How Golf Should be Dealing with Impact of Climate Change

Antony Scanlon (top left), Andy Johnston (top right) and Jonathan Smith (centre) will feature in the next webinar in the AGIF’s Sustainability Series.

Singapore: Three prominent figures in the world of sport and sustainability will address how golf should be dealing with the impact of climate change in next week’s edition of the Asian Golf Industry Federation’s (AGIF) webinar Sustainability Series.

With Sentosa Golf Club recently becoming the first golf club in the world to join the United Nations’ Sports for Climate Action initiative, this webinar will highlight the Singapore establishment’s journey to achieving that milestone. It will also review this initiative and outline to attendees the role and actions they can play in tackling this issue.

This panel discussion will be led by Andy Johnston, General Manager and Director of Agronomy at Sentosa Golf Club and an AGIF Board Member.

He will be joined by Jonathan Smith, Executive Director, Golf Environment Organisation (GEO) Foundation, the international not-for-profit dedicated to helping advance sustainability in and through golf, and Antony Scanlon, Executive Director of the International Golf Federation (IGF), who’s responsible for the promotion of golf as an Olympic sport and the international development of golf.

Both GEO and the IGF are involved in the UN Sports for Climate Change initiative.

Eric Lynge, the AGIF’s Chief Executive Officer, said: “We’re delighted to be able to bring together such a high-powered trio of presenters to discuss a subject that is of grave importance to all of us.

“Given that ensuring sustainability, in all its shapes and forms, is at the core of all that the Federation does makes this session especially poignant to us – and close to the hearts of our member companies and organisations.

“Based on the initial response we’ve received to the webinar, it looks like we’ll be having a record attendance from around the world.”

It was at the end of July that Sentosa Golf Club became the world’s first golf club to join the UN’s Sports for Climate Action initiative, which aims to support and guide sports organisations and their communities on a path to achieving the global climate goals set out by world leaders in the Paris Agreement.

The golf club has added its name to an impressive list of sporting organisations to have joined, including the New York Yankees, La Liga, Sky Sports and the All England Lawn Tennis Club (Wimbledon).

A Facility Member of the AGIF, Sentosa Golf Club has joined these other participants in committing to a set of five agreed principles and incorporating them into the club’s strategy, policies and procedures, as well as communicating them to their wider sporting community within Singapore and other golf clubs around the world.

The initiative also provides sports organisations with a forum to pursue climate action in a consistent and supportive manner by learning from one another, disseminating good practices, lessons learned, developing new innovations, and collaborating on areas of mutual interest.

It also aims to pursue efforts to limit the temperature increase well below two degrees Celsius, as well as strengthening the ability of countries to deal with the impacts of climate change.

Veteran Royal Selangor Golf Club Course Superintendent Jack Cheong teed-off the second AGIF Sustainable Series in early October, addressing the topic: Attaining the Suitable Green Speed for Your Facility, Your Members and Guests. The session was sponsored by The Toro Company

Adopting an innovative budgeting philosophy was the theme of Hazeltine National Golf Club General Manager Eric Rule’s presentation a fortnight ago.

Last week, Thomas Nikolai, world renowned as the ‘Doctor of Green Speed’, shared the secrets of putting surface maintenance. Senior Turfgrass Academic Specialist, Department of Plant, Soil and Microbial Sciences at Michigan State University, Nikolai’s session on The A, B, Cs of Putting Green Maintenance was sponsored by The Toro Company, Syngenta and True-Surface.

The first batch of four webinars in the AGIF Sustainability Series featured presentations from Dr Larry Ross, Professor Emeritus, The Barnett School of Business & Free Enterprise, Florida Southern College; Dr Roch Gaussoin, PhD, Professor and Extension Co-ordinator, Department of Agronomy and Horticulture, University of Nebraska-Lincoln; Michael Braidwood, General Manager at Qatar’s Education City Golf Club; and Roger Goettsch, CGCS, Director of Golf Course Operations at California’s Coto de Caza Golf & Racquet Club.

Lynge said: “Targeted at both turf and club management professionals, our webinars feature respected speakers and presenters from around the world, all of whom are experts in their chosen fields.”

In addition to the exchange of information, education/association credits can be gained in Club Management Association of America (CMAA), Golf Course Superintendents Association of America (GCSAA), PGA of America, PGA of Great Britain and Ireland and PGA of Australia. Attendance will be tracked and a certificate of attendance will be issued, pending attendance for a minimum of one hour on the webinar.

For further details and sponsorship opportunities, please contact Gwen Ng, the AGIF’s Event and Membership Manager, at [email protected]  

Schedule of Events

Club Management Series  
October 29 (Thursday): 3:30 pm to 5 pm (Singapore time)
Topic: Sentosa Golf Club’s Journey to Joining the UN’s Sports for Climate Change – Guide for Golf Facilities
Presenters: Andy Johnston, General Manager and Director of Agronomy, Sentosa Golf Club; Jonathan Smith, Executive Director, GEO Foundation; Antony Scanlon, Executive Director, International Golf Federation

Registration: https://zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_CwXHx7AbRQuZHiH3v9tPyg

Turf Management Series  
November 5 (Thursday): 10 am to 11:30 am (Singapore time)
Topic: Turfgrass Weed Management
Presenter: Fred Yelverton, PHD, Professor and Extension Specialist – Department of Crop Science Co-Director, Centre for Turfgrass Environmental Research and Education, North Carolina State University

Registration: https://zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_s97luvkUTBKlh1LP8MbUBQ

Club Management Series  
November 12 (Thursday): 10 am to 11:30 am (Singapore time)
Topic: Building Membership and Membership Activity in City Club Location
Presenter: Vijaykumar Raj, CCM, General Manager, The Metropolitan, Chicago

Registration: https://zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_0EV8aMytQYWSPh_qhm1Iaw

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