On the eve of the 2013 Ricoh British Women's Open, will pink be the dominant colour on the greens at St Andrews?



This week sees the start of the Ricoh British Women’s Open from St Andrews.
Where Inbee Park has the opportunity to win her fourth straight major of the year. Here are Golf Refugees shirt ideas for the British Open.



Next week we have a meeting with EU regulators with regard to REACH, which is the authority on the use of toxic chemicals in consumer products.
Golf Refugees are trying to persuade the EU to amend REACH regulations to allow consumers greater access to information from all EU apparel brands to the 'substances of very high concern' (SVHC) they use. In particular for sports apparel, because of the increased interaction between your sweating skin and the apparel you wear when playing active sports.

Under current EU REACH regulations you may be alarmed to learn that ‘substances of very high concern’ (SVHC) are not restricted as such. In general, it is permitted to supply a product containing any amount of an SVHC.

There is an obligation under REACH for brands to communicate down their supply chains about SVHC present in products only above a certain level.

Even more surprisingly there is currently no specific obligation on brands to test any of their products they sell in the EU.

Golf Refugees believe REACH regulations should be amended to allow EU consumers access to information with regard to the use of SVHC at any level in products.

Naturally Golf Refugees are up against multi-national brands such as Adidas and Puma who wish to keep EU REACH regulations as they are.

If you have an opinion, here’s an opportunity for you to have your say. After all you are the ones who are buying and wearing untested sports apparel containing numerous ‘substances of very high concern’.



Source: O Ecotextiles



English prospect Charley Hull says it is time to end single-sex golf club membership policies, describing them as "silly" and "stupid".
"Golf should be a lot more inclusive regardless of what community you're from"

The Women's British Open takes place between 1-4 August on the Old Course at St Andrews,  where the men-only Royal and Ancient Golf Club is based. "It is time to change," the 17-year-old told BBC Sport. "We're all people and no one is better than anyone else."

In addition to the Royal and Ancient at St Andrews, Royal Troon on Scotland's west coast, Royal St George's in Kent and Muirfield, which hosted the 142nd Open Championship last week, are also men only.
Hull believes the introduction of golf at the 2016 Olympics in Brazil could lead to the end of same-sex memberships.
"I think the Olympics will help a lot and maybe you need a really good British player to come along too," said Hull.
"Laura Davies  has done everything for this country and this game - she's been fantastic. We need more tournaments in the UK. We need more because then they [the public] will realise it is a good game."

Hull will warm up for the British Open by competing at the Ladies European Masters at Buckinghamshire Golf Club which starts on 26 July,

Cheyenne Woods, niece of men's world number one Tiger, will also be competing.

"I'm all for making golf more inclusive - whether it's gender, race, where you're from, how much money you have," Woods, 23, told BBC Sport."The game of golf is such a great sport - especially for kids to grow up and play it. It should be a lot more inclusive regardless of what community you come from."



Dear Puma Golf,

Can I confirm with you that all Puma 'polyester' golf sportswear contain the following toxic substances;

Alkylphenol ethoxylates

With reference to Echa's statement on EU REACH regulations obliging brands to disclose information regarding 'substances of very high concern' to consumers upon request.

Best regards,

Golf Refugee



If you’re planning on buying—and wearing—a Greenpeace T-shirt as a sign of solidarity, you’re out of luck. The environmental group says it’s suspending sales of all textile products until brands and suppliers are able to produce clothing without propagating hazardous chemicals throughout their supply chains. “As an organization we want to supply our supporters with T-shirts that change the world,” Greenpeace says in a statement. “But we will only be able to sell textiles again when the industry can produce toxic-free fashion.”

For the limited quantity of garments it needs to produce for campaigning purposes (“activists need clothes, too!” the group says), Greenpeace has drawn up a new “best-in-class” procurement policy it says will subject to regular reviews and updates.

All textiles purchased under the new global policy must be 100 percent organic, from fair-trade raw materials, and have Global Organic Textile Standard certification or its equivalent. Similarly, inks for printing must be toxic-free and have minimal environmental impact. “Anything else does not meet Greenpeace standards,” it adds.



REACH is the current European regulation for use of potentially toxic chemicals is consumer goods.

"REACH also provides you with the right to ask a retailer whether any "substances of very high concern" – the most hazardous chemicals – have been used in any product that you want to buy. The retailer has, by law, to tell you."

