Letters to the Editor: Golf courses in the desert during a drought — really, California?

·2 min read
PALM SPRINGS, CALIFORNIA - APRIL 3, 2020: A Palm Springs resident finds the serenity of a closed golf course the perfect place for afternoon reading during the coronavirus pandemic at Tahquitz Creek Golf Resort on April 3, 2020 in Palm Springs. All the golf courses are closed in the desert communities. Declining to give his name, he said he's reading a novel by German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche. Which seems very relevant during these times. Some of Nietzsche's famous quotes are, "To live is to suffer, to survive is to find meaning in the suffering," and "That which does not kill us makes us stronger." Also, "Without music, life would be a mistake."
A Palm Springs resident relaxes on a lush golf course closed because of the COVID-19 pandemic on April 3, 2020. (Los Angeles Times)

To the editor: In February 2009, we replaced the grass front lawn of our small San Fernando Valley home with California native plants. No rebate was ever received. Many plants are now large; some have died. We get compliments, and our yard was part of a study of native-plant gardens. ("Up to 1 million gallons of water ... a night? That's par for some desert golf courses," column, Oct. 9)

Our water usage has shrunk by 62%, saving more than 919,000 gallons of water and about $6,000 in Los Angeles Department of Water and Power charges since 2009. I like that.

I don't like knowing that one of the roughly 120 golf courses in the Coachella Valley blows through our entire 12-plus years of water savings in about nine hours, every single night.

In one part of the permanently drought-stricken four-fifths of Australia called "outback," golf course fairways are dirt and "greens" are compacted black sand. People play on them daily. Coachella Valley golfers and golf course owners, state water resource managers, water drinkers: Are you listening?

Chuck Almdale, North Hills

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To the editor: I have been bothered for a while about how California has been underutilizing the scant water we do have by growing snacks (almonds) and wine, and now I find out that millions of gallons daily are going to golf courses from a water source that is recharged by the imperiled Colorado River.

So there's plenty of water for snacks, wine and golf. Welcome to the hedonistic California Republic.

Jim Sangster, Ojai

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To the editor: As the members of the senior generation who moved to and developed the desert's golf resorts age and die off, what will be the need for these huge, useless expanses of green?

Toby Horn, Los Angeles

This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times.

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