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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.
Climate activists here in France went to golf courses and filled the holes with concreteFrance is facing massive droughts but golf greens have been exempted from water restrictions, so people are taking action https://t.co/VrJqczm3uuAugust 12, 2022
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.
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 studied Sports Journalism at Southampton Solent University, graduating in 2019. Now a freelance writer for Golf Monthly and the PGA, he covers all aspects of the game, from Tour news to equipment testing and buyers’ guides. Taking up the game at the age of six, Matt currently holds a handicap of 3 and despite not having a hole in one…yet, he has had two albatrosses. His favourite player is Rory McIlroy, despite nearly being struck by his second shot at the 17th during the 2015 BMW PGA Championship.
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