Greenkeepers launch new strategy for responsible golf course management

The Federation of European Golf Greenkeepers Association (FEGGA)has developed a new strategy aimed at promoting responsible and sustainable golf course management.

FEGGA’s 24 European national greenkeeping organisations will promote and endorse the association’s strategic vision, which ‘embraces golf’s potential to produce multiple benefits for nature and man’.

As part of the vision, the association has outlined a roadmap that offers a three-dimensional sustainability strategy to people working in the industry.

This roadmap has a focus on achieving positive results in resource consumption, biodiversity, waste, pollution and extent of managed turf. Other areas covered include research and education, and improving transparency and developing community outreach.

“This is the first time that the daily practitioners of golf’s grassroots movement agree on a strategy for such an important aspect of our industry’s future,” said Olafur Thor Agustsson, chairman of FEGGA.

FEGGA’s strategy also encourages the use of monitoring and reporting tools by greenkeeping teams, including GEO’s OnCourse framework.

“Golf course management is coming under increasing pressure across Europe,” said Jonathan Smith, GEO’s director. “Pesticide and water regulation is starting to bite in many countries, costs of resources and materials are increasing, and golfers expectations continue to rise. This timely statement, backed by so many of the industry’s course management representatives expresses an important commitment and plan that will help the sport address these significant challenges, now and in the future. We were very pleased to play a part in its development.”

FEGGA has issued a document that shows how progress will be monitored and how awareness of the association’s strategy will be raised.

“It is extremely encouraging to see the greenkeeping profession in Europe, through FEGGA, promoting sustainability for golf course management,” said Steve Isaac, the R&A’s director of sustainability. “The R&A has led this cause, but only the implementation of accepted best practice by the professionals who care for our golf courses, and transparent reporting through systems such as OnCourse, will convince everyone that the sport can bring economic, environmental and social benefits. We commend FEGGA for producing this statement and hope they are able to achieve its adoption so we see greater sustainability on the ground.”

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