13 Oct 2023
The five fundamentals of the nature inspired golfer
Although innovative management practices and technologies can effectively integrate nature into the golfing experience, there is a need for further support and engagement from golfers. As has been emphasised throughout this Sustainable Golf Week, the protection, restoration, and promotion of nature is not only a technological challenge for greenkeepers and club managers; it also depends on the mindsets, expectations, and behaviours of those who play the game, sit on committees, and influence the long-term future of golf through their market preferences and demand. Therefore, to finish the week and help to continue to drive nature-positive world, we have created a list of suggested fundamentals for the nature-inspired golfer:
People are drawn to the game of golf for a variety of reasons – extending from playing parameters like the size of fairways and speed of greens, to social and cultural aspects like opportunities to socialise and exercise in natural surroundings. The nature-inspired golfer would reflect on the value of nature to their overall experience of the game of golf, understanding how the further integration of natural features could enhance the reach, relevance, and value of golf to them, their club, and their community.
Celebrating and taking pride in nature
A biodiverse, nature-inspired golf course can create a truly unique golfing experience - with an authentic landscape, colour contrast and additional community, ecosystem service and shot value. The nature-inspired golfer would fully embrace and celebrate the wildlife and biodiversity on their golf course, appreciating the efforts of greenkeepers and extolling the benefits of nature through their networks.
Getting involved with nature-inspired activities
Increasing habitat and biodiversity can create a valuable space and significant opportunity to support multifunctionality, including biodiversity surveys and inclusive outdoor projects like bird-spotting, pond-dipping and outdoor education with schools, colleges, and charities. The nature-inspired golfer would help to develop and drive nature-inspired initiatives around their golf club, enriching the lives of their friends, family, and community.
Exploring nature-inspired stories and ideas
There are a range of projects and practices that can help golf facilities to protect, restore and promote nature. The nature-inspired golfer would explore possibilities for nature stewardship in golf, bringing exciting new concepts and ideas to their golf clubs and committees. The Sustainable Golf Highlights Hub has hundreds of tried and tested examples of nature stewardship at golf facilities. Please add your own!
Driving further progress on nature stewardship
Benchmarking continuous improvement can help to develop plans and celebrate progress at your golf club. Therefore, the nature-inspired golfer would encourage their golf club to use OnCourse - a free cloud-based program to record and track sustainability practices and metrics across the priority areas of Nature, Resources, and Communities. The team-based platform also provides technical, educational and communications guidance for nature stewardship at golf facilities.