Golf’s net zero pledge by global architects


Golf architects worldwide have joined forces in signing a climate action pledge to help push the sport towards a net zero future. 

Led by hosts EIGCA (European Institute of Golf Course Architects) at their annual summit in Iceland last week, also in attendance were the ASGCA (American Society of Golf Course Architects) and SAGCA (Society of Australian Golf Course Architects).

“Is the climate emergency a golf emergency?” was the theme of the conference, where around 100 delegates from 19 different countries heard from climate change experts such as Jonathan Smith of GEO Foundation.

EIGCA President Tim Lobb paid tribute to “forward-thinking” Iceland for hosting the climate-action themed conference.

“Sustainability and stewardship of the environment are key considerations in golf course design. As an Institute we believe it is important to create a pathway for golf to achieve net zero emissions through how golf courses are designed and developed,” he said.

Iceland is the first nation to pioneer an initiative – the Carbon Par project – to measure the carbon status of all the country’s 65 golf courses, including innovative designs such as Brautarholt Golf Club

ASGCA President Jason Straka, who told Syngenta of his ambition to set a green agenda when he took up the post in 2021, said: “I signed the pledge on behalf of ASGCA and our members, who continue our ongoing commitment towards climate action through conscientious design.”

SAGCA President Harley Kruse added: “The Australian continent is historically one of drought, floods, storms, and bush fires, but now a place where abnormal weather is perhaps becoming normal. 

“SAGCA is very happy to sign this pledge and commit to encouraging and supporting the Australian golf course architecture community to increase their knowledge and understanding of climate adaption in design.”

The pledge strengthens golf architects’ commitments to climate action within the wider framework of sustainable development, defined in the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

“We recognise the fundamental societal importance of emissions reduction, nature-based solutions and local climate adaptation,” read the pledge.

The pledge specifically set out to: increase knowledge and understanding on climate issues, continue to encourage research and innovation in the industry to supply low carbon solutions, continue ongoing environmental stewardship and focus on and thoroughly communicate golf’s positive impact.