18, 2013… which is nearly ten years old. These efforts seem to continue to save water, but it is difficult to be more accurate, due to the lack of reliable up-to-date aggregate data.

When asked about it, Eric Pace replied that he doesn’t really know the year’s consumption of his facilities. But he confirms it “The nerves of war are water consumption.” He adds: “We don’t expect anyone to be measured and respect for the environment.”

Finally, Eric Peul confirmed ‘bad mood’ From this procedure is allowed watering of golf courses. The director of Bresson and Seyssins replies to this order “Not limited to replaying a quiz on TV” And really invites him to come and see reality “on the ground”.

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