Golf’s ecological transition: what are the challenges?

Maintenance: the renewal of methods

The date is known to all golf course maintenance professionals. On January 1, 2025, all French sports vegetables will have to be processed without the use of synthetic phytosanitary products. Thus there is a law, adopted in early 2014, and named Labbé law, in the name of the ecologist senator already proposed in Parliament. A text with certain provisions is already in force. Thus, from July 1, 2022, the use of these products will be restricted to certain areas of the course only (greens, departures, fairways). A policy that is, as it turns out, already applied to a large number of courses in the Hexagon.

The entire golf course is committed to succeeding in holding the 2025 qualification. “For us, the Labbe law is not a constraint, but an opportunity on the contrary.”points out the president of ffgolf Pascal Grizot. For this, a lot of research has been done, in order to find alternative solutions. The tracks are mainly biological products, which will remain authorized until 2025. Another major axis: the strengthened use of mechanical operations (aerations, sandings), to make surfaces more resistant to various diseases.

These issues are also part of the program Golf Course 2030. The latter, carried by the R&Aregular golf course in 143 countries (including France), seeks to bring together the golf industry to clearly identify the challenges and opportunities that are faced by those who develop, design, build and manage climate change golf courses , of increasing resource constraints and the regulatory agenda.

In France as elsewhere, research is also being conducted on new varieties of gramines, in order to select the ones best suited to different climates. A problem that would allow, in addition, to favor the reasonable use of water.

Water resources: climate change, habits too

Climate change, which affects the entire planet, will be translated in the coming years by periods of more frequent, longer and longer droughts. In these conditions, the commitment of French golf is translated by an ever more rational management of the water resource, this becoming a much more precious property. Again, a number of courses have already begun this transition, for example by making investments to optimize the performance of their irrigation system, or to clear retention basins to recover rainwater.

These investments were favored by the existing partnership between ffgolf and the various water agencies distributed throughout the territory. Thus, these agencies can finance up to 30 % of an irrigation system renovation project, helping clubs begin the work that follows. Changes that accompany a necessary evolution of mentality. More and more lands are now making the choice to reserve the use of plowing in areas where they are most needed, such as greens, departures, and to a lesser extent fairways. All off-road areas, such as roughs or underwoods, only receive natural plowing. A habit called spreading, including among golfers. Moult recent editions of the British Open have proved this: it is totally possible to play, in summer, on a dry, yellow field, but where the grass is still present.

Biodiversity: already 10 % of French golf labeled

The unquestionable richness of the game of golf resides in the fact that it is played at the heart of nature. A nature that it must, therefore, to protect, and in particular the fog and flower installed on the paths. Since 2019, in partnership with the National Museum of Natural History, ffgolf runs the program Pour biodiversity into golf. The principle: to encourage clubs to carry out inventories of their biodiversity, in collaboration with naturalistic structures in their territory. The latter can thus form precautions, in order to establish a follow -up.

In three years, 72 French golfers have received bronze or silver labels from this program, or about 10 % of the regional structures in the national territory. Well understood, the objective, in term, is to be able to label the entire course. On the volley of biodiversity as well, every golfer, by his actions, has his role to play on a daily basis.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.