Sentosa’s Game-Changing Sustainability Credentials to the Fore

Lydia Ko, Minjee Lee, Park In-bee, Ko Jin-young and Georgia Hall during a visit to Sentosa Golf Club’s Bee Sanctuary ahead of this week’s HSBC Women’s World Championship. Picture by Getty Images.

Singapore: The 2021 HSBC Women’s World Championship kicked off today with a unique launch event celebrating the game-changing sustainability initiatives of tournament host Sentosa Golf Club. 

Recently named ‘The World’s Best Golf Club’ and ‘The World’s Best Eco-Friendly Golf Facility’ at World’s Golf Awards, Sentosa is calling for golf clubs around the world to pick up the mantle on sustainability.

Sentosa Golf Club is demonstrating how golf courses can make a significant difference through reducing carbon and protecting endangered species to help reverse climate disruption.

It was the first golf club in the world to join the UN Sports for Climate Action and is spearheading a call to action for the golf industry to respond to climate change titled ‘GAME ON.’

The initiative highlights that it is time for golf to act on climate change and unite the game’s key stakeholders with the wider golfing community to implement new modern processes to the betterment of the environment.

“We are very proud of our sustainability programme, so we are thankful to HSBC and all of the players for taking time out today to learn more and highlight it in this way,” said Andrew Johnston, General Manager and Director of Agronomy at Sentosa Golf Club, a Facility Member of the Asian Golf Industry Federation.

Tournament drawcards Ko Jin-young, Park In-bee, Minjee Lee, Lydia Ko and Georgia Hall spent time learning about Sentosa Golf Club’s sustainability endeavours and initiatives that included electric car charging, a sustainable herb garden, removal of plastics, hand removal of weeds to minimise the use of pesticides, state-of-the-art irrigation equipment for water management, lithium battery powered golf carts and bee colonisation.

The five golfers, with more than 50 LPGA titles between them, visited the club’s bee sanctuary and witnessed how the club minimises the use of pesticides with every employee hand-picking a minimum of 15 weeds a day. With 75 golf agronomy employees, that equates to a minimum of 7,875 weeds each week. 

Sentosa was the first golf club in Asia to use carbon products in its agronomic programme to reduce the use of pesticides. This has helped to reduce pesticide applications by up to 95%.

Olympic gold medallist, world number two and two-time HSBC Women’s World Championship winner Park In-bee said: “This is one of the most beautiful and perfectly conditioned golf courses in the world. Learning about their sustainability efforts has been really educational. I hope that by HSBC taking the opportunity to highlight Sentosa Golf Club’s work, other clubs will be inspired and that we will all try better to make a difference to our world.”  

The golfers rode on lithium powered carts as they made their way to the historic ‘Pyramid’ half-way house on the fourth hole of The Tanjong Course where they sampled Sentosa’s honey.

Johnston said that with the world’s bee population down 70%, the club has committed to providing an environment to four bee colonies, including stingless bees (Meliponini), to thrive.

Georgia Hall, Park In-bee, Ko Jin-young, Minjee Lee and Lydia Ko took time out to support Sentosa Golf Club’s environmental sustainability efforts. Picture by Getty Images.

Former world number one Ko, who won her 16th LPGA title this month, said: “Often the press call at the start of the tournament is just about us golfers, so I absolutely loved the opportunity to shine a light on Sentosa Golf Club’s innovative sustainability efforts. I think it sets a great example to other golf clubs and should motivate all of us to do better in this area of our lives.”

Olfert De Wit, Interim CEO of HSBC Singapore, said: “We are delighted to be hosting the HSBC Women’s World Championship again this year and to be playing our part in helping bring professional sport events back to Singapore. 

“The tournament boasts a stellar field, including the world’s top three ranked players. Although we aren’t able to welcome back spectators, we are looking forward to an exciting week of world-class golf. 

“We are thrilled to highlight the sustainability work of our hosts, Sentosa Golf Club, who really are ‘game-changers’ and who share our commitment to ensure a thriving and resilient future for the planet. We couldn’t think of a better way to launch our tournament week than to showcase the example that Sentosa is setting to golf clubs around the world.”

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