Cyprus, Spain and Dubai golf venues honoured in the 2020 IAGTO Sustainability Awards

17 October 2019
Cyprus, Spain and Dubai golf venues honoured in the 2020 IAGTO Sustainability Awards

Cyprus leads the way for accolades in the 2020 IAGTO Sustainability Awards, with two recipients, while golf facilities in Spain and Dubai are also honoured.

Aphrodite Hills Golf Resort wins the overall award for Outstanding Commitment to Sustainable Golf while Minthis Resort wins the Resource Efficiency award. Dubai’s Jumeirah Golf Estates and Spain’s PGA Catalunya Resort win the Community Value and Nature Protection categories respectively.

The IAGTO Sustainability Awards recognise excellence in environmental and social responsibility in a strategic partnership between global golf tourism trade association IAGTO (International Association of Golf Tour Operators) and non-profit golf sustainability body, GEO Foundation.

The recipients were revealed as part of the 20th annual IAGTO Awards in front of an audience of international golf tourism delegates at the Bivouac du Desert in Marrakech, Morocco, at the end of the International Golf Travel Market (IGTM).

Jonathan Smith, GEO Foundation Founder and Executive Director, said: “Once again some of the great names in golf and tourism have stepped forward to demonstrate their environmental and social responsibility. We are grateful to all those who entered the IAGTO Sustainability Awards, and congratulate those which were, this year, selected as winners. All of them deserve a great deal of credit for their valuable and impressive leadership.

“Given that there has never been a more important time for action in sustainability, as concerns over climate, biodiversity and natural resources accelerate, we call out to all in the golf tourism community to get involved – to extend commitments and action, and to tell your story.”

IAGTO Chief Executive Peter Walton added: “Striving for excellence and being rewarded for it is an important incentive in all walks of life, and, since the beginning, we have always seen the IAGTO Awards as an important part of this process. Our sustainability awards are a case in point where now to even qualify for them the golf course must be GEO Certified®, whereas back in 2012 when we launched this awards category the pool of certified courses would have been too small to choose from.”

2020 IAGTO Sustainability Awards Winners citations from Jonathan Smith, GEO Foundation Founder and Executive Director:

Overall winner

Aphrodite Hills Golf Resort, Cyprus: IAGTO Sustainability Award for Outstanding Commitment to Sustainable Golf
“The overall award for outstanding commitment to sustainable golf goes to Aphrodite Hills in Cyprus. The facility achieved GEO Certified status for the first time in July 2019 and has demonstrated high standards and processes in the areas of nature, resources and community. Highlights from the course range from turfgrass selection to reduce water and other inputs, upgrading to hybrid green mowers and plans for the creation of nature trails and hiking paths in the Randidi Gorge and the Randi Forest to encourage resort guests to explore. The club also collects hundreds of bottle caps on a daily basis for a local charity that turns them into wheelchairs for people with disabilities.”
: Troia Golf, Portugal

Category winners

Jumeirah Golf Estates, Dubai, UAE: IAGTO Sustainability Award for Community Value
“Jumeirah Golf Estates takes first place in the community category for 2020. The facility engages with non-golfing locals in a variety of ways from the UAE National Sports Day and environmental awareness training for employees through to creating walking trails for residents and an annual mass participation yoga event on the 18th fairway. Jumeirah Golf Estates also provides its members and guests with stainless steel reusable water bottles free of charge to help cut plastic that could end up in landfill or the ocean.”
: Golf Della Montecchia, Italy

PGA Catalunya Resort, Spain: IAGTO Sustainability Award for Nature Protection
“The multitude of unique activities on offer at GEO Certified PGA Catalunya Resort in Spain helps to provide the resort with a unique identity away from golf. These include bird watching around the lakes; a guided tour of the tree species; beekeeping workshops and capturing, labelling and releasing endangered native turtles. The resort attracts people of all ages to take part and learn new skills. The resort is also home to an ecological garden, five-hectare vineyard and produces its honey from the 18 hives on-site. It’s a multi-functional facility that is delighted to share its natural surroundings with the local community and tourists alike. It’s therefore a worthy winner of the 2020 nature category.”
: Terre Blanche, France

