April 2019

FEGGA Run workshops introducing the new translated version of OnCourse Portugal

Following the launch of OnCourse Portugal, FEGGA took to the road to run workshops introducing the new translated version of OnCourse Portugal. FEGGA ran four Workshops covering the whole Country and connected with half the golf courses in Portugal. The Workshops covered an introduction of the concept of OnCourse, we took all the respective attendees through the sign-up process, and the many tools that make up what is now a very good resource for golf clubs to use.

First stop was Oporto GC & great to spend time with the local greenkeepers supporting “Responsible Golf Course Management”  The second day saw us move south from Porto to Cascais for the second OnCourse Portugal Workshop, We received excellent response at Quinta Da Marinha, with a very motivated group of people sharing their knowledge & experiences.

Day three saw us visiting Palmares Golf Club in Lagos, home club to the FEGGA Vice Chairman Joel Nunes. Again we were meet with a great gathering of greenkeepers, sharing their thoughts & helping make our Responsible efforts in Turf Management stronger. The last venue was Quinta do Lago. Again the discussion was very positive and engaging and in how you approach Responsible Golf Course Management.

There was a very strong message that came from all the participates during all the Workshops, and a real commitment to work together, sharing their experiences for the better development of the greenkeeping profession, and ultimately the game of golf. A short Presentation was made at the recent FEGGA Conference, and already other Associations are planning to run their own OnCourse Development Workshops.

Thanks must go to the R&A for supporting this initiative. We would also like to thank GEO, the Portuguesse Greenkeepers Association, and the Portuguesse Golf Federation for their support in delivering the Workshops.

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Sterf Release New Research and Development Yearbook 2018

In 2018 STERF had 15 ongoing projects related to integrated pest management, sustainable water management, winter stress management, and multifunctional golf facilities and ecosystem services, all of them presented in the yearbook, which can be downloaded here:

Other important STERF activities were:

• During spring 2018, STERF presented two new videos, From dense sward to biodiverse roughs and The golf course as an outdoor classroom. The videos can be found at: and at:
• This extreme weather situation during the growing season 2018 highlighted a need for more knowledge about saving water and about efficient irrigation practices on golf courses. By coincidence 2018 was also the final year of the STERF project ‘Engineering better irrigation in turf ’, in which an irrigation workshop had been scheduled well before the 2018 growing season. The workshop took place at Fureso GC, Copenhagen, on 20 June.
• During 2018, the very important handbook ‘The Golf Course Managers’ Handbook on Turfgrass Winter Stress Management’, with practical advice and recommendations, was translated into Swedish and Norwegian and launched at several seminars.
• 2018 saw the release of a new step-by-step workbook, tailor-made for golf clubs, for mapping values, functions and activities on and beyond golf facilities, and also for finding key partners and engaging them in multifunctional projects that contribute to sustainable development (Agenda 2030).
• Effective dialogue between researchers and practitioners is necessary to identify research priorities in new fields and to ensure that newfound knowledge is transferred into practice. During 2018, a number of national seminars were arranged in the Nordic countries. In total, more than 400 practitioners from the golf industry participated in the seminars.
• In October 2018, Maria Strandberg, STERF, and Trygve Aamlid, NIBIO, were invited to Northeast Agricultural University, Harbin, and to China Agricultural University, Beijing. The purpose of this visit was ‘Communication, visiting and learning’. It was also a great honour that Trygve Aamlid was appointed Honorary Professor at Northeast Agricultural University, Harbin.

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Earth Day commitment from the 2019 Solheim Cup

Pinnacle of women’s golf launches sustainability plan to address climate and conserve biodiversity

The organisers of the 2019 Solheim Cup have today launched the event’s sustainability initiative which sees a wave of additional efforts to minimise the climate and environmental footprint of the event, while at the same time maximising the conservation of wildlife. Habitat destruction, exploitation, and climate change are driving the loss of half of the world’s wild animal population.

The comprehensive plan, which also integrates key elements of social inclusion, diversity and equality, is being led by EventScotland in close partnership with the event’s Sustainability Partner, GEO Foundation – the Scotland based non-profit that specialises in promoting sustainability in and through golf around the world.

The plan is also supported by all event partners and stakeholders, including The Gleneagles Hotel, IMG, the Ladies European Tour, LPGA, Scottish Golf and the British and International Golf Greenkeepers Association.

Scottish Government Cabinet Secretary for Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform, Roseanna Cunningham, said: “I am delighted to see and support the 2019 Solheim Cup’s leadership in reducing its impact on our environment and climate by promoting public transport, avoiding single-use plastics and promoting sustainability to the tens of thousands who will descend on Gleneagles. I commend the organisers for taking this important step and look forward to seeing their plan in action later this year.”

Paul Bush, Director of Events at VisitScotland, which is leading the staging and delivery of the event on behalf of The Scottish Government, said: “Great golf and nature-rich landscapes go hand in hand, so we are taking this opportunity to reinforce the importance of biodiversity – both to golf and to society at large. It is important major events such as the 2019 Solheim Cup recognise and minimise the impact on the environment and we hope our direct actions and indirect influences will encourage greater nature conservation across golf in Scotland and further afield.”

Matching with the central theme of Earth Day 2019, the 2019 Solheim Cup is seeking to actively “Protect Our Species”. With 19 ecologically protected areas on and around the golf courses, there is plenty of iconic Scottish wildlife at Gleneagles.

Jonathan Smith, Executive Director, GEO Foundation added: “The world is facing a rate of biodiversity loss that humanity has never seen before, and with our clear dependencies on the natural world, time is of the essence. That makes it all the more important for major influencers, such as the 2019 Solheim Cup and greenspaces, such as golf courses, to take action – and when that happens, it can be hugely beneficial and inspiring to many others.”

Some of the key environmental sustainability action areas for the 2019 Solheim Cup include:

• Reducing the carbon footprint
– Public transport, car sharing, using the efficient park and ride service, clean fuels and by engaging with local suppliers and contractors
• Achieving ‘Zero Waste to Landfill’
– Avoiding single-use materials, making sure all materials are separated for re-use and recycling
• Conserving nationally and internationally important habitats
– Protect the 19 designated areas on Gleneagles Estate and the rare and iconic Scottish wildlife
• Promoting sustainability to more people
– Engaging in, and promoting, green activities.

These are complemented by a wide range of social responsibility actions that centre on diversity and inclusion, including the Aberdeen Standard Investments’ Diversity Summit, affordable ticketing and volunteering rewards scheme. Other areas of focus include access and provisions for people with disabilities, junior golf development experiences and promotion of the health and wellbeing value of golf for families.

With a host of accessible and family-friendly activities on offer, the Scottish Government aims for this to be the most family-focussed golf event ever held in Scotland with tickets for adults priced from just £10 and children under-16 admitted free of charge.

Find out more at

For more examples of how golf is helping conserve biodiversity, as well as conserve resources and strengthen communities, take a look at the Sustainability Highlights here:

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