Golf is guilty of contributing to the plastic bottle moutain

I hope many of you are as shocked as me at the global crisis of plastic poulltion and the damage plastic is doing to the environment.   Only last night I was watching a documentary about the Volvo Ocean Race research that chilled me: microplastic particles have been found even in the Southern Ocean close to the Antarctic Ice Exclusion Zone. This made me think back to how many plastic bottles we golfers consume. On a holiday to Belek in Antalya last year I was horrified to see pallet upon pallet of plastic bottles stored up ready to hand out to us golfers. It seems to be the norm in golf, with no one really making a stand! We should be able to be creative and think of ways we can get our water without having new water bottles for every round. Maybe instead our club shops should sell Keep Bottles and have a filtered water station instead of offering bottled water for sale? If you want water and haven’t brought your own, you have to buy a Keep Bottle and fill it up.  Rather like plastic bags and supermarkets…once you know you can’t get them you (eventually) remember to always bring your own!

With this theme in mind,  I hail the news from Sentosa Golf Club which reached me yesterday. It will be taking the lead and moving away from bottled water – see full story below:

SENTOSA GOLF CLUB LOSES ITS BOTTLE AND STRENGTHENS COMMITMENT TO THE ENVIRONMENT

Singapore’s leading venue Keeps it Green by installing a number of drinks stations in move away from plastic water bottles on course

Sentosa Island, Singapore, Tuesday 26th June 2018: Sentosa Golf Club is reaffirming its commitment to the environment and its ‘Keep it Green’ agenda by announcing that it will no longer permit the use of plastic water bottles on its golf carts, instead favouring the installation of a number of water stations (see photo above) on course.

The reduction of its plastic footprint, which is expected to equate to 150,000 water bottles each year, is a continuation of the world Top 100 club’s pioneering efforts to drive environmental awareness and build upon already established eco-friendly agronomic and operational practices.

“Every little helps,” commented Andy Johnston, General Manager and Director of Agronomy. “We are continually monitoring every aspect of our agronomy programs and operations to ensure we are doing all we can to work in harmony with the environment. The decision to remove all plastic bottles from golf carts will allow us to considerably reduce our plastic usage and take another positive step in demonstrating what is possible if golf clubs commit to simple measures.”

Sentosa’s agronomic practice has long been considered at the forefront of the golf industry. Continual efforts have been made in developing the most sustainable methodologies and maintenance programmes, demonstrated best in the reconstruction of the New Tanjong course.

Over the course of an extensive redesign, Sentosa took a number of steps to reduce the environmental impact, including the creation of a temporary nursery to facilitate the relocation and replanting of more than 260 palm trees, the installation of six reservoirs-cum-water features to ensure self-sufficient irrigation and the re-use of concrete from old cart paths as the basis of all new paths.

“The future of the golf industry requires clubs, owners and managers to understand more about what can be done to neutralise and enhance the environment,” continued Johnston. “I hope that Sentosa serves as inspiration in this respect as we continue to find new ways to benefit the environment. From taking food wastage and working it back into the ecosystem to introducing bees into the community, there is a long list of small changes we are implementing and we hope other clubs can make that, when combined, can have a lasting and sustainable impact.”

Sentosa introduced its ‘Keep it Green’ campaign at the SMBC Singapore Open, where stars of world golf voiced their praise of Sentosa’s approach to sustainability. Further activity at the inaugural Women’s Asia-Pacific Amateur Championship and the LPGA Tour’s HSBC Women’s Champions provided opportunities for the club to promote its practice to a global audience and campaign messaging has so far been viewed by over 500,000 golfers.

The golf club is home to the renowned Serapong Course and the New Tanjong Course, and will host the 10th Asia-Pacific Amateur Championship in October 2018; the culmination of a landmark year of major events.

Sentosa Golf Club lies at the heart of the Singapore golf and leisure community. Located on the famed Sentosa Island, which attracts millions of visitors each year, the club is home to the R&A’s Asia Pacific office and is the Official Headquarters of the Asian Tour.

For more information on Sentosa Golf Club, visit www.sentosagolf.com

@Golfpeach’s view on the R&A Women in Golf Charter for Lady Golfer Magazine

As a total golf fanatic, I still struggle to believe that I was once a university student at St Andrews with absolutely no interest in the sport. Maybe the fact that it was another 30 years after I graduated before the R&A voted to admit women as members had something to do with that. Not that I want to be a member, but it’s always nice to be asked.

That is what this charter is doing – opening doors that were once boarded up to female golfers and saying ‘come on in, you are very welcome’.

To change the culture and actively encourage girls and young women to pick up a club and try this game, play the great courses and pursue a career in golf, it is the warmth of the welcome that is most important now. Not just changing archaic rules and introducing initiatives.

