The Australian Golf Industry Council (AGIC) is backing an exciting new venture aimed at reducing golf’s carbon footprint. Under the venture, used golf balls will be recycled into multiple applications including furniture, drainage systems, pathways, roads and sculptures.

John Harrington, managing director of Professional Golf Equipment, initiated the project in 2017 when he approached the PGA of Australia and Golf Australia for support. Harrington, a fixture in the industry for many years who previously made clubs for the late, great Peter Thomson, formed his company Golf Ball Recycling (GBR) with the aim of reducing the carbon footprint within the industry. He saw an opportunity to prevent old golf balls from ending up in landfill, lakes, waterways and oceans.

In 2020, RMIT University sampled granulated golf balls for use in concrete mix. Earlier this year, another company, Architectural Water Solutions, approached GBR looking to use golf balls for drainage aggregate. Through this meeting, a waste-management planning arm was added to the services GBR offers.

GBR re-uses golf balls in outdoor furniture, safety bollards, roadway and paving, soft-fall surfaces, drainage strata medium for wastewater disposal systems and golf course drainage.

AGIC chair Gavin Kirkman said the council welcomed the initiative. The AGIC encourages golf clubs and facilities to make use of the innovative program moving into the future.

“Our sport continues to be aware of its responsibilities around protecting the environment,” Kirkman said. “Any idea or program that gets our industry moving towards a more sustainable future and takes up the fight against landfill has to be supported.”

“With the endorsement of the AGIC, Golf Australia and the PGA of Australia, GBR can work with industries to provide golf courses and driving ranges with waste management solutions to recycle golf balls,” Harrington said.