Teeing Off With Corn Starch
When we first read this story about the environmental superiority of bioderadable cornstarch golf tees in comparison to ordinary plastic or wooden tees, it was right after a visit to The Onion, lending an absurdist flavor to the claim. Could 15 million biodegradable golf tees a month really make a positive difference to the environment? All green upstarts deserve a fair shake, so let’s let the market tell the tale. According to the Fort Wayne Journal Gazette , Disney is the biggest customer for the starch tees. Big company. That's a hint. Perhaps the real advantage is that money is saved if the grounds crew has less picking up to do?
This theory was corroborated by an Asian competitor's advertisement (pardon the grammar and spelling). "While biodegradable golf tee is discarded on the golf course, microorganism in the nature would erode biodegradable golftee, which finally decomposes to water and releases harmless carbon dioxide. Conventional plastic golf tee however, will not degrade for 60 years at least. It is not practical to collect and pick the discarded golf tee from the grass land. Golf course has a lot of grass and plant, where microorganism is enough for decomposing biodegradable golf peg".
So that's it. Course owners get to save on maintenance by encouraging use of biodegradable "pegs". The disadvantage of all starch tees? Generations from now, anthropologists will be completely confused about golfing, assuming that the use of the tee was abandoned in the late 21'st Century. Meanwhile, a bit more focus on how golfers get to and from the course would be of greater utility, we think.
=== UPDATE ====
There's an aspect to this story we forgot about during the original posting. Wooden tees, and golf balls to a lessor degree, are a stormwater management issue. Can't look very nice for the downstream neighbors have white bits of flotsam on the stream bank.