Climate Activists Pour Cement Into Golf Holes After Water Ban Exemption

Climate activists filled golf holes with cement in the southern region of France, as they protest the exemption of golf greens from water bans

Golfers pour cement into a golf hole
(Image credit: BBC/Twitter: @Kirikou Collective)

Currently, Europe is in the grip of a heatwave which is heavily affecting a number of factors in daily life. Many countries have implemented water bans, with the heatwave and drought spreading across the continent at a rate of knots.

Golf courses have also been heavily affected, with many struggling to tackle the extreme heat that is taking place. In France, water bans have been put in place, with some golf course greens exempt. This decision hasn't gone down well with some climate activists though, as some have filled golf holes with cement in protest against the exemption.

See more

Targeting sites near the city of Toulouse, the activists state that golf is the "leisure industry of the most privileged", with the exemption of golf greens sparking controversy as 100 French villages are reportedly short of drinking water.

Vielle-Toulouse and Blagnac have been some of the golf courses affected by the activists, with a recent petition from those activists stating that "economic madness takes precedence over ecological reason".

Currently, residents of the area can't water gardens or wash their vehicles, whilst golf courses are exempt from the ban nationwide. However, that doesn't mean that restrictions haven't been put in place. In certain areas, watering must be carried out at night with no more than 30% of the usual volume of water.

The Loire Valley river in France

Parts of the Loire Valley, which is the longest river in France, have actually dried up from the drought

(Image credit: Getty Images)

These water bans in France are decided nationally, but the enforcement is at the discretion of regional officials. Currently, one area, Ille-et-Villaine in western France, has banned the watering of golf courses.

Speaking about the action taken, Gérard Rougier of the French Golf Federation stated: "A golf course without a green is like an ice-rink without ice," adding that 15,000 people worked in golf courses across the country and that greens would die in three days without water.

Rainfall is reportedly down 85% in the country, with France recording its hottest ever day back in July and temperatures don't look to reduce anytime soon.

Matt Cradock
Staff Writer

Matt joined Golf Monthly in February 2021 covering weekend news, before also transitioning to equipment and testing. After freelancing for Golf Monthly and The PGA for 18 months, he was offered a full-time position at the company in October 2022 and continues to cover weekend news and social media, as well as help look after Golf Monthly’s many buyers’ guides and equipment reviews.

Taking up the game when he was just seven years of age, Matt made it into his county squad just a year later and continues to play the game at a high standard, with a handicap of around 2-4. To date, his best round came in 2016, where he shot a six-under-par 66 having been seven-under through nine holes. He currently plays at Witney Lakes in Oxfordshire and his favourite player is Rory McIlroy, despite nearly being struck by his second shot at the 17th during the 2015 BMW PGA Championship.

Matt’s current What’s In The Bag?

Driver: Honma TW747, 8.75°

Fairway Wood: TaylorMade Rocketballz Stage 2, 15°, 19°

Hybrid: Adams Super Hybrid, 22°

Irons: Mizuno MP54, 5-PW

Wedges: Cleveland 588 RTX 2.0 Tour Satin, 50°, 56°, 60°

Putter: Cleveland TFI 2135 Satin Cero

Ball: Titleist Pro V1x