Sweden leads GEO industry charge


Sean Dudley

Forsgårdens Golfklubb and Ljunghusens Golfklubb in Sweden have become the first two golf facilities in the world to achieve GEO Certified status.

Since its debut at the BMW PGA Championship in May – the flagship event of The European Tour – GEO Certification has generated huge interest and gained the endorsement of major golf organisations worldwide.

“This is a moment in history; one of the defining events in golf’s drive for environmental recognition,” said Jonathan Smith, GEO chief executive. “Never before has the industry been so close to uniting behind a single programme that does so much to dispel criticism and boost the reputation of the game. Ljunghusens and Forsgården are effectively the founding members of a prestigious but welcoming global club. Just envisage what it will do for the image of golf to have thousands of registered facilities and hundreds more certified.”

Having worked with the GEO website during its preview stage, Stig Persson, general manager of Ljunghusens Golfklubb and chairman of The Federation of European Golf Greenkeepers’ Associations, has seen the system mature into a polished product: “Representing Ljunghusens’ environmental work through GEO’s website was remarkably efficient. It enabled our management team to constructively collaborate and it integrated into our workflow with ease.”

GEO’s Jonathan Smith anticipates a major shift in the public perception of golf over the coming decade: “With the ongoing endorsement and promotion of golf organisations, and the active participation of individual golf facilities, GEO Certification can become golf’s trusted and respected environmental standard. It can change the global opinion of the industry once and for all.

Full certification reports for both clubs can be found on the GEO website.