What would you rather be wearing down the fairways at Augusta for The Masters?

A branded polyester shirt made in China using old air polluting coal-fired power stations or a new Golf Refugees organic cotton polo hand-dyed in Britain made with sustainable wind and solar technology? 


Here’s a picture of a coal miner from Changzhi.

You may believe that your new branded golf shirt is packed with the latest technology. Please check the label.
If it says 'polyester and made in China' it's definitely manufactured using old technology;
air polluting coal-fired power stations.




What should women do at ‘The Masters', with no women members allowed for the past 80 years at Augusta National Golf Club?

This year they have a gender dilemma at board room level.

Usually the CEO’s of their main sponsors; Exxon Mobil Corp, AT&T Inc and IBM are all invited to join the club.

Certainly the previous four CEO’s of IBM have all become members; however will Ginni Rometty be given the same honor this year?

Solution; women at Augusta should wear beards and shout 'no women here'.

Just like the scene from Monty Python's 'Life of Brian';
Mother - Ah, how I hate wearing beards.
Brian - Why aren't women allowed to go to stonings, mum?
Mother - It's written, that's why.
Beard and stone seller - Psst! Beard, madam?

It sounds absurd. But so does golf in the 21 st Century allowing a major championship to be held at a club who prevent women becoming members.



When Kraft took over Cadbury’s a little part of Engl
and was swallowed up by a greedy US giant.

With this weeks first women’s major, the Kraft Nabisco Championship, can a little part of Britain bring home the bacon?

Charley Hull isn’t from Hull and even though she plays just down the road from us at Woburn Golf & Country Club, I’ve no idea what her favourite chocolate bar is.

But you never know she may just return home shouting the "milky bars are on me".



pic: beach golf

I know you are meant to stick your bum out when playing, but Beach Golf is taking it to a whole new level.




It’s unexpectedly hot in the UK. Been sunbathing, not me, my heat-absorbing black golf balls.



Here's the lodown on the official Olympic kit for British Athletes.
Designed by our Stella; Beatles daughter who studied at Central St. Martin’s, for German brand Adidas and like most sports apparel made in China from polyester.
I guess they could have used an unknown fashion designer or launched a schools competition to design the kit.
Even use environmentally friendly fabrics and make it in the UK.
Now that would be British.



Golf Refugees Eco Pro Golfer Awards 2012

Welcome to the first eco golfer awards. Free to enter for all golf professionals.

All you need to do is calculate your eco golf score by following the ten questions below and e-mail the results together with your name and or pseudonym (if you wish to remain anonymous) to; refugees@btinternet.com

Prize of a luxurious hamper containing a plethora of organic goods will be forwarded to you. Winner to be announced on 1st December 2012.

What’s your eco golf score?

1. If you wear cotton based golf apparel (minus 50 points)
2. If you wear polyester based golf apparel (minus 100 points)
3. If you wear hemp, organic cotton or recycled polyester golf apparel award yourself (plus 100 points)
4. If you offset your carbon emissions created by flying to tournaments award yourself (plus 150 points)
5. If you are a member of Greenpeace give yourself (plus 25 points)
6. If you drive a hybrid or electric car award yourself (plus 50 points)
7. If you like Golf Refugees give yourself (plus 1 point)
8. If you eat organic food award yourself (plus 25 points)
9. If you believe golf courses should use less water, pesticides and fertilizers give yourself (plus 25 points)
10. When you wear golf apparel if you think about for more than ten seconds the poor wages, poor conditions and pollution caused by the textile industry award yourself (plus ten points)

Great, now just total up your 'eco golf score' and e-mail it together with your name to; refugees@btinternet.com









Golf Refugees 'help kill a fish' organic cotton t-shirt - and it's carbon neutral too.


Now if you’re so inclined, you can check-up on all of the chemicals used in the products you buy, with this fantastic new tool which is open and free to the general public.
It’s from ‘The European Chemicals Agency’ (ECHA) who have published online all of the known hazards of every chemical.
All you have to do is enter the name of the chemical and agree to their terms and conditions of use;

If you buy cosmetics you can read a list of the chemicals as stated on the packaging.
Unfortunately for the consumer, manufacturers and or brands do not have to state what chemicals they use to produce apparel.
So if you are concerned about the chemicals used in your sports clothing, you’ll have to dig a little bit deeper.

Golf Refugees conducted research into polyester for golf apparel and found a whole load of chemicals are required to produce this popular, inexpensive, synthetic fabric.
For example ‘antimony trioxide’ is used as a catalyst to speed up the chemical reaction to produce polyester (PET) fibre.

