The R&A Course Management Best Practice website www.bestcourseforgolf.org was launched twelve months ago to provide guidance on all aspects of course development and management. The site is a unique facility designed to support anyone planning to build a course or caring for an existing one and gives free access to extensive information and links to expert organisations around the world.
Clubs can register to access a secure area on the site which allows them to work through a series of relevant checklists, providing the ability to compare their own management procedures with the R&A’s view of best practice. In its first year, 970 clubs from 78 different countries have taken up this challenge by registering to the site and in this time, the site has seen over 23,000 unique visitors, with over 804,000 hits.
Clubs from as far apart as Singapore, Turkey, Bulgaria, New Zealand, Columbia, Argentina, Zambia and the U.S. have registered, with the geographical split being roughly 50/50 for GB&I and the rest of the world. After going through the disciplines on the site and completing the management procedures, each club will be awarded a certificate of best practice achievement.
Steve Isaac, assistant director – Golf Course Management, commented, “Our Golf Course Committee is delighted with the uptake to the site, and the favourable reaction it has had over its first year. Clearly, we want to see many more clubs registering and working the site, as this demonstrates the importance that golf places on best practice. This can only be good for the future development of the game in increasingly challenging times, both in terms of environmental stewardship and economic management.”
The site is updated twice a year and its future development will concentrate on providing supportive evidence, based on actual golf course case studies, for sustainable course management.