Last weekend saw Masters champion Sergio Garcia clinch the SMBC Singapore Open in the first of four events staged over Sentosa Golf Club in 2018.
And as well as being the first event of a landmark year for the club, the Singapore Open offered Sentosa the opportunity to draw attention to two subjects at the heart of the club’s existence through its creative #KeepItGreen campaign: growing the game amongst young people in Singapore and Asia, and raising awareness of the need for sustainable practices within golf.
In conjunction with the Singapore Golf Association, Sentosa donated a free round of golf to local youngsters for every ‘Green in Regulation’ that Asian Tour No.1, Gavin Green, hit throughout the week.
In the process of earning a tied eighth finish, the Malaysian hit 52 greens, meaning the club will donate the same number of rounds to budding local youngsters over the next 12 months.
With the imminent hosting of the inaugural Women’s Amateur Asia-Pacific Championship from February 21-24, and the Men’s Asia-Pacific Amateur in October, the club has already opened its doors to local amateurs hoping to qualify for either tournament, who are free to use its facilities as they wish in preparation for the biggest events of the year.
It’s hoped initiatives like these will ensure the longevity of the sport in Asia, something that gives Asian Tour CEO, Josh Burack, cause for optimism. He said: “It’s vital for the sport that we have a pipeline of young stars coming through, and I have to say Sentosa Golf Club are hugely instrumental in everything they do for the development of the sport.
“From their active junior programmes to opening up the club prior to tournaments for local amateurs and professionals to come and practice, the club is a huge asset to golf in Asia.”
#FinalGreenUpdate: @asiantourgolf Order of Merit Champion @gavingreen93 finishes off his @singopengolf with a final round of 67, and 14 Greens In Regulation. Ttl Greens Hit in the week = 52. Which means we’ll be giving away 52 free rounds for Local Juniors! #KeepItGreen@TheR&A pic.twitter.com/eUWCoElT1T— Sentosa Golf Club (@SentosaGolfClub) January 21, 2018
Aside from its dedication to raising the profile of the game amongst the younger generations, Sentosa has worked hard over recent years to improve its environmental footprint, and is currently ‘On Course’ to becoming a GEO-certified venue.
Home of the Asian Tour, and also The R&A’s Headquarters in the region, the club enjoys a growing reputation as a thought leader in the region and, during Singapore Open week, the club’s General Manager and Director of Agronomy, Andrew Johnston, spoke to the Asian Golf Industry Federation summit on Sentosa’s approach to sustainability.
“We as a club have made a conscious effort over the past few years to really improve our methods when it comes to looking after the environment, none more so than when re-developing the New Tanjong course in 2016,” said Johnston.
“Such protective measures included the creation of a special temporary nursery to facilitate the relocation and replanting of more than 260 palm trees during the redevelopment, installing six reservoirs-cum-water features to ensure that the New Tanjong Course is self-sufficient in irrigation, and re-using concrete from old cart paths as the basis of all new cart paths.”
Check out what @TheSergioGarcia, @JeevMilkhaSingh, @Louis57TM, @ShivKapur62 and friends had to say about Sentosa, and our #KeepItGreen campaign.— Sentosa Golf Club (@SentosaGolfClub) January 19, 2018
For every green @gavingreen93 hits, we'll give away a free round of golf to a local junior! @asiantourgolf@RandApic.twitter.com/fIaRNBenWQ
The #KeepItGreen message was reinforced throughout the SMBC Singapore Open, with multiple opportunities for spectators and members to back the environmental and participation drive.
On Sunday, attendees were encouraged to come along in their best ‘green’ outfits, whilst some of the world’s best players, including tournament winner, Sergio Garcia, contributed their support to the cause via a brand new campaign video.
The video alone has been viewed by almost 200,000 people worldwide, with thousands more being reached via social content featuring the campaign hashtag during tournament week.