Colin Wiles on top form at Inside Housing:
I did some more digging and discovered that there are around 2,000 18-hole golf courses in England as well as hundreds of smaller 9-hole and pitch and putt courses, and at least 600 golf driving ranges.
Each 18 hole course requires up to 90 hectares of land (including practice courses, clubhouses, car-parking etc) so my best estimate is that golfing establishments take up around 270,000 hectares in England – that's 2 percent of England's total land area of 13.4 million hectares.
Accurate figures are hard to come by, so if anyone can contradict my figures I would be pleased to amend them.
But by my reckoning English golf courses use an amount of land that is equivalent to one fifth of England's total built up area (10 percent of England is built upon) and could provide at least 8 million homes...
But it's also worth bearing in mind that golf courses drink huge amounts of water, are not particularly brimming with wildlife and are generally closed to public access.
Yet many countryside campaigners argue that we should not touch any greenfield land whatsoever, either because of its wildlife and amenity value or because we need every scrap of land to provide for our present and future food needs, or both.
Well in the case of horses and golf the food argument is spurious, and in the case of golf the wildlife and amenity argument is tenuous, at best. Some golf courses spoil the landscapes they occupy.
At the risk of boring the readers of this blog I repeat: There is no shortage of land in this country.