The following is a list of some communication avenues open to golf clubs. Most are utilised by all golf clubs while others may be a new avenue for your club to try:
Annual general meetings
The AGM is an opportunity to present ideas to the entire membership and to encourage member participation. Golf clubs could provide a forum within the AGM to generate ideas from the membership on how the staff and membership can contribute to saving energy and reducing waste.
Environmental policy documents
The environmental policy document generated through the Greener Golf Website provides a written statement of the club’s environmental aspirations and how these will be achieved over the next 5 years. The policy document can be ratified by the club membership to provide a written record of the club’s environmental aspirations.
Ecological management plans
An ecological management plan will provide a long-term phased programme of works for the golf course to improve the aesthetic and playing quality of the golf course, to improve the biodiversity value of the golf course and to ensure legislative compliance.
Newsletters and noticeboard
Newletters can be used to present new ideas and initiatives to the membership and to report on financial savings and environmental improvements achieved by the club. Consider sending newsletters as emails to save money and paper and to encourage direct feedback on issues covered in the newsletter from the membership.
The club should consider compiling a dossier of current legislation, or calling on outside expertise to create one, so that all staff and members can have access to up-to-date legislation and how legislation affects the golf club on a day to day basis.
Any legislation dossier should be reviewed regularly, at least on an annual basis, to ensure that the club are compliant with current legislation. The club should consider both current and likely future legislation. Today’s best practice guidance often becomes tomorrow’s legislation and complying with best practice will help the club stay ahead of legislation changes.
On-course signage and wildlife and conservation yardage books
Information displayed on the golf course can help members and visitors engage with course management issues and wildlife as they walk the golf course. Signs on the golf course can effectively summarise environmental projects carried out on the golf course, while incorporating wildlife information into course yardage books means that golfers can see the hole by hole wildlife highlights on the golf course. Golf clubs with a public right of way might consider locating signage close to walking routes.
The golf club’s website can be used to communicate the golf club’s commitment to environmental improvements to members, prospective members and the wider public. The golf club could publish their own individual environment policy on their website and could post updates on how the club have worked to achieve the goals within their policy document.
Local newspapers usually welcome positive stories on environmental issues and may publish articles on the golf club’s efforts to improve their environmental performance. Utilising the local press in this way can help to encourage new members to the golf club and to promote the golf club to the wider public as an environmentally responsible organisation.
Evening talks and course walks
Often people find concepts easier to understand if they are shown the evidence and can see things firsthand. The golf club could organise an evening talk or course walk, either hosted by the golf club staff and members or with help from a professional expert.