Developed and assured by the Golf Environment Organisation (GEO) Foundation, the programme is being promoted in close strategic partnership with GCMC (Golf Club Managers Committee).
Since being introduced to club managers and superintendents at October’s Foshan Open Culture and Industry Symposium, 15 leading Chinese golf clubs have already signed up, and another 10 are committed to join early in 2019.
OnCourse China, and the associated GEO Certified sustainability label, have been adopted (and adapted) to make it easier for clubs across the country to fully integrate environmental and social best practices into their operations, as well as their golfer and public communications.
At the same time, a new Sustainability Steering Group has been set up to guide the further development and promotion of OnCourse China, and help communicate and share the nature, resources and community highlights that emerge from clubs on the ground.
GEO Foundation Executive Director Jonathan Smith said: “We are delighted to officially launch OnCourse China, with such motivated partners and guided by such enthusiastic and knowledgeable people on the voluntary Steering Group. We’d like to commend all the clubs that have already signed up and are showing their commitment to a strong and sustainable future, and look forward to supporting and recognising their sustainability efforts over the years ahead.
“There is a tremendous opportunity for golf in China to step forward proactively, collectively and credibly to show how the sport can bring significant net positive impacts to people and the environment.
“We’d like to thank our key strategic and regional partners for their support in the on-going development and roll out of the programme, in particular The R&A, Vidauban Foundation, Toro Foundation, Textron Golf, IAGTO and the Asian Golf Industry Federation.”
Aylwin Tai, CCM and Director of GCMC, said: “The movement in sustainability is happening quickly across China and it is important for golf clubs to keep up – and ideally to be positioned as positive leaders and influencers in their local areas.
“The OnCourse China programme makes achieving this clear and practical, providing ready-made structure of priority themes and action areas; best practice self checklists; confidential data recording and tracking; and communications materials. It also provides a clear pathway to the internationally accredited and recognised GEO Certified label.
“We are excited by the prospect of many Chinese golf clubs joining OnCourse China and gaining international recognition in the coming months. The voluntary Steering Group is proud to serve this important project, making sure it serves clubs and the industry, and share the new ideas, stories and insights that emerge from the OnCourse China platform.”