How does a golf tournament become GEO-certified?
Golf Monthly|October 2021
What is GEO, why is it so important and what does ittake for a golf tournament to become GEO-certified?
FERGUS BISSET

Golf has its challenges when it comes to sustainability. Courses cover large areas and maintenance requires resources. The sport has traditionally been viewed as elitist and expensive, only benefiting the wealthy few.

But, because of these perceived challenges, golf has a great opportunity to lead the way in sustainability within sport by considering all aspects, from nature to carbon footprint and the sport’s position within communities.

That’s where the GEO Foundation for Sustainable Golf plays its part as an international not-for-profit dedicated to advancing sustainability in and through golf.

The organization works collaboratively across the sport to put in place new and strengthened sustainability strategies, supported by programmes and tools that help the sport embrace sustainability.

Being GEO-certified has become a meaningful distinction, proudly displayed by many of the world’s leading golfing venues. GEO also works with golf tournaments to help them strive towards sustainability.

For significant events welcoming thousands of spectators and requiring huge infrastructure, it’s a massive challenge. In 2017, the WM Phoenix Open (pictured) became the first event to become a GEO-certified tournament, an accolade it has achieved every year since then.

We spoke with Roddy Williams of the GEO Foundation for Sustainable Golf and Lee Spivak, managing principal of WM’s sports and entertainment sustainability team, to learn more about why it’s so important for tournaments to achieve GEO certification.

Why is looking to become GEO-certified important for golf tournaments?

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