The Scandinavian Turfgrass and Environment Research Foundation (STERF) has published a document on its research and development programme for multi-functional golf courses. They propose that by opening up golf courses to other uses and users, the game can contribute to environmental quality objectives, improving people’s health and quality of life, and how it can support the European Landscape Convention1.
The research and development programme aims to provide answers to show how courses can:
- better contribute to biological diversity, the conservation of natural and cultural environments, and the retention and expansion of ecosystem services
- provide greater societal benefit through increasing accessibility and participation, improving quality of life and better mental and physical health for the wider society
- generate business advantages through a multifunctional approach.
This document highlights the challenges and opportunities for golf by diversifying its functionality and client base. STERF has identified areas for research, which include:
- recreation and outdoor activities
- the golf course as an educational tool
- the contribution of golf courses to the landscape
- ecosystem services and green infrastructure
- biological diversity
- natural and cultural history
- dialogue and co-operation with non-golf stakeholders
- the business value of multi-functionality
- evaluation methods and tools
- how to accommodate multi-functionality in existing and new courses.
The programme is expected to run for a maximum of 5 years, with the outcomes to be widely communicated. Read more about this research programme here.
1Also known as the Florence Convention.