Sustainable Championships

The R&A runs sustainable championships at amateur and professional level, including implementing legacy actions and actions with its commercial partners.  Before hosting any championship, a golf facility is also subject to a thorough ecological review to fully understand the biodiversity condition and species identification.  Our sustainable work at championships involves various activity, including GreenLinks, The Open Water Initiative and The Open Legacy Fund.


GreenLinks is The R&A’s sustainability framework designed to make The Open one of the world’s most sustainable major sporting events.    In partnership with Patrons and supported by other partners, a broad range of innovations aiming to raise awareness, reduce impact and stimulate wider action were delivered at The 150th Open in St Andrews and The 151st Open at Royal Liverpool.
"The Open has a close relationship with nature and the coastal system of the world’s finest links courses and it is important that we safeguard them for future generations.”

Martin Slumbers

CEO of The R&A

The Open Water Initiative

The Open Water Initiative, supported by Mastercard, was enhanced for The 150th Open in St Andrews with a first-ever ‘Water Wall’ which streamlined opportunities to refill water bottles.   In total, 48 water refilling stations across the venue offered unlimited, free, chilled purified local water. Reusable water bottles were available for purchase onsite and a donation from each sold enabled funding for local tree planting enhancement via the Priceless Planet Coalition.   The initiative has led to the equivalent of more than 370,000 plastic bottles being removed at The Open since 2019. It has now been rolled out across the AIG Women’s Open and the Senior Open presented by Rolex.

The Open Legacy Fund

The Open Legacy Fund is an initiative run by The R&A to leave a positive and long-lasting impact on the local environment and communities in which The Open is staged.
In 2022, The R&A funded £150,000 to work with Fife Council on sustainable legacy change for the local community. This investment for community groups and organisations supports projects and initiatives that benefit people living locally and leave a positive, lasting impact on the immediate and surrounding area.
We are working with Fife Council on: low-carbon energy/power infrastructure; travel and transport; health and wellbeing; waste and resources; food; biodiversity; and green spaces (eg tree planting, mitigating coastal erosion, green infrastructure); and education and learning.
We are also seeking to identify what and how a Net Zero ambition could be achieved for staging The Open and defining the pathway to achieve such a target by 2030.
We believe that it is important for the towns and communities in which The Open is played to receive a positive and lasting benefit from the staging of the Championship.”

Johnnie Cole Hamilton

Executive Director- Championships at The R&A