IN a week when Malaysia went into national lockdown and golf clubs feared for the worst in the face of maintenance work being cut off, the Royal & Ancient Golf Club of Scotland (R&A) launched what they call their “Sustainability Agronomy Service” for the Asia-Pacific region.
The R&A, the world governing (except for the United States and Mexico) made the announcement on their website, noting that the:
• Service was designed to strengthen their sustainability agenda to ensure golf thrives for future generations,
• R&A agronomists have extensive knowledge and experience, and
• Service has tools and guidance to maintain and optimise year-round course playability through sustainable agronomic methods.
The communiqué also noted that this service was “part of the R&A’s commitment to delivering a sustainable future for golf” in Asia-Pacific.
It is based in Singapore and will provide agronomy expertise “to golf facilities to support effective management of courses and achieving best practice in sustainability”.
The R&A broke it down into three segments – sustainable golf a priority, experienced agronomists and tailored golf course maintenance plans.
For the first, the R&A’s Chief Executive Martin Slumbers said: “The agenda is focused on ensuring that golf facilities around the world are taking action now to maintain and enhance the playability of golf courses as the industry faces the challenges of resource reduction, climate change and regulatory changes.
“The R&A Sustainable Agronomy Service strengthens our commitment to sustainability by offering the in-depth knowledge and experience of our agronomists to golf facilities throughout Asia-Pacific.
With reference to agronomists, the R&A’s Asia Pacific Head of Sustainability and Agronomy, Chris Gray said: “Turf presentation and playing conditions are integral to the success of any facility. Our service in the Asia-Pacific region provides the tools and guidance to maintain and optimise year-round course playability through the most efficient and sustainable agronomic methods.
“This Sustainable Agronomy Service is an extension of a golf facility’s green-keeping team.
“We will work together to identify objectives and develop a plan to achieve them. The service is designed to be a long-term partnership that ensures consistency in golf course maintenance well into the future.”
With regards to the tailored plans, the R&A said the service would “improve conditioning and operational efficiencies and provide technical knowledge and best practice to green-keepers.
“The independent service offers a tailored solution to suit each course’s specific requirements, while adhering to environmental regulations and taking account of factors such as climate change and resource shortages by delivering future proofed course maintenance plans that are sustainable.”
The R&A added that the proceeds generated by the service would be “reinvested back into the development of the sport through research on turf management, green-keeping education and sustainability initiatives to ensure that golf is thriving 50 years from now”.