So what does ECHA say about ‘antimony trioxide’ which is used in your polyester golf polo shirts. Hovering over the ‘hazard statement codes’ reveals the following;
H351 – suspected of causing cancer
H318 – causes serious eye damage
H332 – harmful if inhaled
H441 – toxic to aquatic life with long lasting affects

However you do need to look at the bigger picture and not just as a western consumer wearing clothing which contains these chemicals.
What do you know about the brands health & safety regulations for their workers who handle these hazardous chemicals in far away countries where they choose to manufacture?
Are major sports brands substantial profits inextricably linked with substantial pollution?
How do you feel about wearing a brands logo that simply washes away hazardous chemicals into local rivers where they cause toxicity with long lasting affects on aquatic life?

You're probably not going to see Justin Rose or any other professional golfer being paid to wear a t-shirt saying 'buy polyester sports apparel and help kill a fish'.



These shoes are killing me.

Did Nike’s new Tiger Woods Zoom TW 2012 golf shoes play a part in his withdrawal from the WGC Cadillac Championship?

Tiger hobbled off the course on the 12th hole with an apparent left Achilles injury.

Woods had already decided to change his golf shoes midway through the round.

We’re not sure at this stage whether Tiger changed to a rival brand or to an older Nike golf shoe.

If you are worried about your Achilles should you consider returning these latest Nike TW 2012 golf shoes, which are no doubt packed with technology?

Even though Tiger doesn't have to stump up $270 dollars for a pair, he doesn't look comfortable wearing them.


Hand dyed in Britain

Hand dyed organic cotton.
For independently minded golfers with a social conscience.



We’ve had wound golf balls, liquid centre balls and solid balls, but how about these ‘cavity-soft-strip’ thingamajigs. 

Yes I appreciate it's a picture of a new car tyre being developed by Michelin. But could a similar idea be applied to golf balls, replacing the familiar multi-layer solid ball?

Potential for increased moment of inertia (MOI). Who knows, in the near future we could all be manufacturing our own golf balls using additive manufacturing via 3D Printers.



What do you think of when you see one of your favourite golfers wearing one of your favourite apparel brands?

A desire to try and emulate the skill and look?

Well unfortunately for me, I can admire the skill, but just can’t help visualising the chemical factories and coal fired power stations behind every polyester polo shirt made in China.

Is any of this sustainable?

Will we all be forced to wear logoed masks which filter the air to play golf in the very near future?

Rickie Fowler; just one of many pro golfers powered by coal.



I’ve never really followed Michelle Wie, not sure why, perhaps it was all of the hype surrounding her from a very early age.

A precocious talent, she started playing golf at the tender age of four and set numerous records as a teenager including the youngest player to make the cut at a LPGA tour event aged just thirteen.

With a multi-million Nike contract in her parents back pocket, golf super-stardom was only a matter of when not if.

Michelle turned pro just before her 16th birthday and now still only 22 has won two LPGA tour events and finished 9th overall in 2010. A great achievement but perhaps not the dominance her media hype had predicted.

Once regarded as a threat to the men’s tour she now settles for competing against the very best female golfers.

Could there be lessons to learn for other talented teenagers not to heap pressure on yourself and resist the temptation to become a salesperson for numerous brands too soon in your golf career?
Though when money is being thrown at you it’s very hard not to catch it.

Wie’s had a shaky start to 2012, finishing 59th out of 60 players in Singapore.

Only a talented few can hit a golf ball 300 yards and win tour events, but we can all scream four letter expletives when life’s frustrations take over. This little episode on the 17th tee will not be recorded on the official Michelle Wie website. To me it makes her more ‘normal’, more human, more likeable.




How do you make golf and golfers more fashionable?

One solution would be to break the traditional roll of agents and managers seeking contracts with major sports apparel brands for their golf stars. If you are contracted to one of these top sport apparel brands you are going to be kitted out in garish polyester from head to toe. How fashionable is that?

You’ll also look like a ‘clone’, as there will be thousands of similar outfits being worn by other sports stars and paraded on the racks of plastic sport retailers.

There is an obvious solution.

If I were a talented young golf star with an interest in fashion. I’d pop down to my local art college and make friends with their up-and-coming fashion design students. It’s a win win situation. The fashion designers get exposure for their new collections and the golf stars get an imaginative ‘look’.

Perhaps agents and managers could even strike a deal between their golf stars and individual fashion designers.