RESEARCH UPDATE: GLOBAL ANTI-GOLF MOVEMENT

Did you know there was a “Global Anti-Golf Movement” afoot? They even have their own “Manifesto,” available online. An anti-pesticide bent is clear in the document, which is not a surprise. But it goes much further, rejecting even so-called environmentally sensitive golf with bizarre statements such as:

“In practical terms, application of pest control through IPM is impossible to achieve and should be viewed as nothing more than a hollow attempt to make golf courses appear less toxic than they are. The danger is that IPM will be taken seriously by officials involved in the approval of golf courses. Under scrutiny, the theory of IPM can be easily discredited.”

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Other statements make it clear that this movement is rooted in political ideology as much as environmental activism:

“The golf industry aggressively promotes an elitist and exclusive resort lifestyle and notion of leisure. This globalization of lifestyle is also a form of exploitation, the victims being the wealthy urban population who are encouraged to spend their surplus dreams and illusions, at the expense of the environment and other members of society. Golf course and golf tourism development violate human rights in every sense of the word.”

It would be a mistake to think that this group is dedicated to a different kind of golf course:

“Laws should be passed to prohibit the advertising and promotion of golf courses and golf tourism.” And, “Existing golf courses should be converted to public parks, and where they lie in forest areas, wetlands and islands, there should be rehabilitation and regeneration of the land to its natural state.”

The group's Web site offers little information about the Movement. It says that, “The three sponsoring organizations are the Japan-based Global Network for Anti-Golf Course Action (GNAGA), the Thailand-based Asian Tourism Network (ANTENNA) and the Malaysia-based Asia-Pacific People and Environmental Network (APPEN),” but that it has “supporters” in the United States. Among other organizations, the group cites our own Sierra Club as a “leader in the anti-golf battles.”

A full copy of the “Manifesto” is online at http://utenti.tripod.it/dossierisarenas/manifest.htm.

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