Grow the game of golf is a new initiative based in the Netherlands and backed by various golf organisations.

We are not overly keen on their logo but it is for a good cause and they invite everyone to send in ideas on how to grow the game of golf.

So here goes;

Golf Refugees would abolish the current governing bodies of golf and replace them with somebody who can write a ‘revised rules of golf’ on a single piece of paper.

The new governing body would have female board members, members from ethnic backgrounds and members from various age groups including teenagers.

Scrap any restrictive dress code rules at golf clubs and tournaments.

Abolish single sex private members golf clubs.

Remove Amateur status from golf.

Official recognition for other forms of golf including; mini golf, crazy golf, street golf etc

Provide incentives to promote environmentally friendly measures;

Major Championships to be awarded to golf courses that develop and implement plans to reduce; water, fertilizer, pesticide usage and waste management including installation of compost toilets.

Tournament officials to wear ethically made carbon neutral apparel.

Remove performance restrictions for golf balls which are made from biodegradable materials.

Introduce minimum requirements for the use of recycled materials for all golf equipment and schemes to enable golf products to be recycled.

We’d love to hear your thoughts on how to grow the game of golf.



At first glance I thought this was a before and after picture for hair transplant treatment. 

It turns out to be Yul Brynner and Frank Sinatra eyeing up a putt.



You need a new golf shirt and succumb to a colourful, fashionable offering made from polyester.

But what is polyester?

It’s a plastic - you’ve just purchased a plastic shirt. No matter, lots of things these days are made from plastic. 

Next you fancy a break and book a beach holiday. There you are catching the rays and grabbing a handful of warm, golden sand.

Where’s all this going? What’s the connection?

Well, every time you wash your plastic polo shirt after playing golf it can produce 1,900 micro fibers. These are passed through the sewage system and into the oceans and washed up on the beaches.

Catch my drift?

That handful of sand you’re holding is also a collection of micro-plastic filaments. Instead of saying ‘that sand gets everywhere.’ You could say ‘I’ve got polyester particles on my privates.’

Researchers discovered this by separating the plastic from the sand and chemically analysing it, they discovered nearly 80% of the filaments were either polyester or acrylic, both of which are common in synthetic textiles.

No single beach tested was devoid of the coloured fragments of plastic.

The most-contaminated samples also originated from areas with the highest human population density, suggesting a pathway to the oceans through sewage.

To discover how the synthetic fibers wound up in sewage, an assortment of polyester clothes were cleaned in domestic washing machines for several months, researchers collected and filtered the waste water for analysis. The numbers were startling.

Ingested micro-plastics can persist in cells for months, moving up the food chain to animals and people who eat fish. More alarmingly, some studies show that micro-plastics can absorb toxic chemicals such as PCB’s.

What if anything can be done?

You can choose to buy natural fabrics for your golf shirts over synthetic.

Textile and washing-machine manufacturers could develop filters that trap the fibers shed from washing polyester clothing.



Over the past four years the rules of golf have undergone a far reaching review. It has taken many man-hours and yes I do mean man-hours.

The result; a few amendments (clarifications) to existing rules.

Golf Refugees feel the only remit should have been; can the rules of golf be written on a single sheet of paper?

When I play golf there are no spectator stands or TV cables. For no one would pay to watch me. So when professional golfers ask for a free drop, I’d say no way.

They could try and use a putter off the cables, take a penalty drop for hitting the ball there in the first place or risk an electrifying shot.

It’s not as if they lay the cables down the middle of the fairways or the stands are hidden behind bushes.

I can’t think of a situation where a free drop is valid. It’s just tough. Do professional golfers need any more pampering or sucking up too?

We need to get to a situation where professional golfers do not require a small army of referees to decide what to do next.

Based in Scotland, the R&A have noticed that it can get a bit windy at St. Andrews.

This plays havoc with their toupees and sometimes causes the ball on exposed greens to move without any help from the latest Scotty Cameron putter.

You could go through the whole rule book with a red marker pen and scrap many other rules which penalise the golfer. How about grounding of your club in a bunker?

It would help many average golfers and make no difference to pros that already make exquisite bunker shots.

Amateur status from golf can go. That would save a few pages.

But if the four year review had resulted in a significant reduction and simplification of the rules, what would all of the R&A blazers be left to do?

The R&A need to keep the rules of golf over-complicated for their benefit.



pic: scandinavia golf club

Would you like to know how much water, fertiliser and pesticides your local golf club use?

Over in Denmark, clubs are required by law to submit an annual green audit which also includes information on energy consumption and waste produced.

Just out of curiosity I visited the website for the R&A, who are the governing bodies of golf in the UK.

