Participation figures for golf are going down the tubes. What changes can be made to try and turn them a round? The biggest fall are for golfers aged between 14-25 years old.

Just imagine how many local kids could be introduced and taught golf by professionals during tournament week all around the world if major tours included a 'teach day'. This could be achieved by replacing the pro-am or reducing the number of practise rounds.

Major tours could begin with a trail of half day 'teach day' session on a Monday morning and still leave enough time for professional golfers to practise in the afternoon.

Is sticking with the same routine for tournament week a recipe for ever decreasing numbers for golf?




New York Attorney General Schneiderman said: "The facts alleged in our complaint show that Barclays demonstrated a disturbing disregard for its investors in a systematic pattern of fraud and deceit."

Other investigations
Barclays has been the subject of several investigations, fines and settlements in recent years.

In May it was fined £26m by UK regulators after one of its traders was discovered attempting to fix the price of gold.

In April, Barclays agreed to a $280m (£167m) settlement with the US Federal Housing and Finance Authority (FHFA).

The agreement settles claims by the FHFA that Barclays misled US mortgage lenders Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac during the housing crisis.

In 2012 it was fined £290m by UK regulators for attempting to manipulate an important lending rate, known as Libor.


Would you still sign a lucrative sports apparel contract if your shirts contained the following label?



Golf Refugees research into ways to increase the 'spring effect' of a fully composite golf club driver.
Computer simulation model created at Cranfield University for a golf club with a groove.
#golfrefugees #groovedriver

You may have heard about the new Titleist 915 driver which uses an arc channel. Not exactly new technology when you consider our own research was conducted several years ago.



There’s a lot of technology in sports apparel, or so they like to tell you. To help keep you even cooler this summer, if that was at all possible, the leading brands are offering you polyester based apparel with additional perforated holes, think of it as a giant ‘tea bag’.

Here at Golf Refugees we like to go a little bit further than the ultra conservative majors. We give you the ‘string’ polo shirt. A fashionable treat for the sun kissed fairways and beyond. Nipple plasters are not included.
#golfrefugees #stringpolo



Choosing a woodburner for your home will offer you many benefits, allowing you to improve the look and style of your home, whilst simultaneously reducing energy bills and increasing how comfortable, valuable and attractive your property is. However, the benefits of owning a woodburning stove are not limited to your own finances and comfort, and whilst sourcing such an item will be great for you, it will also be great for the environment.
Even those who do not think they have the money to purchase such a luxurious and appealing item may be surprised out how accessible they are, and there are plenty of grants available for those who want to reap the financial and environmental benefits of a woodburner.
Wood is Green
Burning wood can allow you to utilise waste wood that might otherwise simply clog up landfill sites and in turn go to waste (although be careful not to burn painted wood - always ensure that the wood you do reclaim is completely safe to use). As such, by using a stove in the colder months not only will you be helping to conserve finite energy reserves, but you may also be ensuring that natural resources do not get wasted either. Whilst burning logs in an ordinary fireplace may seem appealing, it is not an efficient way to use such an energy source, seeing as the air in the room will be used to fuel the flames - warm air that may subsequently be replaced by cold air from outside. A woodburning stove will utilise oxygen from outside the room ensuring that you get the maximum heat from the minimal amount of fuel.
The fact that woodburners may help you to avoid using up fossil fuels and instead help you to utilise resources that might otherwise go to waste are not the only reasons that woodburners are so environmentally-friendly. Not only will they heat an area more effectively than a radiator (whose heat may predominantly be lost through windows), but many stoves can also double up to serve other purposes. From boiling kettles to cooking food right through to heating an entire household’s water supply, different styles and models will allow homeowners to achieve very different, but equally green, benefits. Therefore, instead of needing energy to cook, more energy to heat the home and even more energy to boil the kettle, one piece of wood could allow you to do the lot.
Of course, besides the benefits offered by the stove itself, wood is by its very nature an eco-friendly fuel, being completely renewable and being a carbon neutral option. Yes, burning it will release carbon dioxide, but during the time that a tree was growing it would have been taking carbon out of the air and replacing it with clean oxygen. The sourcing of wood can be done in a sustainable way and in a way that will cause very little damage to the environment, especially when compared with other alternatives. Of course, where you choose to source your wood supplies from can make a big difference to this, so always try to utilise wood that has been reclaimed or has been sourced in a sustainable way (preferably from local supplies to cut down carbon footprints even further).
Choosing the Right Stove
For a woodburner to be green, it will need to be efficient, to ensure that logs are burnt cleanly and effectively. As such, it is wise to do a little research before you rush in and buy, both in terms of the models you choose and the companies you buy from. By choosing ethical companies such as Woodburner Warehouse who stock HETAS accredited solutions, you will be able to ensure that not only are you getting value for money but also that you are going to end up with a solution that will help you lower both your energy bills and the damage your family’s carbon footprint will do the environment.



