Sustainable Golf Renovations Guidelines

North Berwick, Scotland: GEO Foundation for Sustainable Golf’s new publication – Sustainable Golf Renovations Guidelines – focuses on inspiration, support and latest examples of course improvements. 

The publication is aimed at courses and clubs at the start of their project journey trying to improve efficiency, reduce operating costs, enhance their environments, minimise their impact and connect them to their community better.

Going all the way back to 1764, when the Old Course at St Andrews transitioned from 22 to 18 holes, golf courses have been undergoing incremental improvements.

These course adaptations have been carried out to keep pace with the evolving nature of the sport – adjusting to increasing swing speeds or changes to the ball performance and its ability to cover ever greater distances.

Today, alongside a rapidly changing sport, other external forces are exerting influence on golf facilities worldwide.

Growing time constraints on individuals, rising operating costs, a changing climate, pressures and regulations on natural resources, and an increasingly competitive market are collectively driving a fresh surge of investments and innovations in course improvements.

These factors have led to more facilities investing in advancements, technologies, and upgrades, while also diversifying their golf offerings.

As part of the strategic planning for these investments, there is a need to bolster the facility’s resilience against these new external pressures.

The publication includes a range of case studies, such as Mesa Country Club in Arizona, which reduced water demand by changing turf type, Golf It! in Glasgow, Scotland, which transformed from an 18-hole course to nine holes, offering diverse ways to enjoy the game and Saadiyat Beach Golf Club in Abu Dhabi, which transitioned to treated wastewater as its water source in 2020.

Sam Thomas, Director, Sustainable Golf Development, said: “We are excited to be able to share the latest industry examples of renovation work in this new publication as inspiration, with guidance and support for facilities at the start of their project journey.

“All contemporary course improvement projects should be fostering a stronger drive towards incorporating resilience and innovation into the golf course, for the future.

“The increasing work we are seeing with course renovations is allowing the industry to shine a spotlight on the good work being done by architects, engineers, and construction companies towards building a more stable and sustainable future for courses across the globe.”

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