Golf It! achieves international recognition in sustainability

The R&A
18 Mar 24
3 mins

Golf It!, the community-based golf and entertainment facility developed by The R&A in Glasgow, has achieved GEO Certified® Development recognition for the venue’s commitment to environmental and social responsibility and leadership in sustainable golf.

GEO Certified® is an international sustainability certification for golf developments and the award marks a significant milestone for Golf It!, positioning it as a model for other facilities around the world to aspire to. Russell Smith, General Manager at Golf It!, said, “The achievement of GEO Certification for Golf It! underlines our commitment to sustainability and the efforts we are making to ensure that golf has a positive impact on the environment and provides real value to people living in local communities. “We have worked tirelessly to develop a venue which allows people to enjoy the many health benefits of golf with their family and friends and promotes the importance of time spent outdoors in the fresh air. It reflects the requirements of a sustainable golf development which many other facilities worldwide can look to in the progression of their own venues and activities.”

Sustainability vision

Golf It! is located in north-east Glasgow and directly connected to Hogganfield Park, one of the city’s Seven Lochs wetland parks. The venue boasts a full-length 9-hole golf course, a built-in par-3 course, putting greens, a 52-bay double decker floodlit driving range, community-focused spaces and walking trails. An expert third party verifier independently evaluated the venue's sustainability vision, goals and targets, as well as examining the application of the sustainable golf development standard throughout the entire development process from design to construction and management.

Golf It!

The venue boasts a full-length 9-hole golf course, a built-in par-3 course, putting greens, a 52-bay double decker floodlit driving range, community-focused spaces and walking trails.

Independently verified

It found that Golf It! has achieved several key highlights in sustainable golf development, including:
  • Nature - the development successfully created over one hectare of open water, protecting water vole populations. Existing broadleaf woodland and wetland areas have been enhanced, improving the health and quality of these habitats.
  • Resources - 100% of bulk construction materials were sourced from within Scotland and as a signatory to the Zero Waste Scotland pledge, the venue is committed to zero waste to landfill. A range of electric and hybrid machinery has been purchased for use in the maintenance fleet.
  • Community - Golf It! has established partnerships with local education groups, schools and charities, promoting accessibility to golf and fostering community engagement. Golf It! has also implemented an internship and apprenticeship programme, introducing people to the golf industry and teaching them life skills.
Sam Thomas, Director of Golf Development at GEO Sustainable Golf Foundation, said, “Golf It! has been a wonderful project to work on and highlights how the renovation of an 18-hole golf course into a more diverse golfing destination can contribute towards sustaining the future of the sport. “The project has enhanced an existing green site that includes wetlands and woodlands to boost biodiversity and create new spaces for priority species to inhabit. The result is an urban golf facility that is accessible to so many people to enjoy golf in a variety of formats. I don't think we have seen a community impact as positive as this before in golf developments.” A sustainable development strategy will continue to evolve over the next five years with a focus on increasing biodiversity, incorporating a detailed carbon management plan and working towards retention of the GEO Certification for the facility’s operations. For more information, please visit