Global Edition

Golf in China sets OnCourse® for a sustainable future

12.56pm 15th December 2018 - Management Topics

Golf clubs across China now have access to a fully translated, custom built sustainability support program – OnCourse® China. Developed and assured by GEO Foundation, the program is being promoted in close strategic partnership with GCMC (Golf Club Managers Committee).

OnCourse® China Voluntary Steering Group (from left) Mr Jacky Wang, Senior Superintendent; Dr Jimmy Zhang, Professor at South China Agricultural University; Mr Jun Lu, Golf Course Architect; Dr Alywin Tai, CCM; Mr Jonathan Smith, GEO Foundation Executive Director; Ms Tina Zhang, CCM; Dr John Zhao, CCM; Mr Chris So, CCM

Since being introduced to club managers and superintendents at the Foshan Open 2018 Culture and Industry Symposium in October, 15 leading Chinese golf clubs have already signed up, and another 10 are committed to join early in 2019.

OnCourse® China, and the associated GEO Certified® sustainability label, have been adopted (and adapted) to make it easier for clubs across the country to fully integrate environmental and social best practices into their operations, as well as their golfer and public communications.

At the same time, a new Sustainability Steering Group has been set up to guide the further development and promotion of OnCourse® China, and help communicate and share the nature, resources and community highlights that emerge from clubs on the ground.

GEO Foundation Executive Director, Jonathan Smith said: “We are absolutely delighted to be officially launching OnCourse® China, with such motivated partners and guided by such enthusiastic and knowledgeable people on the voluntary Steering Group. We’d like to commend all the clubs that have already signed up and are showing their commitment to a strong and sustainable future and look forward to supporting and recognising their sustainability efforts over the years ahead.

“There is a tremendous opportunity for golf in China to step forward proactively, collectively and credibly to show how the sport can bring significant net positive impacts to people and the environment.

“We’d like to thank our key strategic and regional partners for their support in the ongoing development and roll out of the program, in particular The R&A, Vidauban Foundation, Toro Foundation, Textron Golf, IAGTO and Asian Golf Industry Federation.”

Aylwin Tai, CCM and Director of GCMC said: “The movement in sustainability is happening quickly across China and it is important for golf clubs to keep up – and ideally to be positioned as positive leaders and influencers in their local areas. The OnCourse® China program makes achieving this clear and practical, providing ready-made structure of priority themes and action areas; best practice self checklists; confidential data recording and tracking; and communications materials. It also provides a clear pathway to the internationally accredited and recognized GEO Certified® label.

“We are excited by the prospect of many Chinese golf clubs joining OnCourse® China and gaining international recognition in the coming months. The voluntary Steering Group is proud to serve this important project, making sure it serves clubs and the industry, and share the new ideas, stories and insights that emerge from the OnCourse® China platform.”

OnCourse® Partners

OnCourse® is supported by a number of golf industry organisations. The R&A and Vidauban Foundation are strategic partners, with over 30 other international and national golf associations also involved in co-developing and promoting the program, including federations; greenkeeper, owner, club manager and professional golf associations; tourism associations and tours.

OnCourse® and GEO Certified® are accredited by the ISEAL Alliance and commended by a range of governmental and NGO organisations.

Getting involved

Getting started in OnCourse® China could not be easier!

  • Register your club in five minutes –
  • Create your OnCourse Team
  • Download and read the User Guide
  • Organise an initial team meeting
  • Delegate a few simple tasks
    • initial self-assessment of strengths and weaknesses for course and clubhouse
    • identify a few new projects
    • create some immediate Highlights
    • start to organise your sustainability data and performance indicators
  • Meet again to review strengths, weaknesses, highlights, projects and targets
    • Consider applying for a Sustainability Award (Nature, Resources or Community)
    • Consider a timeline for achieving GEO Certified®



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