London, England: Thanks to a unique collaboration among international and national golf bodies a further significant step forward in golf’s sustainability leadership was announced at last month’s BIGGA Turf Management Exhibition (BTME).
Major upgrades have been made to OnCourse – the web app that supports and promotes the social and environmental value of golf facilities.
Spanning all the key issues of golf’s sustainability agenda, within the simple nature, resources and community structure, OnCourse provides multiple benefits to individual golf facilities and the industry, including:
- Education – Delivering accessible best practices, guidance and library of key resources, accompanied by a bank of shared examples from other clubs.
- Recording – Capturing streamlined social and environmental best-practices and data, with a secure and consistent storage for annual information.
- Analytics – Addition of new tools to help facilities analyse and improve performance and cost savings, from water-budgeting, pesticide applications, carbon footprinting and natural capital.
- Reporting – Enabling golf facilities to produce an annual Social and Environmental Value Report to share with their communities while also providing a continually updated set of anonymous data for use by the industry to strengthen golf’s public image and relationships with governments and other influential groups.
- Certification – The optional step to gain credible recognition via golf’s externally accredited certification scheme.
Available from February 1, the upgraded OnCourse programme is managed by not-for-profit GEO (Golf Environmental Organisation) and supported by The R&A and other partners, including The European Tour, Golf Europe and Asian Golf Industry Federation Executive Members Jacobsen, Toro and John Deere, as well as dozens of National Golf Federations and with promotion from BIGGA, FEGGA, EGCOA, CMAE, PGAE, and EGA.
Jonathan Smith, GEO’s Chief Executive Officer, said: “After a lot of input from across the golf industry and looking closely at the way other sectors are supporting and promoting sustainability, we are delighted to bring this new version of OnCourse forward, with and for golf, to make sustainability easier to understand, act on, and communicate.
“This new platform gives golf the technological means to harness data and stories from across thousands of courses, which, when promoted to the outside world will leave nobody in any doubt as to the sport’s commitment, progress and value to people and the environment.
“We are now looking forward to working in close partnership with national federations and associations in the United Kingdom and internationally to support their efforts in engaging and supporting their members.”
Steve Isaac, Director – Sustainability at The R&A, said: “Thanks to the significant upgrades to OnCourse, golf now joins a growing number of pioneering sectors that have developed their own custom built sustainability platforms.
“This means we can offer a proactive solution for self-regulation with governments and begin to gather essential data consistently across a wide range of sustainability metrics. This will inform golf’s own performance over time and also enable us to communicate more confidently and visibly to the wider world.”