How golf clubs can meet environmental obligations

Seamus Rotherick
By Seamus Rotherick May 26, 2022 10:47

Following the euphoria of golf participation levels and membership increasing by record numbers over the last two years, the mounting energy crisis has brought UK golf clubs quickly down to earth this year.

Some business energy rates have alarmingly risen by around 300 per cent since last January and by as much as 100 per cent and more since the turn of the year.

With the on-going conflict between Russia and Ukraine, the situation is unlikely to improve any time soon and finding sustainable and effective long-term solutions to meet energy demands has risen to the top of the agenda for many golf clubs and resorts.

Understandably, bearing in mind the complexity of the issue and with each venue’s needs being different, there is no ‘one-size-fits-all’ solution available.

But finding ways for how clubs meet their environmental obligations and adopt responsible every-day green solutions – that not only deliver greater efficiency but also save money – is closer than you think in the form of GreenClub, a specialist energy and sustainability consultancy business that works with the golf and leisure sector to help venues to realise their sustainability goals.

Frilford Heath

Sustainability, in the general context of the subject area, is naturally attributed to environmental issues and the fact that we all need to be “doing our bit” for the planet. But GreenClub likes to run a parallel line against this as well which is focused on the sustainability of a venue’s business, and their service offering is very much centred on this area which has a genuine commercial upside.

Mike Gray, GreenClub’s business manager, said: “Golf clubs are businesses with infrastructure, land and consumers and for all to operate efficiently in an ideal world they have the best in technology for heating, lighting, air quality, waste and water management and machinery. They also have a team of people to manage and run the business.

Mike Gray

“Against the backdrop of rapidly increasing overheads and often historic under-investment, particularly in mechanical services in clubhouses, the biggest challenge clubs face is often understanding what they could do to minimise overheads and invest in ever-more efficient systems that will mean ongoing profitability to ensure a healthy sustainable future.

“GreenClub’s service will evaluate an individual club’s current infrastructure and plant, energy sources and usage and its operating policies and then present recommendations that will increase efficiency, reduce overheads and enhance the club’s environmental performance – creating a venue-specific ‘Sustainability Roadmap’ with the ambition of achieving a ‘Net Zero’ operation.”

A partner of the GEO Foundation for Sustainable Golf, GreenClub is committed to promoting long-term sustainability and achieving carbon neutrality for its customers, and their objective continues to gather pace on several fronts.

London Golf Club

As well as securing partnerships with a number of high-profile names in the golf industry including London Golf Club and Portmarnock Golf Club, company spokesmen have been key speakers at a number of key golf trade events in England and Scotland in 2022 as interest in their environmental expertise and services grows.

Eddie Reid, from TGI Golf, said: “Sustainability and environmental education will be critical for golf clubs and everyone in our industry. We need a degree of urgency now in addressing the issues.

“Having GreenClub as a TGI partner presenting at the TGI Business Conference at Turnberry recently allowed us to open up a dialogue with some delegates who perhaps had no idea how to make a start. Mike’s presentation was not only educational but eye-opening in respect of what needs to be done quickly to make the changes necessary. I am sure we all took something from the session.”

Russell Stebbings, managing director of Frilford Heath Golf Club in Oxfordshire, one of the first clubs to sign up to the new GreenClub Lite service, said: “Our golf club was founded in 1908, we have been here for more than 114 years and we want to make sure that we are here for the next 114 years and beyond.

“We are in a unique position in that we have a large estate and there are numerous ways across our site that we can contribute back to the ultimate goal of achieving net zero. We are really excited to be working with GreenClub and we are looking forward to receiving their recommendations on how we can improve our sustainable credentials.”

Portmarnock Golf Club

Delivering long-term solutions to the sustainable needs of golf clubs, resorts and leisure venues, GreenClub, which was founded in autumn 2020, offers both a premium service and innovative new ‘GreenClub Lite’ service, which provides a cost-effective solution to clubs seeking to adopt a greener approach and embark on the path to ultimately becoming a ‘Net Zero’, carbon-neutral venue.

Portmarnock Golf Club

As well as offering consultation services to assess current and future needs of any business as they seek to reduce their carbon emissions, venues can also become generators of their own green renewable energy by utilising renewable energy options to ensure venues have greater independence from traditional and ever-more expensive energy supply.

For further information, call 0800 999 1904, email or visit


Seamus Rotherick
By Seamus Rotherick May 26, 2022 10:47
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