More one hundred golf course operators, academics, and major stakeholders from the golf industry attended the first day of The R&A Sustainable Golf Seminar at the China National Convention Centre in Beijing today.
The forum opened with Wang Liwei, Vice President of CGA and Liang Wen-Chong, the Captain of the Chinese Olympic Golf Team and R&A Working for Golf Ambassador, noting that 2016 is a very important year for the sport of golf as it returns to the Olympics after a break of more than 100 years.
“This seminar marks an important milestone in the history of golf in China in that it will provide some practical information to golf clubs about sustainable golf course practices and management “said Dominic Wall, Director - Asia-Pacific at The R&A, “This is particularly important to China given recent issues to do with water supply and environmental practices.”
“As a player I am always grateful to play on a course that’s well maintained and in tuned with the environment," said Liang. "As players, we can play fifty years, if we are lucky, but a golf course maintained sustainably can outlive us all."
“It’s only fair that we play a small part in promoting sustainable golf and leave the best to future generations," added Liang.
Over the course of the seminar Steve Isaac, Director of Golf Course Management at The R&A and Jonathan Smith, founder and CEO of the Golf Environment Organization gave presentations on what sustainability means and why it matters.
Professor Hu Lin, Director of the Green Environment Centre of the China Agricultural University gave an interesting presentation on challenges regarding water use and environmental regulations.
In the afternoon sessions, Paul Jansen and Micah Woods joined the discussion on best practice on project planning and dispelling some myths on length and par. Award-winning designer Lu Jun kept the audience engaged with his list of issues in the design and construction of golf courses in China.
“We, and others, need to use our influence to persuade those within the sport to follow a more sustainable path, and those outside the sport that can control its development,” concluded Steve Isaac.
Additional delegates from golf clubs around the country will join tomorrow’s session on renovation and best practice in course construction.