This week a police unit reportedly injured at least 23 workers outside a Cambodia Garment factory which produces apparel for Nike. The Guardian newspaper writes that police intervened after some 3,000 mostly female workers protested against payment conditions at their workplace. The local workforce in Cambodia have become increasingly sensitive about working conditions in the country, notably after parts of two factories collapsed earlier this month. One of these production plants where two workers were killed manufactures running shoes for Asics. At the Nike plant, the employees are calling for an extra payment of $14 per month for healthcare, transport and housing in addition to the minimum wage of $74 a month. The situation in the Cambodian factories has become highly critical over the past few weeks due to a growing number of strikes around the country. The southeast Asian nation depends heavily on exports of garments which – according to the International Monetary Fund – account for some 75 percent of Cambodia’s total exports which reached a volume of more than $5.2 billion in 2011.

After more than 1,100 workers died in a Bangladesh factory collapse in April, the situation in Asia’s factories can no longer be simply explained away as a tragic individual case. In Cambodia the whole matter is creating social turmoil. This is due to casualties from cheap factory buildings and a system with questionable working conditions where workers feel underpaid. Depending on media interest in such issues and consumer awareness in Western countries, sporting goods brands may have to consider solutions which are more sustainable than just paying out indemnities to polish their image. The whole dilemma calls for enhanced efforts on sustainability and transparency and ultimately money to improve the circumstances under which their products are actually manufactured.



Golf equipment company TaylorMade, owned by German sportswear group Adidas, issued a strongly worded statement criticising Garcia;
"Sergio Garcia's recent comment was offensive and in no way aligns with TaylorMade-adidas Golf's values and corporate culture"

I thought it was a very interesting to compare Garcia’s poor joke with corporate values.

What are Adidas values and corporate culture? Adidas were heavily criticised for refusing to cough up severance pay for 2,800 Indonesian garment workers.
Along with other major sports brands they rely on sweatshop labour to produce their goods worn by Garcia and Co. I wonder if anyone would bat an eyelid if Garcia had jokingly said “do you like my new sweatshop threads?”

Are ‘real’ corporate values a race to the bottom in terms of wages, working conditions and environmental protection for their supply chain in Asia?

What would happen if Adidas decided to pollute rivers in their home country; Germany, in the same manner as they pollute rivers in Asia?

Corporate culture and values. It’s a funny old world.






Top five European countries in terms of share of female golfers (compared to all golfers in the country - 2011 data)

Germany 35%
Austria 35%
Switzerland 33%
Netherlands 31%
Denmark 29%

Top five European countries in terms of share of junior golfers (compared to all golfers in the country - 2011 data)

Turkey 52%
Serbia 34%
Greece 25%
Romania 24%
Latvia 23%

German-speaking countries and the Netherlands remain the flagship markets for female participation in Europe, with more than 30% of their players being women. Germany and the Netherlands are not only among the top -five countries in terms of proportion of women golfers, but also in absolute terms: both countries boast significant numbers of female players.



A while back there were a number of new golf magazines to challenge the staid outlook peddled by the pleated-front-trouser brigade. I’m talking about the new prospective offered by Putt, Bogey and who can forget Golf Punk magazines. Sadly P
utt and Bogey are no longer with us. Their names alone conjure an alternative narrative to the established Golf Monthly, Today’s Golfer and Golf World.

Here’s a cover from Bogey. It features an orange triangular tee designed by Golf Refugees. This teepeg was reviewed by European Solhein Cup Captain Alison Nicholas who thought it was rubbish.



