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A GROWING PASSION: Growing A Greener Golf Course

Host Nan Sterman and Superintendent Pat Gradoville examine the greens at Palos Verdes Golf Course in South Bay, Calif.
Courtesy of AGP Productions, LLC
Host Nan Sterman and Superintendent Pat Gradoville examine the greens at Palos Verdes Golf Course in South Bay, Calif.

Thursday, Sept. 9, 2021 at 8:30 p.m. on KPBS TV + Monday, Sept. 13 at 8:30 p.m. on KPBS 2 / On Demand

Learn how a new wave of golf course managers are reducing their environmental footprint.

Golf courses are legendary for their perfectly manicured greens surrounded by lovely landscapes that are generously fertilized, treated, irrigated and frequently mowed.

The only "birds" in sight are small, white, round, and hard. New courses are built in place of native habitats, displacing plants, insects and animals.

Golf’s new landscape uses natives and low-water Mediterranean plants to fill in non-playable areas instead of using large expanses of turf.
Courtesy of AGP Productions, LLC
Golf’s new landscape uses natives and low-water Mediterranean plants to fill in non-playable areas instead of using large expanses of turf.

But there is a new wave of golfers, designers and managers. Golfers don't want to spend their time exposed to grass and grounds heavily treated with pesticides.

Golf course managers want to reduce costly and environmentally harmful inputs into their greens and grounds.

They are irrigating their courses with reclaimed water (purple pipe water).

Some golf courses are undergoing radical transformations to be more in tune with natural environments.
Courtesy of AGP Productions, LLC
Some golf courses are undergoing radical transformations to be more in tune with natural environments.

In the bigger picture, designers are rethinking approaches and looking to carve out only enough habitat to make room for greens and fairways among the native plants.

On this episode, we visit green golf courses and talk with their managers, designers, and patrons to explore the new golf course paradigm.

Resources: The Bridges at Rancho Santa Fe; Shady Canyon Golf Course; Palos Verdes Golf Club; Torrey Pines Golf Course; and The Crossing at Carlsbad Golf Course.

Host Nan Sterman visits the iconic Torrey Pines Golf Course in La Jolla, Calif., where they pay close attention to water use, minimizing runoff that might cause the underlying cliffs to become unstable.
Courtesy of AGP Productions, LLC
Host Nan Sterman visits the iconic Torrey Pines Golf Course in La Jolla, Calif., where they pay close attention to water use, minimizing runoff that might cause the underlying cliffs to become unstable.

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Episodes of A GROWING PASSION will be available for streaming on demand following the broadcast. All past seasons are available on demand now.

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A GROWING PASSION is on Facebook, and you can follow @GrowingPassion on Twitter. Share photos and follow the series on Instagram.

About The Series:

More and more San Diegans strive to make socially, environmentally and economically-responsible choices. From earth-friendly and water-wise gardens to organic foods and habitat restoration, we demand options that protect our health, feed our communities and protect our natural resources.

A GROWING PASSION is an Emmy-winning lifestyle program that explores San Diego County's agriculture and horticulture activities as an expression of this growing earth-friendly movement. From backyard food production to major horticultural growers, from low-water landscapes to sustainable practices around the home and in the garden, we tell stories about the natural and manmade landscapes that shape the social, cultural, environmental and economic interests of our community.

We celebrate how San Diego grows.