Golf courses provide a haven for various types of biodiversity, both visible and non-visible. It’s very unusual not to find creatures such as bees, butterflies, toads, fish, and a host of other insects and small animals on the course. Golf courses have been around for years, and throughout this time, they have been providing a habitat for these creatures who are often overlooked but play a crucial role in the ecosystem. In particular, bees and butterflies provide crucial pollination services, ensuring that plants can reproduce and grow.

Apart from their functional role, these creatures also add beauty to the golf course. The various plants in and around the course and the creatures that inhabit them give golf courses a natural aesthetic that is both calming and relaxing. However, despite the importance of these creatures, many of their habitats are under threat. Urbanization and human activities have led to the destruction of natural habitats, leaving golf courses as one of the few viable options for the survival of these creatures.

One of the main threats to these habitats is the clearance of bushes, forest fires, and poor waste management, particularly plastics. While golf courses offer a haven for many creatures, they’re not immune to pollution. Plastic waste often ends up on courses due to the lack of discipline in neighboring communities. Plastics are especially harmful to the environment as they’re made from petroleum materials, making them difficult to decompose. A single plastic bottle can take over 400 years to degrade completely, meaning it will be around for generations to come.

To combat this issue, the Afriyea Golf Academy in Uganda is taking great steps to reduce plastic waste on and off course. One of their primary strategies has been to ban their students from bringing single-use plastics during training. This move aims to instill discipline in the young golfers and help build a new culture that’s conscious of the environment. In addition, the academy organizes monthly clean-ups that involve young people and other community members to clear water bodies and land of plastics. These efforts are part of a global action to combat plastic pollution, and the academy is setting an excellent example for other golf courses to follow.

Therefore golf courses globally are essential habitats that provide safety to biodiversity.

Though people complain that some courses use excess water and fertilizers which may not be good for the environment but organizations such as Fairway Foundation and Golf environment awards are undertaking great campaigns and strategies for clubs and individuals to learn about the ways the use of resources and promotion of good practices.