Climate Change Interview 6: Golf Course Owner (Phil) - Gen X - Cottage Grove, Wisconsin

Updated: Feb 20



Live Interview

Phil Frederickson – Gen X – Golf Course Owner – Cottage Grove, Wisconsin - Husband and father of two boys


1. What are your thoughts when you hear that the climate is warming, the environment is being destroyed and that humans are the cause?


I agree with it and I think it is moving very rapidly. The human race is doing damage. It worries me for my kids and grandkids. I’m not worried for me but for the future generations, definitely.


2. In your mind what are the driving forces of climate change and environmental degradation?


Well, I’d say it is a wide variety of forces and everyone is doing their share. A lot more people are doing their share to destroy the environment than to help it. That’s my opinion. I don’t really know that much about all the causes, I just know it is getting bad.


3. Has your life been affected in any way? If so, how?


Personally no. From a business standpoint, yes it is. In some ways more good than bad. Obviously, golfing in December and January is a good thing for us. I’d say it is helping, but when you think about it a guess it is a little hard to say because you have the other side of it. All the rains aren’t helping. I would rather have normal weather than this weather. Its very hard to plan with things the way they are.


The whole global changing weather isn’t helping. We have seen a longer season in the Fall but a shorter Spring. In the last two years the weather has definitely shifted – shorter Spring, longer Fall. That has affected my pocketbook more negatively than positively. For example, this October was just garbage.


We have 200 acres here at the course. In the past few years there is a lot more water that doesn’t go away as quickly. There is more standing water and more damaged areas.


4. In your opinion, what needs to be done?

I don’t want to sound like a commercial but everyone needs to do their part. We could do a better job recycling on our end. That has an effect for sure. We tend to mix a lot of things together. We plan on doing a better job with that next year.


From a business standpoint, given the business we are in, herbicides we have to continue to use. There are some signs that the golf industry is aware of the problems and making some changes. For instance, there are now mowers that run on recycled vegetable oil, if you can afford one.


5. Do you consider yourself a part of the problem or a part of the solution? Why?


I consider us part of the problem. We are in a business where if we don’t do what needs to be done to a golf course we won’t be in business long. We are not looking for more regulations either. The water regulations in California, for instance, have pushed courses to the brink. The Club I used to work at got fined $35,000 for too much water usage. So now a lot of courses are going to desert-scape. So now the desert-scape companies are doubling their prices because courses are almost being forced to put them in.


6. What do you think the long-term outcome of climate change and environmental degradation will be?


I think after I’m long gone……. You know I really don’t know what’s going to happen. That’s a great question. Maybe it will turn into a Siberia or something. I don’t know. There is probably a solution but at what cost? What cost to people’s quality of life, you know what I mean? I don’t know what the solution is and I don’t know what it is going to be like in 50 or 100 years.

It’s something I won’t need to worry about but it is something my grandchildren will have to worry about. Hopefully they are smarter than we are. I mean its not my Dad’s problem anymore, he is gone. I’ll be gone and it will become my kids problem. I’m just being honest.

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