Environmental issues now affect all golf course development and management operations. Golf courses are now built and operated in a society where environmental protection and enhancement are high profile and high priority.
Key environmental issues relevant to golf include:
- climate change
- the conservation of water resources
- the conservation of biodiversity
- avoidance of pollution
- efficient use of natural resources – waste management and energy efficiency
- landscape and visual impacts
- cultural heritage and archaeology
An increasing amount of legislation and regulation, affecting all land users and businesses, is now relevant to golf. However, the European Golf Association believes golf has a great deal to gain by addressing legislative requirements and demonstrating a voluntary commitment to stewardship of the environment.
The EGA promotes the establishment of national golf environment initiatives and the adoption of environmental management plans within golf facilities.
For more information refer to the links page
The R&A Golf Course Committee – 2002 onwards
The R&A provides best practice guidance on all aspects of golf course management, with specific references to ecological and conservation issues. The work carried out by the R&A Golf Course Committee will help to grow the game of golf in a commercially and environmentally sustainablly way. The best practice guidelines-website is an important part of the commitment of the R&A to that aim.
Golf Environment Organization – 2005 onwards
Golf Environment Organization and the European Forum for Golf and Environment is an independently operated, stakeholder led initiative which was founded by the leading persons of the former Committed to Green Programme.
Since 2005 the European Forum for Golf and Environment:
- provides information exchange between golf and environment organisations
- improves cohesion of environmental strategies within golf
- assists in the identification of priority sustainability issues to be addressed
- promotes new environmental initiatives and practices carried out within golf
- communicates environmental initiatives within golf to external organisations and the public
- provides a credible interface between golf, government regulators and environmental NGOs.
The founding principles of the Forum are neutrality, good science, stakeholder participation and transparency.
Committed to Green Programme – 1999 to 2003
This initiative promoted an increasing awareness of the environmental impact of golf and desire to make the game ever more sustainable. It was launched by the European Golf Association and its Ecology Unit, supported by the Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews and PGA European Tour, at Valderarram Golf Club, Spain on the 28th September 1997. From 1999 to 2003 it was run by the Committed to Green Foundation and a number of countries launched their own environmental certification schemes. The programme was supported by national stakeholders within the golf and environmental sector ensuring the intependent work within the programme.
EGA Ecology Unit – 1994 to 1999
The European Golf Association Ecology Unit was founded in January 1994 jointly launched by the European Golf Association (EGA), the Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews and PGA European Tour. The unit was developed by the the leading golfing bodies in Europe in recognition of the need for a coordinated approach to environmental issues in golf.