Latest sustainability research funded by The R&A unveiled

Seven new sustainable golf research publications funded through The R&A’s Golf Course 2030 (GC2030) programme featured at this year’s BTME.

The new publications and resources provide practical advice and guidance on a wide range of sustainable agronomy and resource management issues in golf.

They bring together the latest academic research and thinking by industry experts from Sports Turf Research Institute (STRI), the University Centre Myerscough, the University of Oslo, the Environmental Protection Group (EPG), and other research and industry bodies.

Arlette Anderson, Director of Sustainable Golf at The R&A, said: “They are essential reading for anyone interested in current sustainability best practice.

“The publications are aimed at the whole industry, but particularly greenkeepers, managers and decision-makers at golf courses. They provide practical guidance and essential resources to increase the adoption of sustainable agronomic practices and promote the opportunities golf has to provide sustainable playable surfaces in the future.”

GC2030 is a long-term research initiative funded by The R&A and its industry partners to build and share knowledge of sustainability best practice in the golf industry. Since its introduction in 2018, in excess of £650K has been awarded to research projects that help those working in golf course management address complex challenges around the themes of sustainable agronomy, resources, biodiversity and climate. The latest GC2030 publications are:

Golf Course Aggregate Overview

This publication explores emerging best practice in the use of sands and gravels on golf courses in the long-term context of increasing costs, reduced availability, and growing awareness of environmental impacts related to extraction and transport.

Golf Course Carbon Cycling

This short, climate-focused overview introduces the concepts of carbon emissions and sequestration in golf course management, identifies practical actions for emissions reduction, and points to future research needed to demonstrate golf’s role in climate action.

Golf Course Condition and Playability: Sustainability Guidelines and Support for Clubs

This is an essential guidebook that brings together current academic and technical research and expert views from the industry to provide guidance, action points, and case studies that help golf courses manage the business, agronomic and sustainability priorities for playing surfaces for the game.

Golf Green Quality Standards: A Framework for Sustainable Golf Courses

This accessible guidance document sets out a context-specific process for defining what green quality means and aims to help courses better focus on the issues that matter most.

Grass Selection Guide

This comprehensive guide book is an essential reference for golf courses worldwide when considering sustainable grass selection and management strategies based on regional and local considerations.

Integrated Turf Management of Parkland Greens in GB&I: Best Practice Handbook

This handbook provides up-to-date guidance on specific issues and pressures facing parkland golf courses and how a holistic approach in the form of integrated turf management (ITM) can be used to address them.

Sustainable Water Management online portal

This interactive map-based tool provides both a legislative and climatic context to sustainable water management and includes practical solutions of all scales for golf courses to consider.

Further programme information and all the latest GC2030 project publications are available online at

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