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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 fairway flanked by natural areas

Photo: Old Collier Golf Club

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Old Collier Golf Club, Naples, Fla.

The folks behind The Old Collier Golf Club in Naples, Fla., take their commitment to the environment so seriously that they found and tested a special kind of grass that thrives in salty soils. This allows them to use salty and brackish water on the grass instead of drawing from fresh water sources. In 2001, the course was recognized as the first International Certified Gold Signature Sanctuary Golf Club (phew, that's a mouthful) by the Audubon Society. 

The course sits on 267 acres of land, but only 77 of those acres are turfed for play. Another 50 acres are mangrove and wetland habitat, and 109 acres serve as native habitat corridors to allow wildlife clear passage between and through the course. 

Old Collier also has a pest management plan that places a premium on reducing the use of chemical pesticides and fertilizers, and uses 100 percent recycled plastics to build bridge surfaces, benches, water coolers and trash cans.