Celebration of golf, families and sustainability at the 2017 Venice Open

The organisers and partners of last month’s 2017 U.S. Kids Golf Venice Open, stepped forward this year to make environmental education and sustainability new elements for a tournament that already delivers so much value to the players, families and local communities.

Building on the overall ethos of golf being a force for good – for individuals and society – the U.S. Kids Golf Foundation and Golf della Montecchia decided to add this new and important aspect to the event.  To do this in the most credible and effective way, they reached out to partner with GEO – the non-profit body entirely dedicated to advancing sustainability in golf and through golf.

“We are extremely delighted to bring this new initiative to the Venice Open,” said Dan Van Horn – President and Founder of U.S. Kids Golf. “The protection and enhancement of the environment is such an important issue, particularly for future generations, so for us to partner with the Golf Environment Organization is a tremendous privilege. The U.S. Kids Golf Foundation shares a common goal of developing best practices and sharing information with the world so we can help grow the game of golf and ensure its future.  We would also like to thank the Play 54 courses – Golf della Montecchia, Frassanelle and Galzignano – for helping bring this opportunity forward by both hosting the event for third consecutive year and by being an early adopter of environmentally friendly and sustainable golf operations. Sustainability is crucial to golf’s future and we are very enthusiastic about promoting this initiative, both in Italy and the rest of the world.”

Paolo Casati, President of Golf della Montecchia added: “This initiative with the U.S. Kids Golf Foundation is a wonderful added value to an already fantastic sporting event for children and their families. It also demonstrates our commitment to advancing sustainability in and through golf.  Our thanks to GEO for all their support in planning, recording and communicating the initiative.”

Alessandro de Luca, Greens Section Director with the Italian Golf Federation said, “For many years, the IGF has supported and believed in all the GEO’s activities. Working together, we are focused in the management of the courses across the country, in professional and amateur tournaments and also through our commitment around The 2022 Ryder Cup.”

Jonathan Smith, Executive Director of GEO thanked and congratulated all the partners for their leadership: “Golf events of all sizes can play a really meaningful part in advancing environmental action, awareness and education.  With the way that children and families are built into the DNA of U.S. Kids Golf, it makes it all the more powerful to deliver this kind of initiative and connect with the golfers, parents, business and community leaders of the future.  We are extremely proud to be able to support and promote the work.”

A new Sustainability Policy for the Venice Open is ensuring that a range of practical actions are being undertaken to foster nature, conserve resources and support the community across the following key areas of delivery:

  • Venue management
  • Event staging
  • Communications
  • Outreach and legacy projects

As the first year of a more formalised approach to sustainability, 2017 will also act as a baseline for data, ideas and information gathering which will guide the expansion of future efforts at this tournament and at other U.S. Kids Golf events.

Key Focus Areas

  • Bringing all three venues (Golf della Montecchia, Golf Club Frassanelle and Galzignano) under consistent approach to sustainable management and achieving distinction for credible standards of operation;
  • Developing and implementing initial practical action plan across key areas of staging:
    • public and collective transport and introduction of clean fuel vehicles
    • Waste recycling and diversion from landfill
    • Procurement of local materials and local seasonal, organic and certified produce;
  • Engaging players and their families with a new Green Golf Questionnaire
  • Monitoring all actions and key metrics to establish base line and inform future targets
  • Creating a post event Sustainability Review, and action plan for future events
  • Helping to road-test the process of international GEO Certified® Tournament certification for small scale, non-professional tournaments
  • Undertake communications to raise awareness of Venice Open leadership in golf and local area
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