Return golf course to natural state


Photo Courtesy of Marin Visitors Buereau

The San Geronimo golf course is in an awkward limbo, bought by the Trust for Public Land, the County hopes to buy it.

Henry Persily, Reporter

The San Geronimo Golf Course opened in 1967 and served golfers around the county as a beautiful course in a scenic setting. Now the future of the course in up in the air.

The course should be closed so Marin County Parks can return the land to its natural state.

This will allow Marin county residents to enjoy the land where the course is located and will protect the environment in Marin. This plan would support the recovery of the endangered coho salmon.

It is true that Marin County golfers enjoyed the land, however, removing it would allow the land to be used by more people.

In November 2017 the Marin County Board of Supervisors approved the purchase of the course. The county has now reached an agreement to allow golf to continue on the course for the next two years.

During this time, funding is being secured for the county to purchase the land from the Trust for Public Land by as soon as the end of 2018.

While this golf course is undoubtedly one of the nicest in Marin County, the juice is not worth the squeeze.

In recent years, business has faltered, the number of rounds played are down and profits have declined. The course just isn’t viable anymore.

“Given the nationwide trend, our best guess is if we did not purchase the property, the best use of the land under private ownership would not involve golf in the long run,” Marin County Supervisor Matthew Hymel said.

Golf course closings have outpaced openings in the past 10 years.

In Marin County Parks application to the Wildlife Conservation Board for the closing of the golf course will have advantages. The closing of one of the largest water users in Marin County would increase water flow into creeks in the area around the course.

The return of about six million gallons of water to the Marin Municipal Water District and the end to 32 chemicals used for golf course maintenance will help the environment. Over 20 of these chemicals have harmful effects on birds and fish.

Golf courses require vasts amounts of water and pesticides to maintain. In a drought-prone state like California, it seems a waste to keep golf courses green.

The pesticides and chemicals that are used to kill weeds and keep the golf course looking nice do damage to the environment. In a county that prides itself on its environmental friendliness, we need to take action.

Remove or keep the golf course, the decision will signal how Marinites really feel about the environment.