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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.
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Sustainable golf in Portugal

Belas Clube de Campo Senior Open de Portugal showcase on sustainable golf
Although sustainability on the Iberian Peninsula is still not widely embraced, the Senior Open de Portugal at the Belas Clube de Campo showcased many sustainable innovations. From the 29th of September until the 1st of October, the Belas Clube de Campo was the international platform for a sustainable golf event. A recycling program, water management, sustainability in the entire supply chain and strong local community involvement were strong proof points for the first sustainable golf event in Portugal and Spain.

Case: Magic in Marrakech

Stakeholder coalition develops best practice for water management
Marrakech, the Moroccan Imperial city, is strategically located close to the Atlas mountains. In the early days, the city was the gateway to the Sahara desert and over the years, Marrakech developed into a unique touristic destination. An interesting destination also for golf tourism, showing the many golf courses around Marrakech. With 24.000ha, high summer temperatures, a total population of 950.000 people and nineteen courses, water is a valuable asset.

How Social Media are Changing Golf

Social networking in golf
Social media are on the rise: more and more events are using online networks to communicate about golf. Online ticketing, iPhone Apps, augmented reality, podcasts and YouTube videos are just some of the online initiatives. An important question therefore is: why does social media matter in golf?

Benchmark your golf course today!

Compare your golf course with top courses from around the world
Sustainability is arguably the most important issue affecting golf development today. A sustainable golf course is not only more efficient, it also ensures a better reputation. The Sustainable Golf Project benchmarks global golf courses on sustainability in order to help golf courses gain insight into how to become a (more) sustainable golf course.

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