Sustainability at the heart of 2020 Oman Open
The Oman Open strives to have as small an impact on the environment as possible. It is through choices such as sustainable bamboo tee pegs to recycling the plastic bottles that are used by the players, the Oman Open tries to act responsibly and minimise the impact on its local surroundings.
The tournament, which is to be held at Al Mouj Golf from February 27 to March 1, is partnered in this regard by waste management service be’ah, a government entity that exists to ‘conserve the environment of our beautiful Oman for our future generations’. Oman Open Championship director Jamie Wood said, “The Oman Open has defined itself as being all about Oman, and this philosophy is at the heart of every decision we make. Oman prides itself on having a diverse landscape; with beautiful mountains, beaches, wadis, many ancient forts and settlements as well as the majestic capital city Muscat.”
He added, “One of our tournament tag lines is ‘Visit Oman’ and therefore we feel it only right, where possible, to try to make decisions that are more environmentally responsible.” This year the Oman Open will print all of its passes, tickets and tournament programme on recycled paper and will give all players and caddies refillable water bottles - which they can fill at 5 gallon water coolers situated on the driving range in order to try and reduce the number of plastic bottles on site. In addition, the USB sticks that will be provided to the media are made out of bamboo. Tee pegs made out of bamboo are provided by Ocean Tee, who have been commissioned to create bespoke branded tees for the tournament, with around 10,000 loose tees provided on the driving range during the tournament. The co-branded tees will be packaged up in recyclable, custom branded matchboxes and gifted to all Pro-Am participants, with loose tees also being made available for European Tour tournament competitors to use.
Bamboo is an ideal material for manufacturing golf tees as it is both strong and flexible, producing a durable tee that is less prone to snapping than traditional hardwood. In addition, as a grass species, bamboo grows at an astonishing rate with complete stocks replenishing within months after harvesting, compared to the decades taken for hardwood forests. The Oman Open’s environmental sustainability drive also extends beyond tournament week as the host venue Al Mouj Golf was the first golf course in the region to become Audubon certified in 2014, which highlights their effort in developing more eco-friendly management approaches and practices towards the maintenance of the club as a habitat for its diverse range of wildlife.
The course is also recognised for its leading environmental practices by GEO (Golf Environmental Organisation) - becoming one of only three courses in the Middle East to be certified alongside Emirates Golf Club and Dubai Creek in the UAE. Recently the course was awarded the 2019 IAGTO Sustainability Award for Community Value as their efforts to benefit the local Muscat area continue to be recognised.
The golf courses in the sultanate are all maintained using treated sewage water - grey water - rather than fresh water, while birdlife thrives during the Oman Open as the re-naturalisation of the land surrounding the fairways at Al Mouj Golf conserve the biodiversity and natural habitat of the Muscat wildlife. A total of 173 species of birds have been spotted on the grounds at Al Mouj Golf since it opened in 2012.
Muscat Daily is the official media partner of the event.