Royal North Devon Golf Club has become the first club in the UK to ban the use of plastic tees on its course.
From January 1, 2020, the historic Devonshire club’s pro shop will sell only wooden tees, with extra tee bins to be provided around the course to discard the inevitable increase in broken tees.
Royal North Devon, whose 155-year-old course is located on common ground adjacent to Westward Ho! Beach, and is grazed by sheep and horses, has made the move in order to protect local wildlife.
A statement on the club website said: “We have all seen golf tees lying around the course, both wooden and plastic. The simple fact is that plastic tees are more likely to harm the birds and animals we share our wonderful course with. The greenkeepers will also tell you that they can do a great deal more harm to their equipment than a wooden tee.
“So, from the start of the new decade we would like all golfers to only use wooden tees and the pro shop will only supply wooden tees. If you see a plastic tee (or a wooden one for that matter) that has been discarded please place it in one of the ‘tee bins’ provided. There will soon be more of these for the other tee areas.”
Club committee member Richard Hughes added: “We want to keep the golf course as clean and natural as possible. Birds pick up the plastic tees that are often garishly coloured and drop them all over the place, including on the beach and in the sea. We have found tees in birds nests before.”