Hazardous chemicals found in Adidas, Nike and Puma products.
Leading sportswear brands decline to inform their customers about the hazardous chemicals they use.

Fortunately Greenpeace test these products and publish the information for all of us to read.



The main problem with all electric cars is their limited range.

So how about trying to make a Smart Car even Smarter?

Could a series of impellers at the front of the Smart car generate electricity when the car is moving to help re-change the battery and extend the range?

Here’s a rough pic to help you visualise.



If the FA had asked us to design England’s shirt for the 2014 Football World Cup in Rio, we would have proposed something like this. Granted it is a controversial design, with a ‘gladiatorial feel’. It could be made in England, where textile workers are paid a living wage and European environmental regulations ensure reduced pollution during manufacture.

Unfortunately the FA decided to take millions from Nike to supply the England football team shirts for next few years. They will argue the money from Nike will be put to good use in grass root football projects across England. But how about considering that Nike pay slave wages to their textile workers and decide to manufacture in countries where environmental regulations are non-existent. The money they save manufacturing shirts this way enables them to pay organisations like the FA money to secure sponsorship deals.

So here’s our alternative, an England shirt made in England, manufactured to European environmental standards and with more personality than the boring offering from Nike. Lipstick for players is optional.



Hottest day of the year. Time for a black ball weekend?
Black colour absorbs heat, white reflects heat.

Not all golf brands are the same. Original black ball by Golf Refugees.



Golf’s steady decline. Here are the latest participation figures for golf in the UK.

Play once a week aged 16 years and over.

889,100 in 2005/06
710,400 in 2013/14

These figures represent a reduction in the number of golfers aged 16 + playing once a week of 178,700 (20%) in eight years.

Play once a week aged between 16–25.

67,800 in 2005/06
43,700 in 2013/14

A reduction of 24,100 (35.5%) in eight years.

What can the army of blazers at the R&A do to help prevent golf’s dwindling participation figures?

Will the same ideas and personnel prevail, or does golf require some new people with new ideas?

If you’re in business and love sport, the fastest growing sports are running and cycling.



We just wanted to see what it would look like..............the sexiest man in golf
#jimenez #golfrefugees



Adrian Newey regarded as the best aerodynamicist / designer of race cars is to step down because of frustrations with the restrictive nature of Formula 1’s rules.

Engineers like Newey require a degree of freedom to stimulate their creative and technical brains to bring innovative, winning designs.

This is a problem for all governing bodies of sport.

The dilemma for golf is that the vast majority of golfers would benefit in terms of extra performance and enjoyment of the game if golf equipment rules were relaxed. All of today’s equipment can reach the maximum permitted levels for the main performance parameters. At the same time professional golfers need to be restricted from hitting the ball further.

Will overly restricted sport rules create a brain drain where leading engineers seek new pastures?



The idea is that you take a section of your favourite golfer’s (or sports star) signature and use it to create a pattern on your shirt. In this example we've used luminous white screen printed ink onto a white polo shirt.

Signature polo by Golf Refugees.



Probably the best polo shirt for cigar smoking golfers.

Will Miguel Angel Jimenez wear our shirt at The Open Hoylake 2014?
Please support us if you think he should.



Sweatshop sportswear ok, but strictly no denim on the golf course.

Golf Refugees made some golf pants from indigo organic cotton denim. However, they were styled to look like trousers rather than jeans. Even when we played at some posh private clubs, our denim pants were fine. So the real issue seems to be the style of jeans rather than the denim fabric.

Obviously we'd like to see some professional golfers wear denim. Don't be fooled into thinking that denim is too heavy and becomes too wet when it rains. Like any fabric, denim can be altered with chemical textile finishers to repel water, absorb moisture, anything you like.

If you're a young minded golf pro and wish to wear denim on the golf course, please let us know.

Here’s a couple of pics of our denim golf pants, bottom one with Volvo magazine who are a major sponsor of golf in Europe. Denim is fine for golf.

Golf Refugees walked past all of those dress code signs with a big smile.



Younger minded golfers may soon be wearing denim on the golf course.

But what about all of those dress code signs outside golf courses which stipulate ‘no denim’. Well those signs are either out of date or inaccurate, because we are talking here about new ‘performance denim’.

The basic fabric of your garment is only a small part of the story. Polyester has been transformed by clever chemists and marketing into the most popular apparel for sportswear. And yet basic polyester is hydrophobic and retains body odour bacteria even after washing, hardly an ideal scenario for sportswear. But the chemical industry grasped a lucrative opportunity to transform an inexpensive fabric by developing chemical fixes for moisture-wicking and anti-bacterial when applied to polyester improve its performance.

And now they’ve turned their attention on denim and combined it with nylon and other potions from test-tubes to give you ‘performance denim’ for activewear.

This all sounds great. An added bonus for them is that they do not have to disclose to you, the consumer, any of the potentially toxic chemicals used. Think of it as similar to the debate over whether GM food should be labelled or not, but this time for your sweating skin.

