The main goal of the paper is an evaluation of the dynamics of golf course (hereafter GC[s]) construction in the Czech Republic (hereafter CR) after 1990 and an assessment of the impacts and the consequences of the GCs on the landscape. The construction of the GCs was evaluated from the point of view of the physical-geography with regards to human geography aspects with a focus on an assessment in relation to climatic, soil, hydrological parameters, land use and financial aspects. The paper is to present the localisation and the geographical description of the GCs and their assessment in the different regions of the CR. An original database was created for the purpose of the localisation and complex evaluation of all the GCs in the CR. The analysis was carried out on 114 GCs in the CR. These GCs covered a surface area of ca. 5106 ha, i.e., 0.06% of the total area of the CR in 2016. A significant share of the GCs was built on agricultural land with high quality (more than 34%), which is clearly a negative phenomenon. The reason for the construction of a large number of GCs on some high-yielding soils can be seen: a) in the low land price, b) in the low rent, c) in the negative results of entrepreneurial income (or in the surplus) of agricultural production up to the accession of the Czech Republic to the EU and d) the distance from large cities (location in regions) and spa town with rich clients. By 2004, the majority of the GCs had been built in the CR already. From the point of view land use, a total of 51% of the GCs area was registered as agricultural land in the Cadastre Land Register. Of the agricultural land, the largest share (35%) was registered as arable land and approximately one third of the GCs occupied permanent grassland. On the contrary, the other area, which should form the majority of GCs, because its areas are registered for sport activities, only accounted for 37% of the golf resorts’ area in the CR. The GCs were also built on areas affected by human activity (mines, landfills, fly ash). The area of the GCs in the reclaimed territory was approximately 942 ha, i.e., more than 18% of the total GCs area. The reclamation of such territories by the construction of GCs is one of the variants of the use of such territories. Having assessed the climatic characteristics, it was determined that 20 out of the total of 114 GCs were endangered by potential drought. The theoretical and actual water demand for the irrigation of 9 selected GCs in drought-affected areas has been compared. It can be stated that all the selected GCs manage the irrigation water very well, the actual consumption is in line with the theoretical need. The observed difference in water between the calculated theoretical and realised irrigation of the GCs in mm/m2 of irrigated area, ranges from -10.8 mm to + 9.7 mm in 1 month for an individual GC. The study by model “runoff curve numbers” (CN) showed a positive impact of the grassland in the areas of GCs with regards to the direct runoff. The hydrological impact of grassing the arable land is positive, since it contributes to the retention and accumulation of water in the catchment area.
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Land Use Policy is an international and interdisciplinary journal concerned with the social, economic, political, legal, physical and planning aspects of urban and rural land use. It provides a forum for the exchange of ideas and information from the diverse range of disciplines and interest groups which must be combined to formulate effective land use policies.
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