Singapore: Chris Gray has shone a spotlight on some of the most pressing issues facing golf in the 21st century – and outlined measures The R&A is taking to help tackle them.
During his presentation in the Asian Golf Industry Federation’s (AGIF) Sustainability Series, Gray, Head of Sustainability & Agronomy – Asia Pacific with The R&A, discussed the most urgent areas that require attention.
Sponsored by Profile Products, Sustane and Toro, the webinar highlighted The R&A’s sustainability initiatives and the principles for sustainable course development and management laid out by the game’s ruling body.
Gray said: “Through fact-based evidence, The R&A’s goal is to contribute to and promote environmental excellence and world-class leadership in resource efficiency, conservation and social value.
“Sustainability is a key priority for golf and an important element of the sport’s contribution to wider society and the effect the game has on nature and resources which provides a positive environment and a social legacy for future generations.”
Gray said the sustainability agenda for golf can be best described under three headings – Nature, Communities and Resources:
- Nature: Nature reflects the environment in which golf is played; its impact on the sport and the sport’s impact on the natural world;
- Communities: Communities concerns how golf can benefit the people that live close to a golf facility, and the interaction between golf and its neighbours;
- Resources: Resources considers the requirement for manpower, machinery and materials and how a sustainable approach to the development and management of golf courses can bring cost savings and enhance revenue opportunities.
Hailing from the Australian State of Victoria, Gray has more than 30 years of knowledge and experience having worked extensively as an agronomic consultant, golf course superintendent and golf course project manager in the Asia-Pacific, Central Asia and Middle East regions.
Before assuming his Singapore-based role at The R&A last year, Gray held the position of Director of Agronomy and Golf Redevelopment at The Singapore Island Country Club and has been an agronomic consultant on a number of PGA Tour, European Tour and LPGA tournaments in the region.
Gray has also acted as a Board Member of the AGIF, playing an active part in the growth and development of the Federation.
Eric Lynge, the AGIF’s Chief Executive Officer, said: “It was appropriate to tee-off our 2021 webinar series with a topic that is central to all of us in the golfing industry.
“Our thanks to Chris Gray, one of the region’s best-known and most respected agronomists and sustainability experts, for making this important presentation.”
In addition to the exchange of information, education/association credits from attending AGIF webinars 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, PGA of Japan and PGA of Australia.
Attendance is tracked and a certificate of attendance is issued, pending attendance for a minimum of one hour on the webinar.