I'm sorry to widen the golf gulf, but I still want answers from Gary Player

From the Guardian Article: ‘I’m sorry to widen the golf gulf, but I still want answers from Gary Player

One study suggests that an 18-hole course requires, on average, 22 tonnes of chemical treatments (mostly pesticides) every year: seven times the rate per hectare for industrial farming. Another shows higher rates of some cancers, such as non-Hodgkin's lymphoma (which has been associated with certain pesticides), among golf course superintendents. Courses consume staggering amounts of water. Many of them are built on diverse and important habitats, such as rainforests or wetlands. In some countries people have been violently evicted to make way for them.

The problem is particularly acute in south-east and east Asia, where golf is big business, and land rights and the environment are often ignored by governments. There are hundreds of accounts of battles between peasant farmers or indigenous people and golf course developers. In one case in the Philippines in 2000, two farmers resisting a course planned for their lands were mutilated, dismembered and shot dead.

Player’s companies, which have a turnover of hundreds of millions of dollars, have designed eight golf courses in China, one in Taiwan, nine in the Philippines, one in Malaysia, seven in Indonesia and one in Burma. At least two of the courses in Indonesia were built during the Suharto dictatorship, when the ruling family was alleged to have had a commercial interest in most golf course development. So I asked the Gary Player Group whether Suharto or his relatives had a stake in any of the projects Player designed. As I was unable to find any position statements about environmental policy or land rights on the group’s website, I asked whether it had produced such policies, and if so, how they are enforced. For the second time, the group has refused to answer any of my questions.

I must say, I share this guy’s feelings on golf courses. Although it’s maybe a bit of a cheap shot dragging in the anti apartheid stuff. I’m sure thats taken at least a bit out of context. Ad hominem attacks only weaken his argument I think.

The situation in Burma Sounds similar to the one here doesn’t it? Anything for a buck - especially if it’s in the name of “progress”…