France, drought alert: golf courses in danger

The terrible drought that affects the country does not spare the golf courses of France. The many restrictions, depending on the level of alert decided by the prefectures, jeopardize the survival of certain routes. At the Federation, all the staff are on deck around Christophe Muniesa to try to find solutions and avoid a disaster.

President Pascal Grizot is on the front line to defend the sector in the face of criticism and stigmatization from certain elected officials and political leaders who do not hesitate to fire red balls at what they consider a privilege…

most often completely out of step with the use of the resource and the economic reality of these sports enterprises.

Golf, France

Much more than the long-awaited rain, it is a deluge of prefectural decrees that has been falling on France for a week: ban on filling your swimming pool, washing your car, closing public showers on the beaches…

Everyone knows the measures enacted to deal with the water shortage that affects most regions. Inevitably, this crisis is hitting golf courses hard with very severe restrictions governed by agreements between the public authorities and the French Golf Federation (FFG).

They follow a graduated scale of four levels according to the seriousness of the situation estimated by the Departmental Directions of the Territories and according to the water levels of each basin. It therefore sometimes happens that the alert levels differ for the municipalities of the same department.

In the Loiret, the situation therefore varies from one basin to another. The golf courses follow the evolution on the site of the prefecture. In Aisses, we are in the red zone on the temporary water use limitation map. This means that the state of “crisis” has been reached.

“It works by watershed. In Aisses, I can no longer water… Only the greens”, confides Christophe Berthet, the director of the Solognot course. A few kilometers further north, in Limère, in the commune of Ardon, the situation is hardly less dramatic.

“We are on heightened alert, so no watering of the fairways but the greens and tees are preserved. In Donnery, “we are only on alert, so restrictions at night but the fairways can be maintained with restrictions”, explains Maxime Adolphe-Louis, director of the Gaia-Concept golf courses in Limère and Donnery.

Michael C. Ford