Sustainable golf course management has been an industry hot button issue for at least two decades.
The challenge has never been the message as much as it has been the messenger, namely because there really has not been one.
Until now — maybe.
The GEO Foundation for Sustainable Golf is calling Oct. 3-9 Sustainable Golf Week. The foundation based in Berwick, Scotland, is an international not-for-profit founded to "help inspire, support and reward credible sustainability action and to strengthen and promote golf's social and environmental value."
The foundation claims it is the only entity worldwide dedicated to the mission of working collaboratively with others in and on the periphery of golf to provide strategies and programs to promote sustainable practices on and around the golf course.
Sustainable Golf Week will promote achievements in sustainability, including the efforts of golf courses and superintendents, developers, architects, tournaments, players and companies, and will address what still needs to be done in the future.
The initiative will seek to engage the public through a social media campaign under the #DrivingTheGreen theme and will offer stories of success as well as turnkey tips and advice for others to put into practice.
"Sustainable Golf Week provides an opportunity for people across the sport to connect around a common purpose – to make sure that golf becomes established as a credible global leader in sustainability and climate action," GEO Foundation executive director Jonathan Smith said in a release. "It is about helping to bring some stronger collective focus to the issues, as well as building ever greater energy and momentum to golf’s contribution."
Founded in 2006, the GEO Foundation for Sustainable Golf is hardly a household name in the U.S., but its footprint is growing. Supporters include The R&A, European Tour, Ryder Cup Europe, Ladies European Tour, LPGA, The Toro Co. and Dow just to name a few. Its list of member courses is a who's who of golf and includes St. Andrews, Royal Dornoch and PGA National Golf Resort and Spa.