Golf Saudi has revealed its national strategy for the development of golf courses in Saudi Arabia, including a series of initiatives undertaken over the last twelve months aimed at improving the sustainability of golf in the country.
“It has been a productive twelve months, but we have only just begun,” said Majed Al-Sorour, CEO of the Saudi Golf Federation, at a press conference ahead of the Saudi International tournament. “A key driver has been our environmental strategy; bringing together a consortium of industry leaders to develop a national policy that will propel Saudi Arabia to the forefront of environmental development. It is of paramount importance to our national transformation and is a top priority.”
Golf Saudi has aligned with the Golf Environment Organization (GEO) to develop a national programme to inform on best-practice across new developments. GEO will collaborate with STRI Group, who are preparing strategies to advise golf course developers on the construction of golf courses in Saudi Arabia, sharing information on the environment, turf management, water management and materials selection in the country.
“STRI is delighted to be selected to support Golf Saudi in the development of a sustainable strategy for golf,” said Lee Penrose, director of STRI Group. “STRI has provided sports surface solutions and cutting-edge research for over 90 years, and we are looking forward to being able to apply our extensive knowledge and expertise in Saudi Arabia to help inspire and guide golf course development.”
Golf Saudi has also developed a new turf business, partnering with Atlas Turf International to create a turf farm in Saudi Arabia. All Golf Saudi projects will be supplied by the farm, which the federation says will meet international sustainability standards by reducing transportation and providing grasses that require only small amounts of reclaimed water.
“Our objective is to create an ecosystem for golf in Saudi Arabia, ensuring that we can deal with a range of factors including tourism, job creation, sustainability and any environmental concerns,” said Al-Sorour.
The organisation has also set out a series of targets for the development of golf in the country, which it aims to achieve by 2030. These include increasing golf club membership to 20,000; ensuring one million Saudis have experienced golf; attracting at least 5,000 international golf visitors each year and overseeing the construction of over twenty new golf courses.