Will these golf resort destinations be around much longer?

Climate change could claim some of the world's great treasures.
A rendering of what an underwater Old Course (that's the R&A clubhouse filling up with seawater) could look like.

Summer is just around the corner, and you know what that means: blockbuster disaster movies on big screens across the world, depicting all sorts of crazy Doomsday scenarios.

Well, the Pulitzer Prizes were announced recently, and the winner in the Feature Writing category was New Yorker writer Kathryn Schulz's piece "The Really Big One," about the potential for a devastating earthquake along the Cascadia subduction zone, a barrier between a geological ocean plate and a land plate that runs down much of the Pacific Northwest United States.

Not that this would be a major concern in the grand scheme of things, but if "the big one" were to happen there or in Northern California, some of the world's favorite cliffside layouts could be tossed into the ocean or crumpled beyond use. So...let's hope that doesn't happen.

Unfortunately, earthquakes are not the only future global events threatening some of the world's favorite golf destinations...

Rising seas

No matter your stance on global climate change, it is demonstrably true that whatever the cause, sea levels have risen in the last few decades, causing beach erosion and the general encroachment of the sea on many golf courses. Abroad, many of the world's great links are under threat - particularly those in and around St. Andrews. Jan Bebbington, a professor at the University of St. Andrews, has predicted that The Old Course could find itself completely underwater as soon as 2050. Here's hoping that doesn't happen, either.

Stateside, the Links Course at Wild Dunes Resort has experienced the very real effects of rising sea levels and beach erosion. In the last couple years, it became necessary to shorten and move the 18th hole away from the advancing surf, as the Atlantic Ocean had carved away the original greensite. Other coastal courses like The Ocean Course at Kiawah Island, Sea Island's layouts and any number of Florida courses could face similar fates if sea levels continue to rise - and their rise continues to accelerate - in coming years.

Water shortages and restrictions

We are big fans of desert golf, but in light of the recent droughts across the West - particularly in California - many golf courses have been forced to cut back on their water usage, some by more than 25%. If such conditions continue, courses in places like Palm Springs and Phoenix/Scottsdale, which need a lot of water just to keep the grass alive - much less an unnatural shade of emerald green - will need to radically rethink their maintenance philosophies in order to keep serving golfers, who will in turn have to adjust their own expectations of what it means for a course to be "in good shape."

Water restictions have caused resorts like Pelican Hill to silence their sprinklers a little earlier than they'd prefer, but many golfers like the brown-tinged rough, especially as long as fairways and greens remain fun to play on.

At the risk of coming off as being totally doom-and-gloom, there is some good news on this front. Many courses out West have adapted capably to new realities of water usage, and the result has been firmer, faster playing surfaces, which golfers are increasingly regarding as perfectly acceptable compensation for any changes in grass color.

What are your thoughts on the potential threats Mother Nature poses to golf courses? Be sure to let us know in the comments!

Tim Gavrich is a Senior Writer for Golf Advisor. Follow him on Twitter @TimGavrich and on Instagram @TimGavrich.
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Some of these folks need to put their head out of their ...Data does not lie only liars lie....Wish something is not true does not change facts...The attitude of let our children die from this problem does not help anyone......Opportunity does not develop character but only reveals it...

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Let's get down to business, can we still get T-times at all of these courses that are in danger

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Can anyone get me a tee time to play at Tobacco Road before it goes under?

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Greatest load of BS ever wasted on this site. The IPCC the great propaganda tool of the warmists predicts a rise of between 0.28 and 0.98 metres by 2100. So even they would junk your ridiculous scare mongering.

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Thank God the vast majority of the commenters here have enough common sense to recognize MMGW as the mega-scam that it is. Of course we have the few Leftist alarmists blaming Fox News (I'm still trying to figure out what they have to do with this)and wetting their panties in protest. I have to agree with the prevailing view here towards GVI....stick to golf and stay out of politics.

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Amazing that none of these global-warming alarmists ever mention the hundreds of active and semi-active volcanos worldwide which are
spewing dirty, hot gases daily..
And speaking of hot gases, perhaps some of these minimally informed
amateurs, like the pope, should stick to subjects they know something about,
whatever those may be.

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Funny thing is, in 1970 the world was worried about the coming ICE AGE! Fox wasn't even around to tell you it wasn't. Too many assumptions have to be accepted before you can subscribe to the theory that man is causing Global Warming - excuse me, Climate Change -and that it is a bad thing.

The fact is, the climate has always been changing and to assume that its natural state is one of stasis is silly.The planet has been much warmer in previous epochs, none of which was due to anthropomorphic activity. It has also had periods when CO2 was much, much higher -during an Ice Age, no less.People also seem to overlook that these "scientists" have research grants and other funding to protect. Climatology is no more accurate than economics in accurately forecasting the future. Further, there is the assumption that man can deal with warming. There is also the tendency to overlook the benefits of warming such as longer growing seasons and increases in arable land. This is silly to even debate on a golf website.

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WOW .. "Greenland is called Greenland because it used to be green"... WOW ..
Are these folks for real .. "That global warming is all politics and no science"
Let's stick to golf ..
To many of these answer are by folks who have their heads in the sand .. I'm trying to keep it polite

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Global warming is a very real thing, and it is some very greedy, self-centered people who deny that. These people care little about the future of unborn millions like many of ancestors did. Their attitude is actually "eat, drink, and be merry because we are all going to die."

You see the wars on the news and the natural disasters, and one thing is obviously clear, but few mention this. The human race does not have the resources to fight war and take care of the growing number and intensity of natural disasters, many connected directly with global warming.

In other words, do not seek peace in the world because war is profitable, do not get serious about changing the energy we use because fossil fuels provide tons of jobs, and above all start cutting spending and never raise my taxes.

Sorry, but I have to add this one. Pope Francis is about as great and good a person as we have ever seen, but he is wrong on one point. It is time to stop worrying so much about populating the world. Again, we simply do not have the resources to face the challenges that lie ahead, and with some areas of the world increasing their populations at the biological maximum, you will actually cause more death and suffering in the future. Famine, war, disease, poverty---these are things that are going to really hurt, and a few changes in how we live now could help to avert a lot of that pain and sorrow.

As the seas rise, it will be impossible to continue living along the coasts to the extent we do now. Trump talks about a wall, and people laugh, but the project of building barriers to the rising seas will make that Trump wall look like a junior high science project. We need to get our heads out of the sand, set some priorities that make sense, stop thinking only about the present, and get to moving on solutions.

Last point: Sanders and Clinton talk about beating the Republicans, and the Republicans are talking about beating Hillary. Both parties are missing a huge point. The main problem facing our nation is the division that is here and continues to grow. I will get excited when some strong candidate starts talking about uniting the whole nation, and to a certain degree, the whole world. The problems facing the whole human race will require the greatest degree of total team effort in the history of this planet. And we will be a whole lot better off when we get that kind of unity. Too many people are acting like it is time for the end of the world, so just let it happen. That's BS regardless of who is saying it, and it is also a bunch of lazy, greedy people saying such destructive stuff. Ol Hank

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If Greenland has always (until recently) been covered with ice and snow, why the name "Greenland', I guess someone one was just being funny? No I believe Greenland was once green and is going to be again for a spell. climate cycles are much longer than man has been keeping track.

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