A recent study published nineteen months after the Horizon oil spill disaster found that crude oil becomes 52 times more toxic when combined with oil dispersal chemicals.

This raises an important question.

Polyester is derived from petroleum. Numerous potentially toxic chemicals including similar chemicals used to disperse oil, but described as stain removers for textiles are applied to sports apparel to increase performance; from moisture-wicking to anti-bacterial properties. Unfortunately the toxicity of the combination of chemicals used in sportswear has never been tested. Golf Refugees are calling for leading sport apparel brands; Nike, Adidas, Puma and the chemical industry suppliers to test the toxicity levels of the combination of chemicals they use.

If you agree, please support our campaign ‘to test your chemicals’



Like most brands we are always experimenting at golf refugees. How about 'ziggy argyle'? Would you be prepared to wear it on the golf course? Please let us know.


Peter Dawson the boss of golf’s oldest governing body suggested that the Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews - and other exclusively male clubs which stage the Open - feel no need to change policy.
Golf Refugees ask 'What would happen if a women was selected to be the next boss of the oldest governing body in golf? Highly unlikely, it is probably an all male committee who decides.. But she would be the chief executive of the R&A and yet unable to become a member of the Royal & Ancient Golf Club. A dogs breakfast.




More male randomness with Golf Refugees.
Ethically made golf shirts from organic cotton. Factory recycles it's dye water and powered solely from renewable energy; wind and solar power.

Ever wondered or asked how your golf shirt is made?



The late 1920's and 1930's saw continuing consolidation of power into the hands of a few large steel, oil and chemical (munitions) companies. The U.S. federal government placed much of the textile production for the domestic economy in the hands of its chief munitions maker, DuPont.
The processing of nitrating cellulose into explosives is very similar to the process for nitrating cellulose into synthetic fibers and plastics. Rayon, the first synthetic fiber, is simply stabilized guncotton, or nitrated cloth, the basic explosive of the 19th century.
“Synthetic plastics find application in fabricating a wide variety of articles, many of which in the past were made from natural products,” beamed Lammot DuPont (Popular Mechanics, June 1939).
“Consider our natural resources,” the president of DuPont continued, “The chemist has aided in conserving natural resources by developing synthetic products to supplement or wholly replace natural products.”
DuPont’s scientists were the world’s leading researchers into the processes of nitrating cellulose and were in fact the largest processor of cellulose in the nation in this era.
The February 1938 Popular Mechanics article stated “Thousands of tons of hemp hurds are used every year by one large powder company for the manufacture of dynamite and TNT.” History shows that DuPont had largely cornered the market in explosives by buying up and consolidating the smaller blasting companies in the late 1800s. By 1902 it controlled about two-thirds of industry output.
They were the largest powder company, supplying 40% of the munitions for the allies in WWI. As cellulose and fiber researchers, DuPont’s chemists knew hemp’s true value better than anyone else. The value of hemp goes far beyond line fibers; although recognized for linen, canvas, netting and cordage, these long fibers are only 20% of the hemp stalk’s weight. Eighty percent of the hemp is in the 77% cellulose hurd, and this was the most abundant, cleanest resource of cellulose (fiber) for paper, plastics and even rayon.
The empirical evidence in this book shows that the federal government – through the 1937 Marijuana Tax Act – allowed this munitions maker to supply synthetic fibers for the domestic economy without competition. The proof of a successful conspiracy among these corporate and governing interests is simply this: in 1997 DuPont was still the largest producer of man-made fibers, while no American citizen has legally harvested a single acre of textile grade hemp in over 60 years (except during the period of WWII).
An almost unlimited tonnage of natural fiber and cellulose would have become available to the American farmer in 1937, the year DuPont patented Nylon and the polluting wood-pulp paper sulfide process. All of hemp’s potential value was lost.
Simple plastics of the early 1900s were made of nitrated cellulose, directly related to DuPont’s munitions-making process. Celluloid, acetate and rayon were the simple plastics of that era, and hemp was well known to cellulose researchers as the premier resource for this new industry to use. Worldwide, the raw material of simple plastics, rayon and paper could be best supplied by hemp hurds.
Nylon fibers were developed between 1926-1937 by the noted Harvard chemist Wallace Carothers, working from German patents. These polyamides are long fibers based on observed natural products. Carothers, supplied with an open-ended research grant from DuPont, made a comprehensive study of natural cellulose fibers. He duplicated natural fibers in his labs and polyamides – long fibers of a specific chemical process – were developed. (Curiously, Wallace Carothers committed suicide in April of 1937, one week after the House Ways and Means Committee had the hearings on cannabis and created the bill that would eventually outlaw hemp.)
Coal tar and petroleum-based chemicals were employed, and different devices, spinnerets and processes were patented. This new type of textile, Nylon, was to be controlled from the raw material stage, as coal, to the completed product: a patented chemical product. The chemical company centralized the production and profits of the new “miracle” fiber. The introduction of Nylon, the introduction of high-volume machinery to separate hemp’s long fiber from the cellulose hurd, and the outlawing of hemp as “marijuana” all occurred simultaneously.
The new man-made fibers (MMFs) can best be described as war material. The fiber-making process has become one based on big factories, smokestacks, coolants and hazardous chemicals, rather than one of stripping out the abundant, naturally available fibers.
Coming from a history of making explosives and munitions, the old “chemical dye plants” now produce hosiery, mock linens, mock canvas, latex paint and synthetic carpets. Their polluting factories make imitation leather, upholstery and wood surfaces, while an important part of the natural cycle stands outlawed.
The standard fiber of world history, America’s traditional crop, hemp, could provide our textiles and paper and be the premier source for cellulose. The war industries – DuPont, Allied Chemical, Monsanto, etc., – are protected from competition by the marijuana laws. They made war on the natural cycle and the common farmer. By Shan Clark



