Jun 11, 2021

Director of Sustainable Golf - The R&A - Closing date 25 June 2021

  • SportsJobFinder
  • St Andrews, Fife, Scotland, UK
Full time, permanent Directing

Job Description

The R&A considers sustainability to be a key priority for golf, and an important element of the sport’s contribution to wider society and the effect the game has on nature and resources, which provide a positive sporting, environmental and social legacy for future generations. The R&A strongly advocates sustainability across the nature, communities and resources agenda and is particularly keen to see golf course playing conditions remain enjoyable for golfers, whilst being prepared and in a condition consistent with a desire to use less resources.
Sustainability for golf is relevant to where we play and what we play on. Golf and golf facilities can also offer much to people who don’t play the sport. Building and managing the courses on which we play golf and on which we host golf tournaments impacts on nature, communities and resources. Everyone involved in golf should do their best to ensure that these are positive impacts, whilst providing a great golf experience.
The R&A’s Sustainable Golf Team has a large network and engages with many of the stakeholders in golf, collaborating with the Golf Environment Organisation (GEO), our affiliates, greenkeeper associations, club managers, course owners, sustainability experts, environmental NGOs, research organisations and educational providers around the world.

The R&A are currently recruiting for a Director within the Sustainable Golf Team whose primary objective will be to protect golf from sustainability challenges and promote the positive impact and initiatives of golf and The R&A itself.

The successful candidate will take responsibility for increasing the number of facilities taking appropriate actions to safeguard golf facilities against the challenges posed by resource reductions, climate change and government regulations, with a strong focus on golf course management, ensuring that existing and new golf courses have playing conditions that are enjoyable but use less resource including water, fertilizer and pesticide.

They will also be responsible for increasing the perception amongst golfers and prospective golfers of golf as being sustainable and support golf and The R&A in making positive steps to enhance the importance of sustainability and the positive role golf can play amongst key stakeholders: facility owners/decision makers, federations/other relevant golfing bodies and influencing bodies.

Job Description
Core responsibilities will be but not limited to:

• Working with the Chief Development Officer to devise and implement the Sustainable Golf Department 5-year strategy. This will focus on the introduction and P+L management of the R&A led sustainable agronomy golf course advisory and consultancy services and R&A sustainable agronomy accreditation programmes for golf facilities.
• Lead the sustainable agronomy team to deliver sustainable world class tournament playing surfaces for The Open, The Senior Open; the AIG Women’s Open and R&A Amateur Championships.
• Create a new, formalised working relationship with the Golf Environmental Organisation, a not for profit organisation The R&A has supported for more than a decade, outlining how The R&A will work with GEO to increase standards and take up of sustainability improvement programmes at existing and new golf facilities covering, as a priority, playability of courses but also the other areas of sustainable golf including nature, resources and engagement with local communities.
• Lead the Golf Course 2030 initiative, tackling the key issues faced by golf facilities due to climate change, government legislation and availability of resources, by identifying the priority research projects and directing selected project managers to deliver the practical solutions to key issues facing the playability of golf courses e.g. pesticide reduction, water resources, coastal erosion etc.
• Lead The R&A focused sustainable golf initiatives: e.g. GreenLinks at R&A championships and Corporate responsibility in areas related to sustainability and The R&A.
• Create strategic briefs for the Corporate Communications department to promote sustainable golf within the golf industry: to facility owners, to golfers, to federations and other relevant bodies e.g. greenkeeping, course manager bodies etc. and to work with the Golf Environment Organisation (GEO) to lead the promotion and protection of golf to the external world e.g. NGO’s and governments.
• Lead and support the capacity building of golf’s greenkeeping workforce, working in partnership with associations, federations and representative bodies, providing the knowledge and expertise required to implement sustainability solutions at facilities, with focus on the playability of courses.
• Create strategic briefs for The R&A’s Commercial and Philanthropy teams to generate additional funding and support for sustainability initiatives from Corporates and Private donors.
• Line management responsibilities for the Sustainable Golf team, including the sustainable agronomy team and other team members overseeing the GC 2030, Greenlinks and Corporate responsibility areas.
• Manage and report on the Sustainable Golf budget.
• Represent the department reporting to The Sustainable Golf Committee which meets 3 times per annum to agree strategy and report on progress against agreed objectives.

• Experience creating sustainability strategies and leading sustainability programmes within an organisation.
• Strong P&L, budget and commercial management experience.
• Good understanding of agronomic sustainability issues.

• Experience working in the sporting industry.
• Experience working in the golf industry.
• Qualification in a relevant field (e.g. sustainability, business etc.).

• Strong leadership skills.
• Excellent communication skills.
• Ability to build and sustain key stakeholder relationships.
• Persuasive and influencing skills.
• Strong collaboration skills.
• Strong project management skills.
• Commercially/market aware.

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