Golf has a rich history of social and environment stewardship.
Socially in Scotland, the birthplace of golf, most (590+) golf courses are open to the public and are regularly utilized for golf of course, but also walking and jogging. Professional golfing tours connection to local charities goes back 60+ years. The PGA recently announced it surpassed $3 billion in charitable giving and they set a goal to accelerate its future donations to another $1 billion in the next four years. This large level of philanthropic donations is the most of any major sport.
Professional tours and other golf organizations have also implemented a variety of programs build a better future for golf by continuing to open up access for more people to golf. Lastly, according to Forbes and NGF in the US golf generates $84 billion in economic activity that drives nearly 2 million jobs and $59 billion in compensation; reaches over 109 million people; and 34 million people participated in golf annually.
The rise of todays environment crises has put additional pressure on everyone to find new and innovative ways to reduce environmental footprint and golf is no exception. The future of golf will be at risk since as it is one of several outdoor sports that is directly interconnected with the health of our planet.
There are multiple organizations that understand this urgency and have developed sustainable programs to educate golf courses and golfers; implement new sustainable solutions to reduce water, energy, chemical and waste; and help natural habitats, wildlife and eco-systems. Below are a few of these sustainable programs and organization:
There are many areas that golf is actively working on to build a more sustainable future. A few of these areas include:
- Design: harmoniously integrate the natural environment with minimal earth movement; efficient grass species and reduced non-native grass; wildlife sanctuaries; effective water management plans; and lower maintenance requirements.
- Water conservation: reclaimed/recycled/gray water usage is growing and requires significantly less fresh drinking water which is becoming a large global environment issue; and designated and prioritized areas to receive watering.
- Grass selection: new grass species are being introduced across new and existing courses that require significantly (up to 50%) less water and maintenance.
- Water management: effective irrigation and drainage with modern effective technology; water harvesting; and watering in evening when evaporation levels are lower.
- Energy: greater use of solar power to recharge for electric golf carts and maintenance equipment; enhanced machinery and service to reduce energy usage; and devised management programs and reduce time and and resources.
- Soil: promoting natural soil biology with reduced needs for supplemental nutrients; and aids filtering and microbial breakdown of potential pollutants
- Maintenance standards: enhanced maintenance standards that outline how all aspects of a course are up-kept to reduce energy, pesticide protocols and resources.
- Waste Management: programs to compost all green waste; recycling of all maintenance and consumer waste; and utilizing specialized program for any chemical waste.
- Wildlife & biodiversity: designating protected areas and implementing management practices for wildlife and biodiversity
- Walking: eliminating or recommending walking rather than carts to reduce energy usage.
- Cultural control: natural environment utilization for maintaining course with timely and specified modern pesticide applications only when necessary that have reduced negative environment impact.
- Tree and shrub management: utilization of native trees and shrubs that require little to no additional water or nutrients; and proper placement to mitigate additional resources and nutrients needed to maintain grass and other vegetation.
Golf courses who want demonstrate their adoption and adherence to sustainability programs can receive certifications. The GEO Foundation and Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary Program (ACSP) are two of the most popular certifications.
We also want to point out a few examples of highly recognized courses have made strong efforts to become more sustainable:
- Pinehurst No. 2: a recent restoration integrated many sustainable enhancements including removal of all rough reducing managed turf 44% and improve water conservation; reintroduction of natural areas across 35 acres; 650 irrigation heads were removed; 200,000 native plants were added; seeding was eliminated during winter months; weed control was changed to integrated pest management (IPM) strategies with specific herbicides; and concrete cart paths were removed.
- Chambers Bay: built on a former gravel and sand mine Chambers is Certified Silver Audubon Signature Sanctuary that has made progressive sustainability efforts: converts bio-solid waste into fertilizer; ample wildlife habitat; reduced water needs by about 20% through a satellite-managed irrigation system with weather-monitoring; walking only; fine native fescue grass which is drought tolerant and requires minimal non-native nutrients; and public park integration.
- Pebble Beach: to help uphold its serene natural coastline setting Pebble Beach has implemented a many of sustainability practices: recycled water usage; organic slow release fertilizers; hand weed management; IPM strategy implementation; property recycling and composting practices; and1,000 acres of natural open space, including planting thousands of native, drought-resistant plants and trees each year.
WYLD1 felt it was long overdue that a golf brand also took a progressive approach to help protect the future of our planet and golf courses through a sustainable first apparel approach. We also didn't want people to have to feel they were compromising between the powerful apparel performance and sustainability.
Purchasing sustainable golf gear may not appear to directly relate to your role in helping to reduce environment impact and helping ensure a positive future for golf. It makes a difference. The global apparel industry is well documented environmental polluter by generating CO2, water pollution and waste.
WYLD1™ does our utmost to minimize environmental impact through our carefully orchestrated “Go Scratch” sustainable first approach. We recognize there is no perfect solution but we won't stop trying to find it. Below are a few of the sustainable solutions we employ:
A phrase WYLD1™ often uses is "The Future Is In Your Hands". This is a intentional double entendre as we have set out to build a new future standard of performance apparel that is sustainable produced but it also falls on all of us to accept the challenge to help make a positive difference on environmental impact to ensure a positive future for golf.