Please start asking. The 'list of substances of very high concern' will make your eyes water.



Polyester is only one compound in a class of petroleum-derived substances known as polymers. Thus, polyester (in common with most polymers) begins its life in our time as crude oil. Crude oil is a cocktail of components that can be separated by industrial distillation.

Polymers are made by chemically reacting a lot of little molecules together to make one long molecule. The little molecules are called monomers and the long molecules are called polymers.

Like this:

O + O + O + . . . makes OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO

Depending on which polymer is required, different monomers are chosen. Ethylene, the monomer for polyethylene, is obtained directly from the distillation of crude oil; other monomers have to be synthesized from more complex petroleum derivatives, and the path to these monomers can be several steps long. The process for polyester is made by reacting ethylene glycol and terephthalic acid.

The polymers themselves are theoretically quite unreactive and therefore not particularly harmful, but this is most certainly not true of the monomers. Chemical companies usually make a big deal of how stable and nonreactive the polymers are, but that’s not what we should be interested in. We need to ask, what about the monomers? How unreactive are they?

We need to ask these questions because a small proportion of the monomer will never be converted into polymer. It just gets trapped in between the polymer chains. Over time this unreacted monomer can escape, either into the atmosphere if the initial monomers were volatile, or by dissolving into water if the monomers were soluble. Because these monomers are so toxic, it takes very small quantities to be harmful to humans, so it is important to know about the monomers before you put the polymers next to your skin. Since your skin is usually moist, any water-borne monomers will find an easy route into your body.

Polyester is the terminal product in a chain of very reactive and toxic precursors. Most are carcinogens; all are poisonous. And even if none of these chemicals remain entrapped in the final polyester structure (which they most likely do), the manufacturing process requires workers and our environment to be exposed to some or all of the chemicals. There is no doubt that the manufacture of polyester is an environmental and public health burden that we would be better off without.

Polyester fabric is soft, smooth, supple – yet still a plastic.  It contributes to our body burden in ways that we are just beginning to understand.  And because polyester is highly flammable, it is often treated with a flame retardant, increasing the toxic load.  So if you think that you've lived this long being exposed to these chemicals and haven’t had a problem, remember that the human body can only withstand so much toxic load – and that the endocrine disrupting chemicals which don’t seem to bother you may be affecting generations to come. Source material - OEcotextiles



Dear Puma Golf,

I am based in the UK and interested in purchasing some brightly coloured Puma sports apparel.

Could you please provide me with a list of any potentially toxic chemicals used to make Puma apparel in particular for golf wear.

I understand under current EU legislation brands our obliged to supply such information to consumers upon request.

Best regards,

Golf Refugee



Golf Refugees are actively lobbying the EU to increase consumer awareness and devise new regulations for combination testing of the highly toxic chemicals used in sports apparel.

From the EU.

This is to reply to your follow-up e-mail of 20 May to our communication of 16 May 2013, where you have raised a number of additional questions as regards the protection and information of consumers about chemicals in textiles they are buying.

EU legislation includes several approaches to limiting quantity of these chemicals in textiles. For example, the REACH Regulation, Water Framework Directive (WFD), the Industrial Emissions Directive (IED) impose restrictions on the use of dangerous substances in textile products marketed in the EU or on the discharges and emissions of such substances to air, soil and water during the production of textiles products.
The implementation and/or enforcement of that legislation fall to Member State’s competent authorities.

Golf Refugees response.

From your statement it falls upon individual member states competent authorities to enforce existing EU legislation with regard to the level of toxic chemicals used in textiles marketed in the EU. Can you please provide a list of those EU member states competent authorities?  How are individual member states expected to enforce current EU legislation? Is there a staggered testing programme across EU member states for testing of textiles to make sure they are compliant with existing legislation? If yes, how often are individual member states expected to test for levels of toxic chemicals used in textiles; annually, bi-annually, every five years, ten years and where do they publish their results?

From the EU.

As regards to lead compounds being used in sports apparel, in addition to the numerous pieces of legislation already regulating them, in December 2012 a number of lead compounds have been identified under REACH as substances of very high concern.
The listing of these ‘very high concern substances' in the candidate list imposes obligations on suppliers of such substances (on their own or in mixtures) to provide their customers and recipients with safety data sheets. It also implies obligation on suppliers of articles containing the listed substances to provide recipients and consumers (the latter upon request) with information about the presence of the substances in articles.

