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Sunday, October 21, 2007

Dry times: Georgia drought fraying nerves, browning courses

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    It may not be related to global warming, but some folks in Georgia probably have Al Gore on their minds.  More than half the state is suffering through the worst drought ever, the governor is upset with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for not stopping the flow of Georgia reservoir water to Florida, and golf courses in the Peach State are starting to show the affects.  By some estimates, the city of Atlanta has about three months of drinking water left.
    I am staying north of Atlanta, near Lake Lanier, and the headlines in all the local papers are about how the lake has become dangerously low.  The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported today that Georgia Governor Sonny Perdue has appealed to the U.S. Government for disaster relief and to stop the previously contracted flow of water from Lake Lanier to Florida, where it is needed to protect a population of endangered mussels.  The governor and other legislators have gone after the U.S Army Corps of Engineers and the Department of Fish and Wildlife for "putting mussels ahead of people."
    I drove around the Royal Lakes Golf Club course today following a group of collegiate golfers who will participate in the Oglethorpe College Royal Lakes tournament Monday and Tuesday.  The course, just a few miles from Lake Lanier, was surprisingly green, but the lakes were low, water having been pumped from them onto the course.  Some brown patches are starting to show, especially on the higher sides of the sloping fairways where there is more runoff.  So far, the greens remain green.
    In the Journal-Constitution today, a letter to the editor took local state officials to task for continuing to water the state-run golf courses in lieu of more attention to "native areas of our parks [that] encourage people to get their recreation through hiking, walking, biking..."
    The lines are being drawn, and here's hoping the rain promised in the next few days is enough to still the accusations and help the golf courses, and mussels, survive.

Read 3183 times Last modified on Sunday, 21 October 2007 16:25
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Larry Gavrich

This blog was conceived and is published by me, Larry Gavrich, a former corporate communications executive who founded HomeOnTheCourse, LLC, in 2005.  Our firm advises baby boomers and others seeking a lifestyle in which golf is a major component.  My wife Connie and I own a home in Connecticut (not on a golf course) and a condo at Pawleys Plantation in Pawleys Island, SC, on a Jack Nicklaus layout.  We began our search for our home on the course more than 15 years ago, and the challenges of the search inspired me to research golf communities and write objective reviews of them.