June’s Issue of IGPN looks in depth at the future health of our sport and how the promotion of its benefits can be greatly assisted by taking a sustainable approach to its development.
Growing the sport of golf in an environmentally, socially and economically sustainable way, aligns with, and contributes to, realising Europe’s 2020 Vision that enables us to influence government and EU policies and create more positive perceptions of our sport.
More people playing more golf more often has a positive impact on its economic contribution, a healthier population, and as long as this is done in an environmentally-friendly manner, then it is easy to promote golf’s benefit to society.
Here are just a few figures from various sources that highlight these positives:
- Golf’s economic contribution to Europe is €15.1 billion
- The sport employs approximately 400,000 people across Europe
- There are proven health benefits such as golfers burning up to 800 calories per round, a reportedly 40% lower mortality rate and up to a five-year increase in life expectancy
- Up to 70% of a well managed golf course can be used as habitat creation for wildlife
- Golf courses, new or old, can enhance the local biodiversity of an area by providing a greater variety of habitats than intensively managed agricultural areas
There are a number of recent initiatives, such as Golf Europe’s ‘GoGolf!’ and the European Week of Sport, which are both about increasing participation in sport, and promoting the benefits of getting involved.
Further examples of the proactive steps being taken by golf can be seen through the work of GEO and the recent report on Ryder Cup’s Green Drive and how it has become one of the world’s leading sustainable events through a variety of activities that will really set the standards for events of any scale in the future.
The BMW PGA Championship is always a highlight on the European golf calendar and their environmental off-course work was hugely strong with their re-use initiative and the donation of materials to various projects and charities.
The PGA Championship week at Wentworth was also special for the PGAs of Europe as we began the celebrations of our 25th Anniversary year with a Business Club where we brought our Corporate Partners together under one roof. We take great pride in the longevity of many of our Partnerships and the loyalty that exists on both sides – a slightly different take on the word sustainable!
Maintaining social, economic and environmental sustainability in golf and in golf’s businesses is something that should be high on everyone’s priority list and it is important that we promote its understanding and impact as much as we can! We would be delighted to hear of any examples of sustainability – feel free to email them to firstname.lastname@example.org.