“Drive the Green” is Golf Ireland’s new Sustainability plan for 2024 to 2027. It was approved at the organisation’s AGM at the end of last month.

With 9,000 directly employed in the industry here and a total revenue of €271.8million generated from golf courses, with a large proportion in the rural economy, the Governing Body for golf in Ireland are looking to lead by example. 

Golf Ireland are resourced to lead and assist the 379 affiliated golf clubs across Ireland on their sustainability journeys, both on and off the golf course, while the sport has a unique opportunity to combat climate change as up to 60% of courses are available for nature.

“We are delighted to launch our action plan. Sustainability is not just a goal; it’s a responsibility we all share,” said Chairperson of Golf Ireland, Paul Haran.

“Each of us, from club members to staff, plays a crucial role in this endeavour.​ Together, we can ensure that golf thrives as a force for good in our communities and the natural world.” 

Golf Ireland’s commitment to climate action is such that together with their new Sustainability Manager Ann Courtney, a team of sustainability experts has been assembled. 

These include leading ecologists, Anja Murray and Alan Lauder, along with GEO Sustainable Golf Foundation, the Association of Turfgrass Professionals Ireland (ATPI), decarbonisation consultant, Jim Young, and sustainability advisor, Gráinne Kelliher.  

The action plan helps clubs address some of the key challenges and opportunities for golf, provides a strategic approach to advancing sustainability in an efficient, practical, and effective way, and highlights key action areas, priorities, and ways for clubs to play their part and benefit from course resilience, operational efficiency, and overall reputation.   

“We urge all stakeholders in golf, including members, staff, partners, facilities, manufacturers, media, and event promoters, to actively engage and contribute to fostering a more sustainable future. Our commitment is to provide increased support to clubs on their sustainability initiatives.”  said Golf Ireland CEO Mark Kennelly.

Starting with leadership at the Governing Body level, the plan extends into support to member clubs. GEO Sustainable Golf Foundation Founder and Executive Director, Jonathan Smith, speaking at the launch of the plan said “We commend Golf Ireland for their leadership in sustainable golf and look forward to supporting the implementation of the sustainability action plan. In doing so we will collectively strengthen the future of the sport, and drive wider positive impacts for nature, climate, and communities across the country.” 

Sport for Business will be hosting a Smart Minds Members Round Table on Sustainability later this month and the need for action in this area will be to the fore in and around that discussion.


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