Whether golf courses can ever truly be “green” is a hotly contested topic in the environmental community. An unlikely golf course defender has appeared in the form of pop star Justin Timberlake, a passionate golfer. He recently opened the Mirimichi golf course–formerly known as the Big Creek Golf Course–after a $16 million overhaul intended to make the property ecologically sound.
Among Timberlake’s improvements on the Memphis course: Lake areas and re-circulating creeks to create an ecosystem habitat, landscape areas that use rainwater runoff, an irrigation system that maximizes water management efficiency, and reflective coatings on parking lots to cut heat footprints. Mirimichi is the first U.S. golf course to be designated as an Audobon International Classic Sanctuary–a designation that means the 7,400 yard course exhibits admirable “wildlife conservation, habitat rehabilitation and
enhancement, water conservation, and water quality protection.” The site is also gunning for LEED Platinum status for its buildings by 2011.
In many ways, then, Timberlake has actually created a green golf course. Most of the criticisms surrounding golf courses stem from water use–2.5 billion gallons of water per day are used on courses–but most of Mirimichi’s redesign is aimed at cutting down on water. And considering that the course existed before Timberlake bought it, it’s hard to criticize him for his efforts. Want more examples of responsible golf courses? Greenopia has a great list here.
[Via Jetson Green]