In 2009 they launched a benchmarking initiative, which is not about going down to your local park and spraying graffiti on the nearest bench, but a management tool to help golf course developers, owners perform ‘environmentally’ better.

Interesting to read that they are not accepting any new registrations for this service.

I wonder why? Have the R&A been swamped with requests or has it already gone down the toilet?




I'd rather play here than Augusta.



There’s a new eighteen hole golf facility in our home town of Milton Keynes.

We haven’t heard of any environmental groups objecting to the construction of this new, exciting facility. Nor have there been any reports of cheesy visits from the blazers at the governing bodies of golf.

The course offers some usual challenges and very reasonable green fees.

Unlike the new Trump course in Aberdeenshire, scallywag’s will only be charged £4.50 and stowaways can play for free.

An R&A whistleblower told Golf Refugees it was unlikely to be considered for major championships.

Still a great place to take the kids and the young at heart.




I like watching those Scandinavian detectives, from Wallander to Danish crime drama ‘The Killing’. 

They look great, beautifully shot.

No surprise to learn that Sarah Lund's character, a detective in Copenhagen’s homicide department, has set a fashion trend for her jumpers.

The classic cream & navy chunky-knit are made by knitwear specialists Gudrun & Gudrun from the Faroe Islands; 18 tiny islands situated in the North Atlantic between Iceland and Norway.

Natural oils in the organic wool make it water resistance and self-cleaning.



Apparently these broom-handled putters are all the rage.



Golf needs Golf Girls.
Golf Refugees are happy to invite the original Golf Girl; Patricia Hannigan, famous for blogging in her bikini, to share with us her views on the ‘perception of the perfect golf course’.

Naturally we’re big fans.

The golf/real estate boom ... the one that ultimately turned into an unsustainable bubble and ended in the current economic downturn... created the expectation that a golf course, even a public or municipal course, would always be manicured and landscaped to an over-the-top, state of perfection. The Trump courses are the epitome of this, and sadly, they've set a standard. The fact is, these days many American guys expect to play on courses that emulate this standard, and they complain…loudly… when a course is left more "natural". They've convinced themselves that at such courses they'll play badly... because the conditions are not up-to-par, ie. Trump standards/PGA Tournament standards. The thing is…these guys are simply your average recreational players. Their expectations have gotten totally out of control.

Add to that the fact that a huge percentage of our "core golfers" come from a demographic... wealthy, white, US, male, republican, age 40 - 60... that categorically denies the existence of global warming and feels that anything labeled "green" is ridiculous and a passing fad.

This makes me feel that much of the talk about environmental stewardship in golf course design & maintenance is simply a disingenuous attempt to "appease the 'crazy environmentalists' out there".

Of course there are many who care deeply about the environment, particularly those in a younger demographic...the potential golfers of the future …but even if they're attracted to golf, they won't want to take up a sport that's perceived as "anti-green" and bad for the environment... Some course owners/developers understand this are striving to actually design and maintain courses in an ecologically sound way... but in many cases those course are struggling. Justin Timberlake is one high-profile example. He's put his heart and soul ... not to mention a massive amount of his own money into creating an environmentally friendly golf course, but many complain that it's not manicured enough.

Golf... particularly over here in the US… is in a tough position because of a generational shift. In order to keep their core golfers from straying to other courses, the owners need to keep their own courses looking like Augusta National... on steroids. At the same time these owners must know that future generations are not going want to take up a "clueless, old guy's game".

You can read more blogs from The Golf Girl;




Jeans are still banned from most golf courses, we are not sure why?
You have pro golfers dressed from head to toe in orange and this is meant to be the height of style and fashion.
But should golf courses still ban jeans of ‘style and substance’, which could purify the air as you play a round of golf?

Imagine the scene. You watch as the Range Rovers and BMW’s pollute there way into the members car park. Instead of wearing the usual checkered slacks, golfers pull on a pair of ‘catalytic-clothing’ jeans in an effort to redeem their green credentials.

Inventor Prof. Tony Ryan of Sheffield University’s faculty of science claims they could help combat the harmful emissions released by vehicle exhausts. They could take half a gram of nitrous oxide out of the environment a day. That means one million golfers could take half a ton, and that does start to make a difference.



Some of the coolest features of our 2012 range are on the inside.





Have any golf courses introduced compost loos for their members? 

If your course is lucky enough to have either famous golfers or hold major tournaments. Not only will they be walking the fairways and greens, their waste can be recycled to help grow and maintain the course.

A good example would be Poulter’s poo sprayed over the fairways at Woburn Golf & Country Club.

What could be better than that?