The Golf Environment Organization (GEO) has published guidance for the sustainable development and renovation of golf facilities. Designed to support a wide audience including the international golf development community, plus government, environment and community-based organizations, the document sets out practical ideas to help golf projects comprehensively and consistently deliver against the mainstream sustainability agenda.
Sustainable Golf Development: Creating a Positive Legacy is freely available on the GEO website, golfenvironment.org/legacy/guidance in new easy-to-read online formats and also available to download or order in print. Launched this week in English and Chinese, Portuguese and Spanish editions are also underway.
Speaking from the launch at the China Golf Show in Beijing, GEO’s Chief Executive Jonathan Smith said: “We want to help people integrate the full range of sustainability issues throughout the unique and complex process of golf development and renovation—creating resource-efficient, ecologically rich, and community integrated golf facilities.”
The project has been delivered with financial, technical and in-kind support from The R&A, European Tour, European Golf Course Owners Association, the European Institute of Golf Course Architects, American Society of Golf Course Architects, Japanese Society of Golf Course Architects, Society of Australian Golf Course Architects, Oxford Economics and the United Nations Environment Programme.
The guidance is sponsored by international machinery supplier, Jacobsen, and the Chinese translation was provided through the Club Managers Association of America – China Chapter.
Smith added: “We are very grateful to all the valued partners and contributors and now look forward to helping teams deliver the guidance in the field via the GEO Legacy programme – which will help to maximize the integration of sustainability throughout planning, design and construction – leading to a new distinction, GEO Certified™ Golf Development.”
Alan Prickett, Managing Director, Jacobsen Asia Pacific said: “In the Asia Pacific region, and indeed worldwide, sustainability considerations are increasingly important to the future success and profitability of golf businesses. Sustainability should be at the forefront of golf development and this guidance is an important contribution that Jacobsen is very proud to sponsor.
“This project highlights exactly why we have supported GEO from the start – as a non-profit organization dedicated to sustainability in golf, they continue to deliver useful, high-quality resources and programmes.
Aywlin Tai, Director of the CMAA CC expressed his satisfaction on the availability of the guidance in Chinese: “Social and environmental issues are the largest external factors impacting the growth of golf inChina. Golf must fit the Chinese culture and landscapes, respecting and working for people and the environment. We are delighted to draw upon such considerable international knowledge and experience, and play a part in sharing it across the country as we develop the golf industry here inChina. Our sincere thanks go to Mr Lu Jun, a native golf architect who helped us to accomplish the huge task of Chinese translation work.”
Duncan Weir, Executive Director, Working for Golf at The R&A commented: “This project is part of our Working for Golf programme, through which we reinvest revenues from The Open Championship for the good of the game. We hope the guidance will support all those involved in the technically and politically challenging environment of golf development to realize successful outcomes which enhance the reputation of the game and showcase what golf can contribute to communities and their local environments”.
Theodore Oben, Head of Sport and Environment at the United Nations Environment Programme supported the announcement saying: “It’s heartening to see golf engaged in highly credible sustainability action. The amount and quality of guidance, education, practical programmes and communications is indicative of a sector that recognizes there is everything to gain and nothing to loose by embracing the subject. In conjunction with The R&A, European Tour and other industry bodies, GEO has helped to achieve another important milestone in the journey.”
Jeff Howes, Council Member of the European Institute of Golf Course Architects said: “This new guidance from GEO is an important step forward in the development of sustainable design solutions for golf and one which the European Institute of Golf Course Architects invests in and embraces. We encourage everyone involved in either the development of new golf courses or the renovation of existing courses to be guided by this important new resource. By doing so we can ensure that the golf industry leads the way in creating sustainable projects which have real social, economic and environmental benefits.”
President Rick Phelps, ASGCA, gave his support: “ASGCA commends GEO on its efforts to promote smart and sensible golf course development. Our members design and renovate golf courses in virtually every continent that work with the environment and balance environmental, economic and social concerns. The need for playable, sustainable courses is great, and I am proud of how ASGCA members work to make a positive impact for today and tomorrow.”
Helping golf establish leadership in environmental enhancement
GEO is a stakeholder-funded, not-for-profit organization, dedicated to helping the global golf community establish leadership in environmental enhancement and corporate responsibility. GEO Certified™ is the world’s most constructive and credible ecolabel for golf course and club management.
GEO works with golf, government and environmental organizations worldwide, including The European Tour, United Nations Environment Programme, The R&A and the Club Managers Association of America. For more information, please see: www.golfenvironment.org