I sense a definite change in the air and it is vital that the leading names and organisations in the men’s game lead the campaign to brush away the cobwebs and outdated attitudes that can still intimidate newcomers to this sport of all genders. Women don’t want to be tolerated by golf, we want to be appreciated and respected within the wonderful community of the game.

While we are changing the status quo, let’s tackle some of the conventions guarded by ‘lady golfers’ themselves. I think a relaxation of traditional clothing etiquette is overdue to help to make golf cooler and a little sexier for women who want to give the sport a different look and feel. Let’s not tell 18 year olds what to wear, let’s ask them. They may surprise us!

Read more about key golf industry figures views here in Lady Golfer magazine:

How will the R&A Women in Golf Charter help ladies golf?

Lady Golfer Mag: Golf Lessons! Are you a brazen golf floozy?

I think I may have gone through more coaches in the first four years of my golfing life than boyfriends at university. But now I’m ready to settle down! See my full blog here for Lady Golfer Magazine.

Golf Monthly Blog: Augusta! I found some common ground with these gods of golf: The Flaws!

Read my latest blog in Golf Monthly:

@GolfPeach: “Augusta made them look almost human at times… human like me”

Womensgolf.com blog: Every score card has an untold story that we are all gagging to tell!

Should We Mark a Card Every Time We Play Golf?

Whoever designed the golf club scorecard clearly never played the game. To imagine for one moment that all of the effort, thought and emotion that I invest in trying to propel a tiny ball 400 yards into a small hole in the ground can be recorded in a box a few millimetres square has no understanding of golf. I am thinking of proposing the introduction of note books in which we can write a short essay at the completion of each hole because the all-important number we enter dutifully onto the card is never the whole story. Yes I am kidding.

Of course, the first thing you learn as a golfer is that nobody really wants to hear your story! In professional golf, the only post-round question that counts is, “what did you shoot?” In the amateur game we are more polite, more understanding. We make the fatal mistake of asking, “how did you play?” It is an open invitation to someone to deliver a pulpit sermon full of excuses, explanations, tall tales and hard luck stories. The eyes of even the most patient listener soon begin to glaze over.

The best solution would be to open a press conference room at every club. Ten minutes after the end of each round, all players should be required to present themselves for interview. If any other club members wish to ask any questions about the detail of the score the player has just signed for they could be free to ask them in there. You wouldn’t need a large room. One chair should be plenty. Face facts, nobody else cares about your ‘how’ or ‘why’ or ‘if’… all that matters is ‘how many’.

One of the best golf sayings I’ve ever heard is, ‘good players remember the bad shots, bad players remember the good ones.’ I would like to create an addition to that adage… ‘all players remember their bad luck and conveniently forget their good luck’. Rarely do we walk off the final green thinking that our score might easily be worse than it is. We all prefer to reflect on the shots or points that got away. In a perfect world, we would also like to tell everybody about them over a drink. Get over it.

A couple of weeks ago, I pured a tee-shot at a downhill par 3 and lifted my head to see the glory of my white ball soaring against the perfect backdrop of an azure blue sky directly towards the flag. For a brief second or two, time stood beautifully still as I disappeared into a parallel universe in which the green was surrounded by my adoring gallery and Tim Barter was waiting microphone in hand by the Skycart. It was at this point that my ball landed on the apron, bounced against a small post protecting the approach from trolley traffic and veered sideways into a bunker. My response would definitely have to beeped out by any self-respecting media company!

This never happens to Michelle Wie. This is golf luck of a kind that only club players truly appreciate. Sunken lies in badly-raked bunkers, course maintenance work, grass cuttings, roped-off areas, worm casts, duck sh*t, bumps and bobbles on temporary greens. Some days you clip every over-hanging branch, find every divot lie, lip out every putt. Well, you don’t in reality but that’s the way it seems and feels.

Watching another player disappearing into a cloud of self-pitying rage and despair as the golfing Gods conspire against them is like watching someone sink helplessly into quicksand. There is nothing you can say, no way you can help. Dealing with the shot immediately after a bad swing is difficult enough… dealing with the one after a bad break requires the patience of a saint. And all the time your growing score on the hole is ticking in your head like a taxi meter in traffic. Golf is above all a test of our ability to be philosophical. Sh*t happens. Say whatever expletives that make you feel better then move on.

So, there is a very good reason why the scorecard is designed to allow the bare minimum of reporting of each hole we play. To allow space for eye-witness accounts and hindsight reviews of each of the 18 steps we take would be to add at least an hour to every round. Even when it all becomes too much and you simply cannot complete the course, a cursory ‘NR’ covers everything from a major sulk to a major injury. ‘What happened to Steve?’… ‘he collapsed on the 17th tee and was rushed to hospital’… ‘ah, no return then’. The box at the bottom of the card contains all we need to know.

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