Wales Golf has received a grant of £105,000 from the Welsh government to help clubs introduce measures to enhance their sustainability.
The grant will continue to grow golf’s positive contribution to the environment and communities and to strive to have a positive leadership influence in society.
Key themes will include fostering nature, strengthening communities, conserving resources and taking climate action to reduce emissions and increase carbon storage in nature-rich golf courses, with grants of up to £5,000 per club.
The strengthened initiative is supported by Sport Wales and Welsh Government, delivered in partnership with the GEO Foundation for Sustainable Golf.
Wales Golf chief executive Hannah McAllister said, “This is a significant move in not just integrating sustainability into our new whole sport strategy; but in moving swiftly into effective and meaningful implementation. It will be delivered in a way that strengthens and supports our clubs, generates pride amongst current and future golfers, and increases the positive multipliers the sport of golf is capable of delivering. We are grateful for the impetus provided by our government partners and also the expertise and ready-made solutions provided by the GEO Foundation.”
The GEO Foundation for Sustainable Golf is an international not-for-profit organisation, founded sixteen years ago to help inspire, support, and reward credible sustainability action and to strengthen and promote golf’s social and environmental value. The organisation remains the only one in the world entirely dedicated to this mission.
The Wales Golf Sustainable Innovation Grant Scheme is financial support for clubs to begin embedding sustainability within their club’s operation. To support Welsh Golf Clubs, Wales Golf working alongside the GEO Foundation have developed OnCourseWales – an online application that has been custom-built to help golf course and club managers, committees and staff teams to integrate sustainability across operations. The OnCourseWales website and the Sustainable Innovation Grant Scheme will be launched in March 2022.
The fund is limited and will be released in two waves, the first of which is a kickstarter fund available during March/April which will be for projects costing between £500-£3,000. The second tranche will be available in August/September for projects up to £5,000.
Dawn Bowden, the Welsh government’s Deputy Minister for Arts and Sport, said: “We are delighted to support this important step by Wales Golf to further improve the environmental performance of our wonderful golf courses which already do so much to provide vital leisure spaces, attract visitors and increase sport participation.
“Golf recognises that it has responsibility for the sensitive management of critical natural resources and stewardship of ecological hot spots and fantastic green spaces and we are pleased to able to support this important work and their on-going collaboration with the GEO Foundation for Sustainable Golf.
“As we prepare to host both the 2023 Senior Open Championship and the 2025 Womens’ British Open here in Wales, it is vital that we stand prepared for the very latest developments in responsible golf management.”
Brian Davies, Sport Wales’ Acting CEO, added: “We commend and support Wales Golf and other partners who are expressing a strengthened commitment to be at the forefront of sustainability and climate action. It’s an important agenda for us all, and we look forward to seeing the positive impact of Wales Golf’s work and any potential shared learning there might be for the sector.”