European Golf Association Ecology Unit

The European Golf Association Ecology Unit was established in January 1994 as a joint initiative between the European Golf Association (EGA), the Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews (R&A) and the PGA European Tour. Together, the three bodies represent the leading authorities within the game of golf in Europe.

For some years there has been a growing concern among interest groups and the public about the environmental effects of golf courses, particularly the development of new facilities in the countryside. The advent of the EGA Ecology Unit is a recognition by the game's leading bodies of the need to develop a coordinated approach to environmental issues. Ecology is one of the key subjects in the development and management of golf courses throughout the world. This initiative aims to ensure that in Europe the golfing community can address these important issues in a professional and authoritative way.

The EGA Ecology Unit has been founded on 4 distinctive aims:

  1. to establish a solid, factual understanding of the environmental attributes of golf courses;
  2. to develop awareness of the environmental aspects of golf courses through a programme of positive ecological initiatives;
  3. to encourage a higher standard of environmental performance throughout the golfing community; and,
  4. to make a positive contribution to the European environmental debate.

The work of the Ecology Unit is initially intended to fall within three broad headings.

To serve as a clearing house for technical information relating to golf and ecology:

The Ecology Unit will be a central point source for gathering and disseminating relevant distinct information. It will be a focus for contact between golfing and environmental organizations, including non-governmental organizations. This function will also embrace the coordination of research and monitoring studies on environmental aspects of planning, design, construction and management of golf courses.

Output will be by way of publications, technical memoranda, articles, press releases, seminars and workshops.

To draw up environmental guidelines for the development of new golf courses in Europe:

This will be a collaborative exercise involving key players from the golf industry and major European environmental organizations. There will also be close liaison with the Environment Directorate General (DG XI) of the European Commission.

Output will be by publication of a multi-party guideline dossier.

To promote higher standards of environmental awareness and achievement in the management of golf courses:

This is aimed at established golf courses. The aims will be achieved through awareness and education programmes directed at greenkeepers, club officials and the golfing public, again in partnership with DG XI of the European Commission. Specific practical conservation initiatives will be promoted and there will be a detailed technical study to devise 'Best Management Practice' guidelines. This will ensure that environmental matters become fully integrated into the normal operational management of golf courses.

Output will include technical guidance notes and reports, contributions to greenkeeper training manuals, advice on educational course contents, non-technical literature for the public and non-specialists, and special project programmes.

A further essential aspect will be to demonstrate the cost-effectiveness of environmental responsibility. The Ecology Unit is founded on the belief that sound, scientifically based environmental policies are good for golf -technically, aesthetically, socially, politically and economically. To achieve this harmonious relationship demands close cooperation between golfing and environmental interests. The Ecology Unit's contribution will be in developing greater awareness and understanding of the issues involved, and in promoting high professional and technical standards.

Reports published by the European Golf Association Ecology Unit are :

An Environmental Strategy for Golf in Europe
Ecological Approaches towards Best Management Practice for Golf Courses
An Environmental Management Programme for Golf Courses
The Committed to Green Handbook for Golf Courses

For further information about the European Golf Association Ecology Unit click here to enter their website.

Information Source

Prepared by ...
David Stubbs
Executive Director, European Golf Association Ecology Unit
c/o Environmental Golf Services
51 South Street, Dorking, Surrey RH4 2JX, United Kingdom
Telephone +44 1306 743 288 Facsimile +44 1306 742 496
E-Mail [email protected]