Minthis Resort, Cyprus: IAGTO Sustainability Award for Resource Efficiency
“We’d like to congratulate Minthis Resort in Cyprus for winning our resources category this year. The facility has taken several important actions to reduce the amount of water used on the course which included a complete renewal of its irrigation system, collecting rainwater and connecting Minthis to the greywater supply of Paphos town which is now available to irrigate the entire golf course. The resort also makes the most of the natural resources around it with wine, olive oil, honey, fruit and herbs used at the clubhouse restaurant and bar. The clubhouse itself was designed to minimise use of resources through things such as low U-Value insulation walls, solar panels for hot water and LED lights and low-energy lamps combined with sensors and timers.”
: Al Mouj Golf, Oman

The 2020 IAGTO Sustainability Awards shortlist in full:
Al Mouj Golf
Aphrodite Hills
Belas Clube de Campo
Bogogno Golf Resort
Castelfalfi Golf Club
Castle Stuart Golf Links
Centro Nacional de Golf
Club Golf D'Aro Mas Nou
Dubai Creek Golf & Yacht Club
Dundonald Links
Emirates Golf Club
Fife Golf Trust
Gardagolf Country Club
Golf Club Carimate
Golf Club La Pinetina
Golf Club Varese
Golf D'Hardelot
Golf De La Sainte Baume
Golf De Servanes
Golf De Vittel Ermitage
Golf Della Montecchia
Golfklubburinn Keilir
Is Arenas Golf & Country Club
Jack's Point Golf
Jumeirah Golf Estates
La Galiana
Le Golf National
Lumine Golf Club
Minthis Golf Club
Mission Hills Haikou
Moon Palace Golf & Spa Resort
Oddur Golf Club
Oliva Nova
PGA Catalunya Resort
PGA National, Florida
Prince's Golf Club
Remuera Golf Club
Royal Porthcawl
Royal Portrush Golf Club
Royal Wellington Golf Club
St Andrews Links
Terme Di Saturnia Golf Club
Terre Blanche Golf
Troia Resort
Vidago Palace Golf Course
Wairakei Golf & Sanctuary

  • To download photos and logos, and for comments and press releases from 2020 IAGTO Sustainability Awards winners, click on


Notes for Editors
The IAGTO Sustainability Awards are open to all GEO Certified IAGTO members, from single course facilities such as Dundonald Links in Scotland, to the largest scale multi-functional resorts such as Mission Hills in China, and from professional tournament venues such as Emirates Golf Club in the UAE, to member and guest facilities such as Hardelot Golf Club, in France. Showing the depth and breadth of entries to the awards, previous winners have included: Pebble Beach, host of numerous US Open major championships; Great Rift Valley Lodge & Golf Resort, in Kenya, a quickly developing golf destination; Laguna Golf Phuket, in Thailand; and Machrihanish Dunes, in Scotland, a rugged traditional links at the heart of the local community and ecology. The awards have been designed so that achievements and results from the past 12 months are taken into strongest consideration, with three key areas of sustainability recognised each year – Nature, Resources and Community.

Established in 1997, IAGTO is the global trade organisation of the golf tourism industry, and has over 2700 members in 101 countries including more than 700 golf tour operator members in 63 countries, which control more than 87% of golf holiday packages sold worldwide and which collectively have annual sales of over €2.1 billion. IAGTO runs annual Asia and North America Golf Tourism Conventions, along with regular Destination Conventions. IAGTO established the International Golf Travel Writers Association in 2000, the year in which the first prestigious annual IAGTO Awards also took place.

About GEO Foundation, GEO Certified® and OnCourse®:
GEO is an international non-profit foundation, based in Scotland. Entirely dedicated to helping advance sustainability in and through golf, GEO works collaboratively to develop programmes and solutions that support industry performance and provide credible recognition across facility management, new developments and tournaments. To date 1500 golf facilities in over 100 countries have participated in GEO’s OnCourse® programme – golf’s easy to use, practical platform for sustainability. 244 facilities in 29 countries are GEO Certified® – demonstrating outstanding stewardship of nature, efficient use of resources and value to the community. A growing number of international and national golf associations are now partnering to regionalise and promote OnCourse® as a support programme to their member clubs, gathering important industry metrics across nature, resources and community in the process.

For further Information:
Guillaume Post
Marketing & Communications Manager │ Tel: +44 20 8096 3377

Guillaume post - Marketing & Communications Manager
Tel: +44 (0) 20 8906 3377