Multifunctional golf courses can contribute to the achievement of Nordic and national environmental targets and help improve people’s health and quality of life, especially in areas surrounding dense conurbations, where there are a large number of golf courses. Through utilising joint Nordic expertise, the Nordic area can become a model region as regards multifunctional golf courses and collaborations between different interests in society. This means that the Nordic region can become a driver in the international arena for the integration of sport, health and the environment.
A multifunctional golf course views its activities from the perspective of the broader public. In addition to offering a high quality arena for golf, it provides various services that are beneficial to society at large, for example increasing biological diversity, conserving natural and cultural environments and providing a venue for a wider range of outdoor activities.
In order for efforts to create a multifunctional golf course to succeed, there is a need for good, effective cooperation in which all parties stand to gain. The cooperation must be adapted to the requirements and the specific challenges facing golf and other interests in the region. It must also be transdisciplinary, in other words encompassing a range of interests such as local authorities, national authorities, sports and recreation groups, landowners, residents, industry and others.
In the guide ‘Multifunctional Golf Courses – An Unutilised Resource’, which has been sent to more than 1 000 politicians, civil servants and officials in the Nordic countries, we define the concept of the multifunctional golf course, describe the most significant processes for multifunctionality and present good examples from seven Nordic golfcourses. The guide can be downloaded at sterf.golf.se
In the next phase of the project we aim to increase the benefits of golf to society, help maintain the values of ecosystem services and improve the business gains from multifunctional activities through:
• Arranging workshops with representatives of golf courses in order to identify opportunities and challenges for multifunctionality.
• Arranging collaborative meetings with representatives of different interests in society, for example research institutes, local authorities, environmental and outdoor recreation organisations and other sports clubs and societies, in order to identify needs and ideas regarding multifunctionality.
• Carrying out an inventory of current knowledge with the aim of exploiting knowledge and experiences from related areas, for example within nature resource conservation.
• Identifying important partners to jointly initiate and run R&D on multifunctional courses.