SA Golf Trader: Sport Environmental Sustainability Research

By Alistair Collier | From SA Golf Trader

From the John Collier Survey

The term environmental sustainability (ES) was defined by the authoritative United Nations Brundtland Report in 1987, as the safeguarding of the natural environment for current and future generations, and has become a significant part of academic research into what is called Sport-ES.

Among the many areas of Sport-ES research literature, there is the clear indication that the phenomenon of climate change is causing organisational uncertainty for some sports, for example golf. This uncertainty arises from addressing higher costs, as a result of the increasing complexity for managing water, energy resources and waste outputs.

Geophysical impacts, associated with climate change, include extreme heat or rain events.

In addition, managers of grass-based sports, such as golf, are seeing more pests, weeds, drought, extreme weather, and wind incidents.

For almost two decades, through the John Collier analysis and measurement tools, along with the certification process, the John Collier Annual Survey has been researching the issue of

Sport-ES in respect of golf.

It is interesting to note that we are seeing signs of a trend, where clubs are gradually adapting to changes in climate, by introducing appropriate grasses, reducing closely mown areas, ensuring proper drainage, efficient water usage, and in accepting that grass should not be as lush as in the past, due to limiting the use of pesticides and fertilisers.

The results of the 2022 survey will be published in March 2023, however this is a call to action for all clubs in South Africa to embrace a culture of transparent measurement, and third-party reporting, and by their participation in the 2023

John Collier Survey, becoming an essential part of the continuing and vital research into Sport-ES.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to email or visit the John Collier Golf website at