SCOTLAND’S leading female golfer has urged the sport’s governing body to “lead by example” by admitting women members to the country’s most famous club.
Catriona Matthew called on the Royal and Ancient Golf Club in St Andrews to end its men-only membership policy. Such a move could signal the end of discriminatory policies that remain in place at some of Scotland’s most exclusive clubs.
Ms Matthew’s intervention came days after the R&A, golf’s ruling body and organiser of the Open Championship, said it could not “bully” men-only clubs into admitting women members. Muirfield – a men-only club in East Lothian – is preparing to host the Open for the 16th time in July.
Pressure has been growing on the small number of Scottish clubs that exclude female members after the Augusta National in Georgia, home of the Masters, broke with tradition by admitting two women members last year.
Speaking in Edinburgh yesterday, Ms Matthew, a former Women’s British Open cham­pion, insisted the onus is on the R&A to make the first move.
“I’d say inevitably it will change,” she said at the launch of the Aberdeen Asset Management Ladies’ Scottish Open. “I think Augusta letting in the two [female members] was great. You can’t force these clubs to do it. They’ll do it in their own time.
“I think it would be a great move by the R&A to do it. It’s tough for them to tell Muirfield to do it when they don’t have women members. They should lead by example.”
The Royal & Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews was founded in 1754 and has a worldwide membership. Any decision to admit women would be “a matter for our members to determine”, according to the club when it responded to the move by Augusta to allow Condoleezza Rice, the former US secretary of state, and banking executive Darla Moore to don the coveted Green Jacket last year.
To date, there has been no sign of the Honourable Company of Edinburgh Golfers on the East Lothian coast, or other high-profile men-only clubs such as Royal Troon, following suit.
“There is nothing wrong under the UK legislation with a single-sex club, as long as they behave under the Equality Act as far as guest access is concerned, which Muirfield certainly does,” said Peter Dawson, R&A chief executive, last month.
“To think that the R&A might say to a club like Muirfield, ‘You are not going to have the Open any more unless you change your policy’, is frankly a bullying position we would never take.”
However, Ms Matthew, who lives in East Lothian, said: “You can’t suddenly have 50 per cent women members, but what they did in Augusta was a start.
“In 50 years’ time, hopefully there’ll be a few more. A few in is a start, though, and we can go from there.
“I’ve lived in East Lothian for quite a long time. I’ve played Muirfield maybe twice. I’m sure if I tried I could go [more]. The R&A do so much for golf. They put a lot into women’s golf. It’s a shame that that can get lost.”
Carly Booth, 20, the current Scottish Ladies’ Open champion, said yesterday she had never played at Muirfield.
“It’s out of our control,” she added when asked her views on single-sex golf clubs.
“We just on with it. When it happens, it happens.”
Another up-and-coming player, Melissa Reid, of England, recently spoke of her regret that the Open was staged at men-­only clubs such as Muirfield, Royal Troon and Royal St George’s in Kent.
She said: “It would be nice if they did not [take the Open to male-only clubs], as it would back us up a bit, but I don’t think they will because they are such good Open venues.”
Mr Dawson, one of the most powerful figures in golf, was unavailable to respond to Ms Matthew’s comments last night, but he addressed the subject of men-only clubs during a recent discussion with golf writers.
He admitted the issue was “very emotive”, but felt the general public had “a slightly false impression of what things are like in the game of golf”, because of how the sport had been portrayed over single-sex clubs.
He said: “My personal position is that I totally believe in equality, but I do also believe that there are times when men need to socialise with men and women need to socialise with women.”
No-one from Muirfield returned calls last night.
Golf still bound by rules made in Scotland 269 years ago
The thorny issue of single-sex golf clubs has been a feature of the game since the first rules were drawn up in the 18th century.
The Honourable Company of Edinburgh Golfers, which this year is hosting the Open at Muirfield, was one of the first clubs to formalise the rules of the game in 1744.
Throughout its history it has had an all-male membership, as has the Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews, founded in 1754 and which was to become the custodian of the rules of golf and the game’s ruling body on this side of the Atlantic.
In 2004, a reorganisation saw the club devolve responsibility for these functions to a newly formed group of companies, known as the R&A.
The return of the Open to Muirfield has once again seen all-male clubs in the firing line. Other single-sex clubs to host golf’s most prestigious championship are Royal Troon and Royal St George’s.
Those who defend the arrangement against charges of sexism point out that lady guests and visitors are welcome to play the courses and are welcome in their clubhouses, and like any private clubs they have the right to create their own rules.
In some cases, for example Royal Troon and St Andrews, there is a neighbouring club that caters for an all-lady membership.
But the barrage of criticism that has rained down on all-male clubs led to Augusta National, the golf club once regarded as the as the most formidable male bastion in the world, relaxing its rules.
The home of the US Masters, founded by Bobby Jones, admitted the former secretary of state Condoleezza Rice, pictured, and the South Carolina financier Darla Moore as members last year.



