Golf in the Gulf and climate change


Sir, – I lived in Bahrain in the 80s and I returned a few years ago for a reunion and visited Awali golf club where I had been an active member.

It was a desert course with browns instead of greens, a piece of astroturf being used on the fairways. There was no irrigation except for a small ornamental garden at the entrance.

There is now a grass course across the road from the desert  course. The naturally occurring fresh water for which Bahrain had been renowned for centuries has long since disappeared due to over abstraction. All “fresh water” is now produced by energy intensive reverse osmosis, traffic is bumper to bumper and the once crystal clear skies are now obscured by photochemical haze.

This situation is replicated all over the Gulf as hydrocarbons are cheap and plentiful. With the effects of global warming becoming more and more apparent, is it reasonable that major international golf events are held in countries where green fairways can only be created and maintained by substantial burning of hydrocarbons?

– Yours, etc,


Rocklands, Wexford.