Golf and the environmental politics of modernization

Brad Millington, Brian Wilson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Citations (SciVal)
71 Downloads (Pure)


In this critical review we reflect on findings from a socio-historical study of golf’s relationship with the environment. We focus especially on the golf industry’s pursuit of modernization from the early 1900s to the present. Golf’s quest to ‘be’ modern, we contend, has specifically constituted three particular ‘turns’: a first turn in the early 1900s involving the scientific rationalization of golf course development and maintenance; a second, ‘exemptionalist’ turn in the post-war years whereby science and technology fueled a perception of immense control over nature; and a third, more recent turn to ecological modernization (EM) whereby science and technology are leveraged toward environmental stewardship – or at least claims thereof. We ultimately argue that the golf industry’s recent adoption of EM principles in their environment-related work has political implications, as it ‘protects’ the industry from more radical environmental alternatives.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)37-40
Number of pages4
Early online date19 Sept 2015
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2015


Dive into the research topics of 'Golf and the environmental politics of modernization'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this