Operators and Associations

Troon Golf What they did Standardized practices, with variances for local conditions and situations, are instituted companywide. It addresses facilities management, irrigation practices, fertilizer and chemical practices, turf maintenance, equipment maintenance, construction and renovation practices, integrated pest management, clubhouse design and construction, spill prevention and underground storage tanks.

Makena Golf Course, Maui, Hawaii

The Project Located in Kihei on the Maui coastline, Makena may not be as well known to televised golf fans as its professional Tour stop neighbors Kapalua, Kaanapali and Wailea, but it is second to none of them in its proactive and comprehensive environmental preservation program. And the Maui Prince Resort's two Robert Trent Jones Jr.- designed courses, owned by the Dowling Company and Morgan Stanley, hold their own for scenery, challenge and overall quality as well.

Kiawah Island Golf Resort, Kiawah Island, S.C.

What they did For many years, the resort has given its guests the opportunity to donate $2 per night during their stay to the Kiawah Island Conservancy, the local organization dedicated to preserving the island's environment and natural resources. The resort maintains a staff of naturalists who conduct tours and seminars for guests about the island plants, wildlife, ecology and the resort's conservation efforts. Native vegetation is employed whenever possible by the resort's landscapers.

Global Development

With golf course building at a standstill around most of the globe, it's the emerging nations that are fueling the growth of the game. From Dubai to Dubrovnik to Da Nang, regions that once were looked on as barren deserts, Iron Curtain gulags or impenetrable jungles are embracing golf as a key to economic development.

Middle East deserts bloom with golf

The oil-rich desert nations of the Middle East are rolling out fairway after fairway and they're sponsoring competitions to draw top touring professionals from all over the world.

"There's a tremendous amount of building, including in Bahrain, Qatar, Oman, Saudi Arabia," Sartori said. "And now we see the European Tour expanding into Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Qatar."

Huge media coverage of these tournaments has helped fuel interest in the area.

Eastern Europe ready to tee it up

More mature golf markets such as Spain have competition from other emerging areas as well. Bulgaria and other countries in Eastern Europe see themselves as potential major competition for places like the Costa del Sol.

The Black Sea and its beaches have long been a tourist destination for Eastern Europeans because of their mild weather conditions; now all countries along the sea are pushing resort developments in hopes of attracting tourists from further away.

Far East boom shifts focus

The outburst of course building that swept across China over the past decade has slowed down, partly because of a moratorium designed to prevent farmland from being turned into fairways, according to Brian Curley of Schmidt-Curley Design of Scottsdale. But planning work on many projects continues.

"Work is alive there even though it's tempered by the knowledge of controls being in place," said Curley, whose firm has been heavily involved in golf throughout Asia for more than 10 years.

Golf in island paradises

The worldwide growth of golf has driven developers to search for unspoiled island paradises with plenty of sunshine and cheap land. One of those places that has suddenly popped up on the radar screen for golf resort developers is the Cape Verde Islands.

The name may be unfamiliar to Americans, but heavy TV advertising aimed at Europeans is promoting the 10 islands that make up the Cape Verdes, located about 300 miles off the coast of Africa and a three-hour flight from Portugal, as a destination.

Golf Inc. 2008 Green Award Winners

Best Green Courses Commitment to the environment earns Makena, Kiawah Island, Fairmont Southampton top course honors in the inaugural Golf Inc. competition. Troon Golf, W.R. Love Course Architecture capture first-place first-place recognition as well.

More than 20 years ago-long before the term "ecotourism" became a marketing catch-phrase- operators of Kiawah Island Resort were giving guests the opportunity to donate $2 per night toward preservation of the island's natural habitat.


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