England's oldest golf course have taken a novel environmental stand by asking golfers only to use wooden tees from the start of 2020

Everyone understands the impact plastics – particularly single use – are having on our environment. You only need to look at pictures of marine life covered in it to understand that.

Golf has had some difficulty looking in the mirror in this respect, whether it’s the shrink wrap that covers our clubs when we buy them or the drinks bottles we routinely pick up from the pro shop to keep us refreshed on our round.

But Royal North Devon have taken a big step in perhaps starting to push the sport onto a more ecological footing. The club, which plays on England’s oldest course, have banned the use of plastic tees from 2020.

The club’s committee have decided that, from January 1, they won’t be allowed on the golf course and won’t be sold thee either.

A club statement said: “The Committee have agreed that from 01/01/2020 plastic tees will not be allowed on the golf course.

“We have all seen golf tees lying around the course, both wooden and plastic. The simple fact is that plastic tees are more likely to harm the birds and animals we share our wonderful course with.

“The greenkeepers will also tell you that they can do a great deal more harm to their equipment than a wooden tee.

royal north devon

“So from the start of the new decade we would like all golfers to only use wooden tees and the Pro Shop will only supply wooden tees.

“If you see a plastic tee (or a wooden one for that matter) that has been discarded please place it in one of the “tee bins” provided. There will soon be more of these for the other tee areas.

“Look after our environment and hopefully it will be there for many years to come.”

They added it was a small step towards a future with no plastic at all on their course, explaining that they also planned to instal a drinking water near the 1st tee to encourage reusable bottles rather than plastic.

What do you think about Royal North Devon’s decision? Do you know of any other clubs that have banned plastic tees? Have your say in the comments, or let me know by tweeting me.

Steve Carroll

A journalist for 23 years, Steve has been immersed in club golf for almost as long. A former captain and committee member, he has passed the Level 3 Rules of Golf exam with distinction having attended the national Tournament Administrators and Referee's Seminar. He has officiated at a host of high-profile tournaments, including Open Regional Qualifying and the PGA Fourball Championship. A member of NCG's Top 100s panel, Steve has a particular love of links golf and is frantically trying to restore his single-figure handicap.

Handicap: 10.9

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