By Angela Fairhurst
Golf courses have long suffered from a reputation of being harmful to the environment. While this perception is not entirely unfounded, golf courses have made great strides in becoming more environmentally responsible in recent years. While some focus strictly on minimizing fresh water usage and planting drought-tolerant grasses, others are working outside the norm to implement sustainability practices that extend beyond the status quo.
The Ranch at Laguna Beach is a proud member of Beyond Green, a global portfolio of hotels, resorts, and lodges leading the way in sustainable tourism, and the resort’s nine-hole course is a GEO-certified facility. This certification from the GEO Foundation for Sustainable Golf recognizes facilities that demonstrate their commitment to environmental and social responsibility.
Carved into the naturally dramatic and lush walls of Aliso and Wood Canyons, The Ranch at Laguna Beach Golf Course provides an ultra-private playing experience that offers stunning views and elevation changes on every fairway. Keeping sustainability at the forefront, the bunkers are filled with sand created by crushed glass bottles offered to guests during their stay. The on-site bottle crusher not only reduces 90% of waste volume, but the sand is then also used to repair pavement and filter the pool. As a result, the resort produces an estimated 70 U.S. tons of sand annually, reducing the property’s waste volume by 90% and reducing the need to transport, dispose of, and process glass waste.
Of course, the resort also implements the tried-and-true standard to reduce its water usage, as well. To help maintain the 87 acres of land the property sits on, only reclaimed water is used through a partnership with the local water district. This ensures the golf course stays green in the most water-wise way possible and saves 20 million gallons of potable water each year.
Experientially, the course provides a unique and secluded opportunity to play a round truly immersed in nature due to its off-the-beaten-path location. Golfers are offered a quiet playing experience in a rare opportunity to observe and connect with local fauna, along with the convenience of speedy greens (due to a commitment to proper tee boxes and hole placements) to keep the game fast, fun, and inviting. The short course invites a laid-back atmosphere for novices, families, and avid golfers alike.
As a steward of its natural landscape, The Ranch at Laguna Beach launched the OC Tree Collective, a tree-planting initiative designed to reduce carbon emissions, capture water resources, and cool the temperatures in local communities. In partnership with The Ecology Center, a 28-acre regenerative organic farm in San Juan Capistrano, the resort’s new sustainability program invites guests to purchase and plant trees at these environmentally forward locations. A single tree is available for $50 and can be purchased at www.basecamplagunabeach.com, with 100% of donations directed to buying, planting, and caring for each planted tree. To learn more about The Ranch at Laguna Beach and its many sustainability initiatives, visit www.theranchlb.com.
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