July 27, 2008

Pix of Pechanga golf course

The Journey at Pechanga golf course--July 25, 2008

After attending the San Diego Comic-Con Thursday, I stayed overnight in Temecula. The next day we got a personal tour of the new Journey at Pechanga golf course.

As readers of this blog may imagine, my feelings about golf courses are mixed at best. Using all that land for a "sport" that barely requires physical exertion seems like a waste. It's not as bad as all-terrain vehicles and snowmobiles that chew up the landscape and spit out pollution, but it's not environmentally correct either.

But this golf course--and others like it on Indian reservations--are about as good as golf courses get. They use reclaimed water and native plants. They minimize the gouging of the earth and the removal of trees. The artificial lakes attract water birds such as ducks and egrets. The winding pathways take you up into the hills--closer to nature than you'd be able to achieve on your own. And the touches of Luiseño culture remind you how Indians used to live and that Indians still own the land.

If I were the Pechanga tribe, I'd go even further with the cultural touches. It could add markers explaining tribal lore...replicas of artifacts such as grinding stones or baskets...even statues of Luiseño Indians going about their lives. For those who care, there should be enough culture that they actually may learn something about the Pechanga people.

Below:  The type of cultural reminder that would work well on the golf course.

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