The trend toward sustainability in our actions and activities is something on the minds of everyone so here I want to share some ways that sustainability and golf are intersecting and explore some ways we can all golf in a way that’s better for our planet.
Golfing sustainably is something that everyone should keep in mind. Beginners, experts and every golfer in between can benefit from the sport moving in an eco-friendly direction. Small changes in everyday choices can add up over time.
Sustainable Golf Leading the Way
The Sustainable Golf Initiative is an organization with a mission to help golfers and courses operate in an environmentally sustainable fashion. They help courses with best practices in running environmentally friendly operations. They are also involved in sponsoring several events and initiatives to move the sport of golf in a green direction including an annual sustainable golf week event which brings together major stakeholders in the game.
Finding a Sustainable Golf Course.
Sustainable golf has a worldwide comprehensive list of courses that meet the environmental standards set out by the GEO Foundation for Sustainable Golf via the OnCourse program certificate.
What is the OnCourse Certification?
The OnCourse programmes provide tools and best practices for facilities, new developments, tournaments, associations and players. Some of these include carbon measurement, reduction and mitigation.
They also ensure that courses are keeping up with the latest science and approach to sustainability, ensuring credibility, and helping to nurture innovation. Finally, they are involved in tracking and collating data and stories to support industry insights, external relations and the celebration of golf’s progress and contributions.
What Are Some Ways To Make Golf Tournaments Sustainable?
The tournament scene is undergoing changes in the post pandemic world and in the face of rising climate change awareness. Finding tournamnets and events that promote sustainability is one way you can make sure your actions are enviromentally ethical. Sustainable Golf has some information about tournaments that are workjing in this direction. They work to set new standards in running them while minimizing environmental impacts. From bamboo golf tees, carbon reduction and ethical procurement to comprehensive strategies for leading tours and major tournaments here is a snapshot of examples from around the world.
If you are involoved in hoisting or running an event, try to make even one small change to promote sustainability. If everyone makes positive small changes they add up to big changes!
Golf balls are like eggs. They’re white, they’re sold by the dozen, and a week later you have to buy some more.
What Are Biodegradable Golf Balls
We have all lost a ball or two in the drink and haven’t thought twice about it. Balls are lost every day and are easy to replace.
Unfortunately lost balls do have a negative environmental impact. They can take 100 to 1000 years to break down and could release toxic chemicals and microplastics into the environment as they do.
One solution to this is to use a biodegradable golf ball when you are certain you are not going to get the ball back.
For instance, if you are driving balls into a body of water for fun these are a guilt-free way to do that because they fully break down when exposed to water. Biodegradable Golf Balls are available on Amazon.
Green Golf Tees
Wooden or bamboo tees are probably the easiest and cheapest way to green your game and I have written about plastic vs wooden tees in the past. We all know plastic tees are not great for the environment.
Bamboo tees are the gold standard for environmentally friendly golf tees. Look for ones with no coating. Bamboo tees are stronger and bamboo grows much faster than the tree making it a better choice.
Choosing a durable steel shaft
Steel shafts are not for everyone. With that in mind if you are really on the fence about the choice of shaft material choose something that is durable and high quality and that you can play with for years to come.
Dressing for the occasion
The fashion industry is pivoting away from disposable fast fashion and golf apparel manufacturers are on board. All the major brands are releasing product lines that feature sustainable durable materials.
Companies like Ocean Tee Golf operate exclusively in the eco-friendly golf clothing market.
You can look great and be comofrtable while maintaining your performance and know that you are minimizing your imopact on the enviroment by slecting a wardraobe that does the same.
Recycled and Upcycled Golf Supplies
Buying recycled balls is a great way to divert some gently used golf balls that would normally be destined for the landfill. Many major retailers offer used golf balls that pass quality standards.
Upcycling is taking old items and turning them into something new and fantastic! A great example of this in golf is Western Gale Golf Covers who make excellent club covers out sails.
When you upgrade to your next set of clubs, consider donating the old ones. Ask around your course to find local organizations that you would be happy to donate equipment to. There is also First Tee which accepts donations of equipment, they are a charity that helps kids in need via golf.
Many ways to make a change.
There are many ways the sport of golf is moving in an environmentally friendly direction. There is no shortage of good ideas, initiatives and things everyone can do to help. It is in the act of thinking “how can this be better for the planet” that really makes a difference, the mindset of the green golfer is spreading! Get creative and don’t limit yourself to what is already being done, try to think of ways to do better and we can all keep enjoying this great sport and planet for many years to come.