The R&A - Working for Golf

Updated Sustainable Golf Development Guidelines published

Fresh outlook delivered on sustainability in golf facility design and construction.

First released in 2010, this updated edition of the guidelines, available here, brings together over 55 innovative examples and compelling insights from leading figures in golf development from across the globe demonstrating why golf continues to be more than a game.

The examples cited are pushing the boundaries of conventional golf course design to meet challenges such as resource availability, personal time constraints, tighter land restrictions and increasing social challenges. This new generation of golf developments are delivering greater benefits for their social and natural environments whilst providing multi-use recreational facilities for all generations.  Examples include river restoration in the South of Portugal; zero chemical construction and maintenance in the Caribbean and Scandinavia; renovation with 33% reduction in resource consumption in the USA; and support for local communities and education in South America.

Sam Thomas, Manager of Golf Development at GEO explained: “Since 2010, the industry has moved forward at pace and there have been so many great examples of sustainable golf development. The guidelines have been refreshed to include these new real-world examples and also to more closely align with the current dialogue in the sustainability world; along with last year’s release of the International Voluntary Standard and OnCourse® Developments programme for golf developments.”


The guidelines examine the process of realising a golf development from site selection right through the design and construction process to opening day and beyond, and have been endorsed by many of the major industry associations and their members in golf development and sustainability. Published by GEO, a stakeholder-funded, not-for-profit organisation, dedicated to helping the global golf community establish leadership in environmental enhancement, resource efficiency and community integration and value, the full version of this new edition of the Sustainable Golf Development Guidelines is free and available to download as a pdf here.