Golf: Sustainability and the Environment:
There is a fair chance that you think about sustainability.
It is hard not to.
In a world with finite resources and growing population everything is under pressure. Are we doing enough? What will the future be like for our kids?
We know the world is changing so as golfers it is good to know sustainability is being addressed across our game too.
The games governing body, The Royal and Ancient in St Andrews is leading the way with research and resources to help clubs adapt for a changing future.
Want to know more? Check out their sustainability website here:
On the home front Australia has talented course superintendents and consultants helping courses improve their environmental credentials by addressing areas including:
-reducing water use and turf grass optimisation.
-storm water harvesting
-indigenous vegetation and biodiversity
-facilitation of pollinators and establishing bird habitat
Did you know selecting the right turf species for a site can reduce water and chemical inputs by 50%.
Check out Kate Torgersen’s work at Environmental Golf Solutions:
There is also significant research that shows targeted golf course maintenance practices provide significant environmental benefits. As urban open space is under increasing pressure for development the golf world is building a strong case that courses are a valuable public asset for environmental reasons, not just for the mental and physical benefits of participants.
One interesting area is research on turf maintenance and golf courses’ role as carbon sinks. It turns out carbon sequestration is a positive outcome of the frequency of mowing fairways and short grass areas. One researcher on turf’s carbon capture potential and expert on golf sustainability is Edwin Roald of Eureka Golf. He’s a passionate advocate for how golf courses can work in harmony with society and make a positive contribution to sustainability.
Interested? Check out this fascinating interview on The Thing About Golf Podcast here: https://www.golfaustralia.com.au/news/the-thing-about-golf-podcast-52-edwin-roald-571259
Golf courses are obviously significant when it comes to the game being sustainability yet so too is the gear we use and the clothes we wear. As we all assess our impacts and footprint it is good to know there are brands working towards greener futures.
When it comes to the products we use golf can definitely improve from plastic tees that don’t break down to equipment being shipped in plastic and bubble wrap.
Those keen for an ethical option should look to companies like Ocean Tee.
Ocean Tee was started by a golf obsessed former marine biologist. He saw waste, especially plastic making its way to the ocean, as problem golf needed to address.
The company’s first product were bamboo tees in recycled cardboard packs. They’ve expanded into apparel using sustainable merino wool; and recently have released a line of caps made from ocean salvaged bottles that you can even trace where the plastic was found.
Apparel is another area where the choice of sustainable options is increasing. A leader in this field is Adidas.
The global sportswear brand is committed to sustainability with the goal of using only recycled polyester in every poly product by 2024.
When it comes to cotton their focus is on conserving water, reducing waste and energy efficiency by replacing conventional cotton with that which is 100 percent sustainable.
Utilising their PRIME Blue technology Adidas also offers shoes made with recycled materials
Want to know more about Adidas’ collaboration with Parley Ocean Plastics read here:
Emajin Golf has recently partnered with Adidas so members can purchase online with a members discount.
As we seek to reduce our environmental impacts we can feel confident there has been progress across the game as golf looks towards a sustainable future.
The way things are headed golf courses will become seen not just as a sanctuary for those playing the game but also as bio diverse assets that play an integral part of our urban communities.
So what are you waiting for? Get out there and play your part. Support those committed to making our game better for all.
Reading and links:
Check out Ocean Tee here:
Waste2wear (makers of fabrics from ocean plastics)
Golf Courses and Biodiversity: The Conversation
Golf companies embracing Sustainability.
Beyond Birdies: Biodiversity on Urban golf courses:
The Environmental Benefits of golf courses
Greener Golf: Parker Anderson
The fried egg podcast: Bees and the future of golf