Golf is a very competitive sport. Challenging both your mind and body, golf keeps you engaged during the entire game, as it keeps you aware of your movements and working towards your own improvement.
Being a popular outdoor sport, there is a component that increasingly drives attention from players and professional athletes worldwide: golf's sustainability side. Due to the water consumption and the chemicals required to maintain the course, golf ranks as one of the least eco-friendly sports. However, there are multiple actions golfers and course owners can do to improve the footprint of the sport for future generations.
1. Use Sustainable Golf Equipment
From finding local suppliers to advocating for ethical products, responsible purchasing is a concept taking over the golf realm. As consumers become more and more interested in sustainable ways of living, brands and industries that respect the environment and have ethical practices are becoming favourites. High quality products that can also provide peace of mind are ranking higher simply because they offer more, the promise of contributing to a better planet for future generations. Sustainability is a concept that has become a lifestyle over the years and every day more people are getting on board with it. Offering solutions for eco-conscious consumers is key.
Sustainable clothing is one of the easiest to embrace when becoming a more eco-friendly golfer. Fibres like lyocell, hemp, organic linen, organic wool and other fabrics made of recycled materials. Athletes and amateurs can now choose from a wide array of clothing styles to perform better while protecting the planet.
Also, initiatives that successfully replace plastic components from the sport's equipment with more sustainable ones are trending among golfers of all calibres.
2. Sustainable Golf Tees
In golf specifically, one overlooked component is the importance of the golf tee. Used to support the ball before it is hit at the start of each hole, the golf tee is crucial for a great performance, yet golfers often lose them during the game and just forget about them. When the loan is moaned, forgotten tees get mowed, damaging the golf course maintenance equipment and getting into the grass, not being biodegraded. Thousands of plastic golf tees reduce the quality and affect the growth of the grass.
Bamboo has multiple benefits as a sustainable material. Holding the Guinness World Records for the fastest growing plant on earth, certain bamboo species can grow up to 91 cm (35") per day, which is almost 4 cm (1.5") an hour. However, each bamboo species has different growth rates and characteristics.
This incredible growth speed positions bamboo among the most sustainable natural materials, especially because it can grow naturally in many territories. For example, Asia, Africa, and Latin America's tropical and subtropical regions extend as far north as the southern United States or central China and spread as far south as Patagonia. It is also found in northern Australia. The Bigger Ball sources bamboo from China, where bamboo grows naturally and plays an important role in Chinese culture. With the increase of interest in alternative materials, the bamboo market is growing as fast as the plant. In China it offers opportunities for farmers and rural communities.
Bamboo golf tees are an excellent option for the golfer interested in protecting the environment and the golf course. On the one hand, it is fully biodegradable and more hardwearing than wood. Because it is grass, bamboo is more flexible and needs a fraction of the natural resources to grow. On the other hand, plastic golf tees are more resilient but take over 400 years to decompose, littering our golf courses for many more years to come.
3. Increase The Biodiversity Of Your Golf Course
Every day professional athletes of all sports are vocal about the ideal brands they want to represent. The same can be said about customers. People want to support businesses, brands, and industries that share their values.
Sustainability means meeting our present needs without compromising future generations' ability to meet their own. When you go to a golf course, pay attention to the way the course is kept. Is biodiversity easily spotted?
Insects, bees, and butterflies enjoy flower fields and are attracted to bright colours and sunny spots. Bees, the best pollinators, face many threats due to habitat loss, air pollution, climate change, toxic pesticides and many others. Without bees, entire ecosystems would be altered. We would experiment with a domino-like effect as many plants would start disappearing and animal species would begin struggling to find food.
A golf course that has taken sustainability into consideration has planted different flower species to promote the growth of bee populations and help bring back the natural balance to the area. If you get the chance, ask about sustainability practices in your favourite golf course. It raises awareness, and you will feel more comfortable in a course with good practices that also wants to be there for future generations.