Look at these Japanese Golf Courses that have turned Solar


In an attempt to meet what they thought was going to be huge demand, Japan built a number of golf courses in the early 1990’s onwards. However, participation rates dropped and golf courses began to close as a result. Japan did not know what to do with their abandoned golf courses until Kyocera stepped in and decided to use them to generate solar power.

The idea being, golf courses are large areas of land, which are wide open to the elements. This makes them the perfect place for solar panels and in 2017, Japan’s first solar power ‘golf course’ will open and power over 8,000 homes. Solar panels have rolled out across a number of homes in the UK and there appears to be no reason why abandoned golf courses, could not be used to house huge numbers of the energy creating panels.

Currently in the UK, many people are trying to save their golf courses by inventing new ways to play. Signs have started to spring up around the country inviting people to play a round of Speed Golf, where the faster you play, the more points you can win. There has also been an increase in games such as frisbee golf and foot golf, which although completely different to the actual sport of golf, still make use of the space.

If there is any hope golf will see a rise in membership once more in the UK, we should be doing everything we can to encourage it. However, if things are to continue as they are, the UK could do a lot worse than take Japan’s lead and use the space to create solar energy for the population which would in part help UK energy requirements.

Could this happen in the UK?

Golf is a sport which requires practice if you want to reach a good standard and for many amateurs, this means a lot of practice. Golf is a difficult sport to master and therefore it requires plenty of time and attention. Not only that, it can be very expensive to play regularly.

In the modern day, it’s estimated father’s have an average of about 2.5 hours per week to play sport and mothers even less than that. People simply do not have the time for golf or when they do, especially in the winter months, it’s a vacation to Spain or Portugal. Gone are the days of a golfer being tied to one course, people like to travel and it’s become much easier to jump on a plane with a set of clubs and head somewhere warm for the weekend.

The amount of people playing golf has declined by more than a quarter in the UK since 2007. In England alone, club membership dropped by 20% between 2004 and 2013 and shows no sign of picking up. The UK is not the only place to suffer a significant drop in golf membership and participation, the same can be said in Australia and Japan. Both countries have lost 40% of their golfers, who were active in the 1990’s and this has led to golf course closures, similar to what is currently happening in the UK.

One of the biggest questions facing the UK, is what to actually do with the golf courses when a club closes its doors for the final time. Looking at Japan, maybe Solar is the answer.

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