United to make a real difference
For hundreds of years golf has given rise to social and environmental benefits. Continuing and improving on this tradition is more important than ever at a time when sustainability has become a critical global priority.
The IGF and its member organisations are united in their focus on sustainability, recognising the important role golf can play, as a growing international sport, tightly intertwined with landscapes and communities.
Sustainable golf can be widely and credibly embraced across the industry – in the operations of existing courses, the design and construction of new developments, and in the venues and staging of tournaments.
Sustainability is a great fit for golf
Environmental and social stewardship has always been close to the heart of golf. Great golf respects its surroundings and honours the natural environment. As a green space, often in the middle of towns or cities, it provides natural habitats and ecosystems, improving the overall quality and treading lightly on natural resources. And fitting into the surrounding communities, golf provides employment, recreation and education.
Landscapes & Ecosystems
Landscapes and ecosystems cover the surface of the earth, connecting everything, providing the canvas on which we live, work and play. Great golf enhances landscapes and ecosystems, creating and sustaining beautiful and biologically rich open spaces.
Water is a critical commodity our societies must conserve and use responsibly. Golf can demonstrate leadership in sustainable water management in a number of ways, some followed successfully by course managers for years, others made possible through new innovations.
Energy & Resources
The global population and its demand for energy increases every day. How we meet that demand is the critical issue. Golf is responding across a wide range of areas from low resource turfgrass to energy for the clubhouse and machinery.
Products & Supply Chains
The products and services that golf uses need to be carefully considered to ensure a fair deal for businesses and for our planet. More and more golf businesses are mindful of their chain of supply when purchasing. It’s often only a small mind-shift that can make a big difference.
From manufacturing, processing and distribution of products, to the use of chemicals and fertiliser, to the cultivation of turf and seed and the way buildings are designed and managed, it all influences our world. A well planned, designed, constructed and managed golf facility can improve air, water and soil quality through sustained, consistent land and resource management.
Playing Our Part – Golf is on course for the UN Sustainable Development Goals
The IGF proudly supports and represents the actions of many partners across the sector. Our Sustainability Statement, backed by 153 golf associations globally, outlines the industry’s collective outlook and vision. The IGF also recognizes the importance of leading by example through our own direct action.
Ahead of golf’s historic return to the Olympics at Rio2016 the IGF ensured that sustainability was at the heart of the development of the Rio Olympic Golf Course, requiring the architect to meet Golf’s Sustainable Development Standard.
IGF Delivery Partners are also driving the sustainability across many of their own activities – see solutions, milestones and further resources sections.
In 2017, the IGF worked with the IOC and GEO to prepare a case study on Creating Sustainable Golf Courses which outlines how the IGF and its Delivery partners are working to help drive sustainability in and through golf. Details are available here.
The Rio 2016 Organizing Committee and the International Golf Federation joined forces during the Rio 2016 Olympic Games to bring environmental education and awareness to the forefront of the Golf event through walking tours across the Olympic Golf Course for spectators and media. Click here for more information on the Sustainability Tour at the Rio 2016 Golf Course:
Further resources and information
Many partners across the golf industry are working together to drive the sustainable golf movement. This page provides links to several of these organizations for further information on their actions and commitment to enhance golf’s social and environmental value
Grass roots Golf
- European Tour GreenDrive
- The Open GreenLinks
- Waste Management Phoenix Open
- RBC Heritage Open
- OnCourse® Tournaments