Here’s some marketing blurb.

“The whole category of performance denim is an exciting and emerging business,” As a leader in the activewear segment, INVISTA is now bringing its knowledge of technical fibers and fabrics to the denim business. This represents a tremendous opportunity for the consumer to have a garment they love to wear – jeans – with the performance benefits that until now, have been mainly restricted to active apparel.”

INVISTA is one of the world’s largest integrated producers of polymers and fibers, primarily for nylon, spandex and polyester applications. With a a powerful portfolio of global trademarks including: ADI-PURE®, ANTRON®, AVORA®, C12™, COMFOREL®, COOLMAX®, CORDURA®, CORFREE®, DACRON®, DBE®, DYTEK®, FRESHFX™, LYCRA®, PERFORMA™, POLARGUARD®, POLYSHIELD®, POLYCLEAR®, SOLARMAX®, STAINMASTER®, SUPPLEX®, SUPRIVA®, TACTEL®, TACTESSE®, TERATE®, TERATHANE® THERMOLITE® and TORZEN™.

LYCRA®, dualFX®, COOLMAX®, THERMOLITE®, and TOUGH MAX™ are trademarks of INVISTA


A small collection of distinctive polo shirts for women by Golf Refugees, where the graphical patterns are designed to bring an awareness of the hidden chemicals used in sportswear.


Our press advertisement ideas for the sport of badminton.



The rule makers of golf and the manufacturers have got themselves into a real pickle. The performance of equipment is restricted creating stagnant research and development departments leaving new materials and technology on the shelf. Current materials used in today’s golf balls and clubs can already exceed these restrictions. Imagine what you could be playing with if these performance handcuffs were removed? Obviously these rules are in place to try and prevent the relatively small number of golf professionals from hitting the ball too far, rendering many classic golf courses obsolete, unless the diggers come out to lengthen the holes. Brands obviously use their expensively sponsored players to sell equipment to you and I.
This state of affairs is not sustainable. It’s no good for the vast majority of golfers, whose practise time and lessons are limited with work and family commitments. Golfers should have access to the very best technology, to increase their performance and enjoyment of golf within time limitations. And the professionals are still managing to hit the ball too far.

Golf Refugees suggest a solution to this predicament and ask you to discuss and share you own thoughts.

Instead of the stated rules of golf equipment for all players from professional, amateur and beginner, we propose two categories for golf equipment;

1)      Unrestricted. Where there are no limits on COR or MOI or the initial velocity test for golf balls. And no conformity to a general form.

2)      More restricted. Where the current limit of COR and MOI and initial velocity test for golf balls are lowered from there current levels.

Both of the above categories could have identical dimensional restrictions for balls and clubs based upon the current set of rules.

How would these two equipment rule categories combine for professional golfers on tour?

Golfers would be able to use unrestricted balls and clubs on all par 3 and par 5 holes, leaving the more restricted equipment to be played on all par 4 holes.

Selecting 14 clubs would now become more challenging as you would have to decide upon say taking an unrestricted driver for par 5’s and then another more restricted driver for par 4 holes. This would create more diversity between tour golfer’s bags, with a mixture of unrestricted and more restricted clubs.

Unrestricted golf balls and clubs would need to be clearly identified by a new mark, and if a golfer used an unrestricted ball or club on a par 4 hole, there would be an automatic penalty of two strokes.

Spectators at tour events also have the opportunity to judge the advantages of unrestricted balls and clubs. For example you could have one professional using both unrestricted balls and driver on a par 5, with another just playing with an unrestricted ball.

It would be left to organisers of amateur events and individual golf clubs to decide whether they would follow the format of tour events or allow unrestricted equipment on every hole.

Golf Refugees acknowledge this solution adds a complexity to golf equipment rules, but we believe it is a price worth paying. To enable golfers to use equipment designed to the limits of physics rather than arbitrary rules. Par 5’s and 3’ would become more exciting to play and watch on tour, as the possibility for more eagles, birdies will be increased. Professional golfers will be restricted more on par 4 to help preserve courses. Brands still get to market their equipment through sponsored players. Every one is happy or not? Please let us hear your views.



Trees absorb carbon dioxide and release oxygen. We need to plant more trees to improve our air quality. It will take a tremendous effort to reverse deforestation.

One large tree can supply a day's supply of oxygen for four people.
A healthy tree can store 13 pounds of carbon each year, for an acre of trees that equals to 2.6 tons of carbon dioxide.
Each gallon of gasoline burned produces almost 20 pounds of carbon dioxide.
For every 10,000 miles you drive, it takes 7 trees to remove the amount of carbon dioxide produced if your car gets 40 miles per gallon (mpg); it will take 10 trees at 30 mpg; 15 trees at 20 mpg; 20 trees at 15 mpg; and 25 trees at 12 mpg)