Empordà Golf Resort in Spain has introduced a permanent smoking ban for golfers playing its Forest course in order to reduce the risk of fire at the Costa Brava-based venue.
One of the first courses in Spain to become smoke-free, the new rules came into force on July 15, while all members and guests playing Empordà’s other 18-hole championship course, the Links, are being provided with a cone-like ashtray container before teeing off to avoid used cigarette filters being left on the course.
Miguel Girbés, general manager at Empordà Golf Resort, said: “There is a high risk that a cigarette butt activated by the wind can cause a serious fire, and that has led us to take the decision on the Forest course. The new measures have been introduced to help us keep both courses in the best possible condition, and we would like to thank all smokers in advance for their understanding and support.”
Smoking bans have often been introduced on golf courses during heatwaves to reduce the risk of fire, as was the case in 2018, when Royal Birkdale and Knighton Heath, along with several other clubs in the UK. imposed a temporary smoking ban, but Empordà is believed to be the first to introduce a total ban.