The development of some golf courses has included wetland drainage or the use of previously drained wetlands. Through this, many clubs have unintentionally caused large emissions of greenhouse gases. Emissions from golf courses on drained organic soils can thus be very high, while courses on mineral soils can sequester carbon. Grass can sequester considerable levels of carbon. Furthermore, managed grasslands, or turf, can sequester more carbon than unmanaged. This indicates that carefully located golf courses, thoughtfully planned, designed and built, have a reasonable chance of becoming net carbon sinks.
To estimate the carbon status of land used by all golf courses within the Golf Union of Iceland, a variety of methods will be used, including mapping, references to national soil databases, soil sampling, interviews and analysis. Perimeters of various golf course land use elements, such as fairways, managed roughs and native areas will be drafted up in architectural software, using underlying georeferenced aerial photographs. Each golf course area will be broken down into 3-4 basic soil types. Soil samples will be collected from a selection of golf facilities and analysed by dry combustion, delivering %C and %N content.
Access to IGLUD (Icelandic Geographic Land-Use Database) and the ÝMIR-soil database will allow soil C content to be compared to that in corresponding areas near the perimeter of the golf facilities. This should indicate loss or sequestration of carbon during the lifetime of the golf course compared with surrounding areas and land uses. The project will then produce:
Special efforts will be made to ensure that suggestions in (d) and (e) do not negatively influence the golf playing experience. Scapegoating is not an objective. Rather, the aim is to present an opportunity to improve upon unintended harm to the climate.
Edwin Roald, Director, Eureka Golf ehf., Langalina 22, 210 Garðabær, Iceland. Tel: +354 693 0075, email: email@example.com, web: eureka.golf