The Augusta syndrome, golfers see Augusta and say ‘why doesn't my golf course look like that – blemish-free, no weeds’? 
But such standards come at a cost to the environment. Fertilizers, pesticides, herbicides and astonishing amounts of water are all necessary ingredients. They point to phosphorus-based fertilizers, which run off into local lakes and streams during watering and rainstorms, causing algae blooms that suck up oxygen and kill aquatic life. And because turf is mowed to very low heights, grass is stressed and vulnerable to pests, which leads to greater pesticide use.

And then there is the issue of water use. World Watch Institute - estimates the amount of water used per day to irrigate the world's golf course at 9.5 billion litres. The same amount of water would support 4.7 billion people at the UN daily minimum.

Yet ecologist Jim Sluiter maintains that in urban areas, a golf course can, in fact, be more environmentally-friendly than a housing development or a shopping complex. And in rural areas, it's often less harmful than an industrial farming operation.





Has Tiger turned into a cheater?
More likely this is just another example of there being too many rules in golf.



Arnold Palmer recently reiterated his support of rolling back the distances on golf balls as a way to make classic older golf courses more relevant to today's power and long-distance hitters.  Palmer is not alone.  In fact, other greats of the game such as Jack Nicklaus and even Tiger Woods are in favor of reigning back the distance on today's balls.

It may come as a bit of a surprise that Tiger would be in favor of such a move considering courses like the one at the Atlantis Paradise Island casino are all built around the long game.  However, if you look at the issue a little closer, you may come to realize that the move would be ecologically sound for the game of golf.

How could pulling back on ball distance affect the game you ask?  Look at the fact that many newer golf courses that are currently being built and designed are on average 40 to 60 acres larger than they were just two decades ago.  That extra acreage comes at a cost not just to those building the course, but also to both the patrons of those courses and the environment that they are carved out of.

The USGA has been looking into the issue of rolling back ball distances for several years.  Back in 2005 they requested, received, and tested prototype balls from nine manufacturers as to how viable those balls would be.  In recent months, the organization has looked into reduced-distance balls as a way to reduce the game's environmental impact. 

Ultimately, it may take a decree from the USGA to make reduced-distance balls a reality on the tour and everyday golfing as many amateur players current scoff at the suggestion of rolling back distances on balls.  Since most average around 200 yards from the tee, they want to be able to shoot something that will make them drive longer, not hold them back.

However, if one takes a look at the overall environmental impact of longer courses then they may see that longer balls are not the answer. It does not make sense to continue to destroy valuable natural land resources just so someone can get an extra 30 to 40 yards off the tee. Rolling back ball distances can help golf to be able to reuse courses that are nearly obsolete and bring more history back into the game.



Some people are concerned about sweating even though it is completely natural. Our new pre-sweat shirts already contain darkened patches of colour where you are most likely to sweat; around the collar and under your arms.

So let’s sweat.



On the eve of the Masters, Augusta National looks great, whether you are viewing through a TV screen or lucky enough to be there in the flesh. No doubt it takes a considerable effort and skill to prepare a golf course to this standard. But is beauty skin deep?

Only grass is allowed to grow with all other species being exterminated. And the grass has to be greener than green. How has this all been achieved?

By using tons and tons of synthetic fertilizers, pesticides and hundreds of millions gallons of water. The exact figures are a closely guarded secret.

There is an organisation called the GEO (Golf Environmental Organisation) who provide a certificate to any golf course who can prove sustainable practices. I understand St Andrews is a recently certified course but Augusta is not. But why not simply create a transparent league table where tournament golf courses have to declare the amount of synthetic fertilizers, pesticides and water usage?

I used to believe golf was a great way to enjoy the environment, but in our modern world it is becoming saturated by synthetic chemicals. Whether these are applied to the fairways or in the sports apparel we wear.

Transparency should be the real name of the game. Tell us what you are using and in what quantities and we will all be able see any improvement in efficiency with regard to chemical and water usage.

Why should this information be kept secret? We might as well be walking in the dark.



No we haven’t overdosed on alphabet spaghetti and just because we live near
Bletchley Park doesn't mean we've become hobbyist code breakers. You should be able to work it out.