The R&A welcomes the IGF statement on sustainability

The R&A has welcomed the International Golf Federation’s statement on sustainability and outlined its own commitment to promoting environmentally sensitive management in golf.

The IGF’’s statement identified safeguarding the environment as a top global priority and made it clear that golf has a responsibility to embrace the principles and practice of sustainability. The statement went on to detail the commitment of its 153 members to encouraging best practice in sustainability throughout all aspects of the game.

It also highlights the benefits of achieving a sustainable future for golf such as improved financial performance, better playing surfaces for golfers, conservation of resources and more employment and educational opportunities.

The R&A is dedicated to promoting the sustainability agenda through its own activity and its work supporting its 144 affiliated organisations around the world. A series of different programmes and projects have been implemented to support sustainable management practices.

The R&A’s Greenkeeping Scholarship Programme has invested £240,000 in supporting 120 students with individual scholarships of between £500 and £5000 since it was established in 2004. The scholars have come from 21 different countries. A successful programme of providing greenkeeping machinery to support grassroots golf has seen £1.7 million invested in 34 countries.

A number of initiatives by affiliated organisations have been supported by The R&A including the English Golf Union’s Greener Golf website, which provides golf-specific environmental advice to golf clubs, the Scottish Golf Environment Group, which helps clubs address environmental issues, and the Danish Golf Union’s pioneering green audit website which enables clubs to monitor and reduce their use of pesticides, water, fertiliser, energy and waste.

Steve Isaac, Director – Golf Course Management at The R&A said, “This is an important statement from the IGF which commits key organisations in world golf to action on the essential principles of sustainability. The IGF brings together the leading bodies in golf and this statement emphasises sustainability as a core priority for those of us involved in administering the game around the world.

“We welcome the IGF statement as we continue our efforts to encourage more sustainable golf course management. We have invested more than £6 million in recent years in supporting sustainability in the game. There is no doubt that this is fundamental to the long-term future of golf and we all want to ensure that the game continues to flourish.”

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