Sustainable innovations in golf
How active are European golf events on sustainability?
Golf courses and golf events need to become more sustainable. The Dutch Golf Federation invests €250k for certification of golf courses by the Golf Environmental Organization (GEO). A recurring issue at golf courses in southern Europe is water management. To preserve golf courses, large amounts of water are needed. Water, that especially in these regions is scarce. An innovation to combat this problem is bio-membrane technology.
Bio-membrane preserves water
The membrane, developed by the University of Stavanger in Norway, is constructed from biodegradable materials such as slaughterhouse waste and seaweed and keeps the soil temperature on a constant level. Therefore, less water is needed to maintain the area and carbon emissions are reduced.
Torleiv Bilstad, researcher at the University of Stavanger, claims that 70% of the current irrigation water is spilled due to evaporation. The bio-membrane efficiently preserves the water and thereby less water is needed for irrigation. The technique is already implemented at several golf courses such as the Donnafugata resort, home to the prestigious Sicilian Open.
Increase of innovations in golf: Biodiversity
Another development in golf is the Biogolf project in the Madrid region. This project is focused on protection of biodiversity on and around the golf courses. Key focus points are bringing back the original foliage and green areas around the golf course to reduce the carbon emissions. The project is promoted by one of the major golf events in Spain, the Open de España.
The innovative examples are sourced from the Sustainable Golf Index 2011, the benchmark on sustainability at 72 European golf events. The research indicates that 26,4% of the European golf events is active on the protection of the fauna and another 31,9% protects the various flora at the golf course.