ESS 2024 – 3 questions for Pascal GRIZOT, President of the French Golf Federation » Economic and political letter from PACA

At the awards ceremony for the 18th edition of the Sporsora Sports Marketing Trophies, the French Golf Federation was presented with a brand new Responsible Commitment award.

Back to the commitments of FF Golf with its President Pascal Grizot.

1) Golf clubs are areas of rich biodiversity. What is the French Golf Federation’s role in promoting an ecological transition approach?

As with all outdoor sports, the interactions between golf and its practice environment are very strong and sharpen our sensitivity to the living things that surround us when we play. Golf and the environment are inextricably linked and every golf course shelters and protects a rich, beautiful, but also endangered nature. Total the 742 French Gulf Structures represent an area of ​​approximately 33,000 hectares, which is 3 times the area of ​​the city of Paris, the golf industry therefore shares this responsibility for adopting a sustainable management of these locations.

This transitional ecological approach, developed in close cooperation with the Ministries of Sport, Ecological Transition and Agriculture and Food, is based on a framework agreement “Golf and Environment”. It is translated into a national program concretely rejected by a strategy in 3 axes:

  • Knowing and preserving biodiversity
  • use watering responsibly
  • Introduce sustainable pasture management.

2) The French Golf Federation has won the new Sporsora Sports Marketing Trophies 2022 “Responsible Commitment” award for the creation of its “Golf for Biodiversity” label. How is it actually implemented in the association and in the clubs? Does the federal government carry out other actions in favor of environmental protection?

The Sporsora trophy recognizes the seriousness, credibility and innovativeness of our approach and we are very happy about it. The Biodiversity Golf Program & Label was launched in 2018 with scientific and technical support from the National Museum of Natural History. We give the keys to the clubs so that they know biodiversity from their website, act to protect them but also train practitioners to this wealth. Nowadays, Almost 70 clubs are already marked. They have made it possible to identify more than 23,000 pieces of scientific data and have launched conservation and awareness-raising actions on biodiversity. This drive drives us to achieve and exceed our goal: 200 certified clubs by 2024. Our golf courses are and will continue to be sports fields that promote the well-being, the health of our population and increasingly, Assets to protect biodiversity.

We also run many other promotions. First of all towards the youth with the sensitization of the children of the golf schools to the environment. But also towards our federal ecosystem with the support of associations to start investment work for a more sustainable water management (as formalized through our partnership with the Seine-Normandy Water Authority). Also for the development of research and development work to make our trips more responsible. Finally for all golfers: we communicate regularly with our licensees to make known the good practices of the clubs and the sector and to change mentalities.

3) In 2024, the Golf National de Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines will host the world’s best golfers for the Olympic Games. How is the French Golf Federation preparing to meet the Organizing Committee’s social and environmental requirements?

Hosting the Olympic event at Le Golf National is both a source of pride and a great opportunity to showcase all the projects that have already been carried out Accelerating the green transition in golf. The Golf National is undoubtedly one of the golf courses in the world where biodiversity is best known. Inventories were drawn up, carried out in particular by experts from the National Museum of Natural History, in order to better preserve them. Many concrete actions are carried out there, which make it possible to: a sustainable location management while ensuring the very high level of the Olympic Games.

Also, we are already working with COJOP Paris 2024 to ensure we host a golf event together Fulfillment of the requirements of the 1st exemplary JOP in terms of ecological and sporting excellence. This is part of the momentum of our signing of the Charter of 15 Environmentally Responsible Commitments of Sport Event Organizers, led by the Department of Sport and WWF.

Finally, the legacy of this event should allow us to carry out research and experimentation actions to meet the challenge of offering even more environmentally friendly courses from 2025, while maintaining the course’s excellence in terms of play.

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