Becoming more sustainable will often require initial investment in people, materials, machinery and time before economic benefits are realised. This means medium- to long-term planning will be an essential component of an effective ongoing management approach.
Developing and maintaining a firm, dry and healthy course will always help to minimise expenditure on materials, labour and machinery. Likewise, implementing good energy efficiency and waste management programmes will contribute to further cost savings over time.
Golf course economics are becoming increasingly impacted by climate change, legislation, global finances and other outside influences. A sustainable and effective management policy should be robust enough to withstand change in all of these areas.
The correct balance of pricing and resourcing across your course will ensure you are able to continually meet the expectations of your golfers in a financially secure manner. It will also provide you with the profit necessary to continue investing in your facility; investment which is essential for achieving excellent playing surfaces, while simultaneously meeting your obligations to environmental stewardship and social responsibility.
To assess performance, your business will benefit from keeping records such as annual income from course related activities, annual course expenditure on human resources, water, pesticides, fertilisers and machinery, and yearly depreciations related to course operation. The R&A has compiled a list of evidence fields which it considers vital to the assessment of ongoing sustainability.