Horizontal printed 'shades' pattern in black for men. 
Diagonal printed 'shades' patter in purple for women.
Ethically made polo shirts, carbon neutral status.



Looking to add some distance to your swing? Well, first thing is first, you want to make sure that you are purchasing the right driver to fit your game. Whether you are an expert or beginner golfer, the massive amounts of drivers that saturate today’s market make choosing the right driver especially difficult.
Fortunately, there are now resources online that make it much easier for golfers of any skill level to find the perfect driver to fit their game.  FindTheBest offers a tool that allows you to compares 1,190 different drivers based on a variety of key features that can help you easily search, compare, and filter through drivers to help you find the best choice for your style of game.
For this post, I will focus on information that can be conveniently be found on FindTheBest’s driver comparison tool.
When considering a new driver, here are a couple things to consider when you are in the market for a new driver.
•           Shaft Flex: The appropriate shaft flex for you driver depends on your swing speed. Players with a slow swing will benefit from a more flexible driver’s shaft. Players with a faster swing will experience better control and produce larger drives with a stiffer shaft.
•           The Loft: The loft angle of the club affects the trajectory of the ball off of the club face. Typically, golfers who are more experienced and have a faster swing want a lower loft (between 7 and 9 degrees) in order to maximize their distance. Beginning golfers with slower swings would want to consider shopping for a higher loft (between 11 and 13 degrees).
•           Size of Driver Head: For beginners, go with a driver with a larger head is ideal. A larger driver head increases the surface are as well as the sweet spot. Smaller driver heads are advantageous in that they are lighter and give the golfer more control and allow for a faster swing, but this decreases the size of the sweet spot. Golfers with more experience will benefit from a driver with a smaller head.
Price: Prices vary greatly among drivers, with the priciest driver coming in at $770. While this pricey drivers can provided impressive distances and performance, it still requires a large amount of skill to get the most out of them. When considering purchasing a new drive, it is important to evaluate your own skill level in order to help determine how to get the most bang for your buck. The driver comparison mentioned above can help with this decision by allowing you to filter driver listing using a price slider to compare drivers that best fit your game, but won’t cost you and arm and a leg.



According to ESPN this was one of the sexiest moments in sport during 2012.
Candy selling candy?



The original picture was posted in Golf Magazine with the description ‘get the low-down on all the new golf balls hitting the market from the top manufacturers’.

Golf Refugees thought there was something missing, so we've added a couple of our own;

The Guinness world record holding original black ball and spiral ball.


Golf Refugees believe the hottest women in golf are the young female textile workers who work in sweatshops making golf apparel for leading sportswear brands

But who do you think are the hottest women in golf?





Golfers, if you wish to improve your performance, forget about buying new clubs, balls or the latest sweatshop apparel, save up and buy some ‘deer antler spray’.

Trainers say it ‘makes you feel better, work out harder, feel stronger and recover faster.’ Why shouldn't you take it? It’s a legal competitive advantage.

Even though it does contain a banned substance; IGF-1, it’s not a violation of the Doping Code for you to use deer antler spray. Only banned substances that show up in urine tests are in violation, which IGF-1 doesn't and urine test are the only tests conducted by the Tour. Think of it as a clarification on which drugs you can legally take in tournament golf.

After all golf is a gentlemen's game, I just wonder whether you should declare it on the first tee?