Being aware of the importance and complexity of the issue of chemicals in textiles, the Commission is in the process of reviewing the existing legislative instruments and approaches used for addressing chemicals in textiles in order to consider whether they merit a revision.

Golf Refugees response.

With regard to toxic lead and other very highly toxic chemicals your statement states it falls upon the customer to request information from the supplier. An example could be a customer purchasing a golf shirt from a leading sportswear brand.

This raises a significant concern. How many consumers are aware sports brands use highly toxic chemicals such as lead in their apparel? If as we suspect the vast majority of consumers who buy sports apparel in the EU are unaware, and are unable to find out by simply looking at textile labels or on brands web sites. It is highly unlikely consumers are going to request this information from brands on the toxic substances they use.

Can we therefore request you to consider a voluntary scheme for brands to list the toxic chemicals they use in consumer goods on their web sites for customers to access?



It only dawned on me recently that we could use three colours for ‘spiral golf ball’. As the spiral pattern is printed separately from our logo, we can have a base colour for the ball, a colour for the 360 degree printed spiral patte
rn and a third colour for the logo.

Just some samples to give you an idea. Feel free to submit your own three colour combo.

The most fun, visible ball in golf, spiral by golf refugees.


The American entrepreneur Donald Trump has failed to deliver on pledges to create thousands of jobs through a supposed billion-pound investment that were key to planning approval for his hugely controversial Scottish golf resort, an investigation has found.

By his own admission, Mr Trump has created no more than 200 of his promised 6,000 jobs and is thought to have spent just £25m on the scheme while bulldozing environmentally sensitive areas of the Scottish coast, according to a new analysis of the scheme’s finances.
The striking shortfall between Mr Trump’s pipe dream and the realities of the venture, leaves Scotland’s First Minister, Alex Salmond, facing questions over his judgement in intervening –
As local MSP, Mr Salmond personally rang Scotland’s chief planning officer while he was with the Trump lawyer after the plan was rejected by the local infrastructure committee in his Aberdeenshire constituency.
In 2008, Mr Salmond boasted: “The balance of opinion among people in the north-east of Scotland and among my constituents is very strongly in favour. “I mean 6,000 jobs across Scotland, 1,400 local and permanent jobs here in the north-east of Scotland – that’s a very powerful argument which outweighs the environmental concerns.”
Mr Salmond admits that the lack of progress on the Trump estate has been a major setback given his support. He said “I’m disappointed that the plans haven’t gone ahead as originally envisaged, I hope they will do.”
Mr Trump’s failure so far to deliver his vision does not appear to have harmed his own interests. It is believed the planning permissions for the land have helped boost the value of his Scottish estate, bought for £7m, by at least £100m.
This has led some to suspect that  Mr Trump may have embarked on the scheme with an eye to the land’s potential resale value. But Mr Trump says the reason the development has stalled is the prospect of 11 offshore wind turbines being built within sight of his golf courses. He claims Mr Salmond had assured him such a scheme would not go ahead – he has since labelled Mr Salmond “Mad Alex” and launched legal action to prevent the wind farm being built.
Mr Salmond rejects Mr Trump’s claims about a wind farm promise, adding that no investor can expect to dictate Scotland’s energy policy.

Asked whether he was calling the First Minister a liar, Mr Trump said: “Maybe he has a bad memory.”



Somebody likes my 'tube chair' at the MK Gallery 'summer exhibition' 
28 June – 8 September 2013
MK Calling features 100 artists, musicians and performers from Milton Keynes in a dynamic season of painting, video, dance, music, poetry and much, much more.



Filmed by golf refugees on location at The Bedford G.C.



When it's hot outside (really hot) what's the best apparel to wear; natural or synthetic?

The U.S. Marine Corps now prohibits troops in Iraq from wearing synthetic clothing while off base . . . after too many unfortunate burns from soldiers wearing polyester, acrylic, and nylon—which readily melts in high heat and fuses to the skin. (What did you expect? This stuff is a first cousin to plastic—both products of the oil industry.)

Of course, that begs the question of whether flame retardant chemicals applied to synthetic apparel are safer?

Today, most synthetic fabrics contain a new generation of flame retardant chemicals bonded into the fabric, which must survive 50+ washings.

Lab studies show that flame retardants (PBDEs) can cause a slew of health issue, from thyroid problems, fertility problems and even cancer.