18 January 2017

Two big steps for sustainability in golf

The Federation of European Golf Greenkeepers Association (FEGGA) has developed a new strategy for sustainable golf course management and San Francisco’s Olympic Club has become the first club in North America to release a Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) report.

FEGGA's 24 European national greenkeeping organisations will promote and endorse the association's plan, which 'embraces golf's potential to produce multiple benefits for nature and man'.

The plan outlines a three-dimensional sustainability strategy for the industry.

It focuses on achieving positive results in resource consumption, biodiversity, waste, pollution and extent of managed turf.

Other areas include research and education, and improving transparency and developing community outreach.

Olafur Thor Agustsson, Chairman of FEGGA, said: "This is the first time that the daily practitioners of golf's grassroots movement agree on a strategy for such an important aspect of our industry's future”.

FEGGA has released a document showing how progress will be monitored and how awareness of the strategy will be raised.

Steve Isaac, Director of Sustainability at R&A, said: "It is extremely encouraging to see the greenkeeping profession in Europe, through FEGGA, promoting sustainability for golf course management…The R&A has led this cause, but only the implementation of accepted best practice by the professionals who care for our golf courses, and transparent reporting through systems such as OnCourse, will convince everyone that the sport can bring economic, environmental and social benefits.”

In addition, the R&A will host two Sustainability in Golf seminars in Japan and Korea, exploring sustainable practice to encourage responsible and practical golf facility development, renovation and course management and a wide range of issues including the social and environmental opportunities and threats facing the development and management of golf facilities.

Elsewhere in the golf community, San Francisco’s Olympic Club has become the first club in North America to release a comprehensive Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) report, detailing transparency in operations related to the environment, community, and economy as well as showing the aesthetics, performance, and playability of a top 100 course.

Water management plays an important role in The Olympic Club’s pursuit of sustainability.

The Olympic Club reports it recycles 97 per cent of the water used at its golf course, compared to an average of 25 per cent for all golf courses in the United States.

The report was developed in partnership with consulting firm IMPACT360 Sports.

Audrey McCormick, Co-Founder of IMPACT360 Sports and former professional golfer, said:  “The Olympic Club is elevating its commitment to the environment, diversity, and community within an industry that needs to embrace sustainability to grow the game… Fans and future golfers are going to align with athletes and courses that share their values. CSR reporting and sustainability will be increasingly important.”

Join us at Sustainable Innovation in Sport 2017 – a two day meeting bringing together stakeholders and influencers who are engendering positive environmental impacts through sport, on the 22-23 February 2017, in Munich.  For more information and to register, visit:

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