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5 of the greenest golf courses in the world

By: Shea Gunther on June 17, 2011, 12:57 p.m.
golf course with trees, mist

Photo: Hirsala Golf

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Hirsala Golf, Finland

The Finns are particular about protecting their environment. Forest covers 86 percent of the country, and its 187,888 lakes are home to hundreds of thousands of weekend getaway cabins. The Finnish people love the outdoors, even when it's cold and they're appreciating it from inside their saunas (a standard feature in most Finnish homes and apartments). It makes sense that the owners of Hirsala Golf in Kikkonummi, Finland, would appeal to this environmental ethic. 

Hirsala Golf is located in a forest in east Kikkonummi and was carefully constructed to minimize disturbing sensitive habitats. The course doesn't feel so much carved out of the woods as it does a natural extension of the landscape. There are large areas of protected wetlands, and two rare, protected and notable species (the black woodpecker and hazel grouse) were found during a survey. They've paid special attention to creating habitat corridors to allow wildlife to move about freely and have introduced a policy to avoid any fragmentation of habitat.