Aussie PGA Creates 'Carbon Neutral' Championship

By: Mike Orloff

The PGA of Australia announced that the upcoming 2008 Cadbury Schweppes Australian PGA Championship, being played at the Hyatt Regency Coolum on Queensland's Sunshine Coast from 4-7 December, will be a "carbon-neutral" event.

The PGA of Australia has formed a licensing arrangement with Australian companies e-parŪ and Shift2Neutral whom will contribute independently verifiable analysis of the championship's total carbon footprint. e-parŪ will be undertaking the review of all aspects of the championship to determine the exact environmental impact, and Shift2Neutral will be providing direct sponsorship of Certified Carbon Credits to offset the championship's emissions.

"The PGA already knows of the great environmental benefits golf courses have in their local communities in terms of consuming carbon emissions and now we are taking the next step in offsetting our impact on the environment by making Australia's best golf championship carbon neutral," said Max Garske, CEO of the PGA of Australia.

"We are the first major golf championship to be taking this step. We already have our head office on a facility supported entirely by recycled water and we will be continuing this process of introducing standards of recycling, minimizing carbon emissions and doing all we can to be an environmentally friendly business over the next three years and beyond," he added.

"e-parŪ and Shift2Neutral have shown great foresight in the environmental area and we look forward to working with them to continually improve our actions and encourage other events, golf facilities and the entire Australian golf industry to adopt best practice in this area."

"This announcement is a significant step forward for environmental governance across the golfing world," said e-parŪ CEO Terry Muir. "We are very proud of partnering the PGA of Australia to identify and manage the carbon footprint of a major golf event through the e-par Environmental Management System and excited about the PGA setting an example for others throughout the golfing world to follow," he said.

Brett Goldsworthy of Shift2Neutral added: "it is an honor to be involved with both the PGA and ePAR. We believe this is an important step in highlighting the true value of the work both the PGA and ePar are providing environmentally and the importance they play both in the industry and globally."

Mike Orloff is the Director Golf Industry Central and a business consultant who specializes in golf course operations. He has 18 years of experience in golf course management with two of the biggest international golf management companies. His career started in Los Angeles in 1989 with American Golf. Most recently he worked with ClubCorp in Australia. Mike has had various roles in operations. In 2000 he was promoted and transferred to the Gold Coast to help American Golf enter the Australian market. He was the general manager at Robina Woods and Paradise Springs (now The Colonial) golf courses. Mike was later transferred to Anaheim, Calif., to run Coyote Hills, the only course ever designed by the late Payne Stewart.

In 2003, Mike took a year off for a round-the-world trip to 19 different countries on five continents in 2003 and eventually ended up on the Gold Coast with his Australian-born wife Chelsea. Their family grew with the birth of their son Isaac in 2007. After returning to Australia, Mike was employed by Clubcorp Australia to advise KPMG on how to manage Horizons Golf Resort in NSW after it went into receivership. Within nine months the resort was sold and Mike moved into a fulltime position as general manager of Lakelands Golf Club on the Gold Coast for ClubCorp.

When Lakelands was sold in 2006, Mike started his current consulting business. He's currently seeking companies that need special assistance in developing a new golf facility or a new strategic direction at a current facility. His skills include strategic planning, membership, business development, marketing, operations, human resources and financial management. For additional information about Golf Industry Central, visit