TAT Filipinas Golf Club, San Pedro, Laguna, Philippines

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TAT Filipinas Golf Club is a sustainable golf course.

Call to make golf courses environmentally sustainable

James Kon & Jake Ten

To make golf more environmentally friendly and in recognition of golf courses in the Asia-Pacific region in transforming environmentally sustainable golf facilities and community to encourage development, the Government of His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam through the Ministry of Industry and Primary Resources has sponsored the inaugural Custodians of the Environment Award.

The award, which was presented to TAT Filipinas Golf Club, will become an annual feature of the Asia-Pacific Golf Summit (APGS).

The announcement of the launch of the Custodians of the Environment Award was made by Pehin Orang Kaya Seri Utama Dato Seri Setia Awang Haji Yahya bin Begawan Mudim Dato Paduka Haji Bakar, the Minister of Industry and Primary Resources yesterday in a keynote address at the opening of the Asia-Pacific Golf Summit, at The Empire Hotel & Country Club.

The minister presented the award last night as he hosted a dinner at the Royal Berkshire Hall of the Royal Brunei Polo and Riding Club to welcome all the professional golf players, invited speakers and guests who were attending the APGS.

The minister said, "Golf is not only a sport but can also be a responsible partner in the protection and sustainability of the environment.

"I raise this matter because to develop a golf course requires vast areas of land that would invariably need to be cleared of natural vegetation and habitat. This cleared land needs to be graded and planted with what are often non-native grasses, trees and shrubs. The creation of perfect fairways and greens takes a lot of water, fertiliser, pesticides, herbicides and fungicides."

While these are valid concerns, he said, "We also recognise the importance of golf and its role in promoting tourism. The revenue earned through golf tourism runs into billions of dollars and this is expected to increase in the years to come."

The minister then posed the question whether the positive revenue gains balance out against the negative effects of golf course development?

"What I would like to see is a more pragmatic and sustainable approach towards golf course development. There must be a better way to address the challenge.

"One of the ways of moving forward is for golf course designers, owners and operators to become more aware of environmental issues. The industry gatekeepers need to promote more responsible environmental stewardship and innovative and green ways of building and maintaining golf courses," he said.

The minister then proposed a number of policies which among others requires golf course designers, owners and operators to incorporate environmentally sustainable practices in the golf industry which include protection and preservation of natural features, choosing varieties of grass that require less water and are best adapted to the local climate, planting indigenous trees and shrubs, designing for as little water runoff from the property as possible, using reclaimed water for irrigation, using soil amendments such as composted water which reduce water consumption and improve soil fertility and protection of sensitive habitats during construction and others.

As the country is committed to the principle of environmentally sustainable development, the minister said, "I am proud to announce that the Government of His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam through the Ministry of Industry and Primary Resources will be the sponsor of the inaugural Custodian of the Environment Citation which will become an annual feature of the summit."

He added, "It is a small contribution but a giant step to make golf a more environmentally friendly sport. It will position environmental concern as a fore-thought, not an after-thought and continue in our thoughts in constructing and managing golf courses in this region. It will hope to attract more players particularly the more ethnically inclined players and more corporate supporters, particularly those that are concerned about their corporate social responsibility."

Also present at the event was I Gde Pitana, Deputy Minister for Tourism and Creative Economy Resources Development, Republic of Indonesia and Ronald Dodson, Chairman of the International Sustainability Council.

During his speech, Mr Dodson said that the way forward was for golf course architects, owners and operators to become more sensitive towards the environment.

It was suggested that that sort of responsibility should fall upon the industry gatekeepers, who need to promote more responsible environmental stewardship and innovative and green ways of building and maintaining golf courses.

By definition, a sustainable golf facility is sited, designed and constructed in ways that enhance the local community and reduce or eliminate its impact on natural resources and is managed in a way such that a balance between optimum playing conditions for golfers and good stewardship of the environment is found.

The TAT Filipinas Golf Club was founded in 1962 and was designed by Seiichi Inoue, one of Japan's leading golf course architects. Under the helm of Edna Selloriquez Pana, the corporate counsel of the TAT Group of companies, TAT Filipinas Golf and Country Club started the transformation of the club into a sustainable golf course, not only with a clear mission to serve its members, but also an awareness of its role in the community and environment.

Borneo Bulletin Online


Environment Award for golf courses

Adam Hanif

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

THE golf industry in Brunei Darussalam is looking to reduce its negative impact on the environment.

In a bid to promote environmentally sustainable development and practices, the golf industry sponsored the inaugural "Custodian of the Environment Award".

The award is an initiative that was introduced at the Asia Pacific Golf Summit 2012 to give recognition to golf courses in the Asia Pacific for their efforts to promote environmentally sustainable golf facilities.

Minister of Industry and Primary Resources Yang Berhormat Pehin Orang Kaya Seri Utama Dato Seri Setia Hj Yahya Begawan Mudim Dato Paduka Hj Bakar said that to build a golf course vast tracts of land needed to be cleared.

The minister said that a golf course also consumed enormous volumes of water, fertilizer, pesticides, herbicides and fungicides, which could damage the environment.

However, bearing in mind the tourism revenue earned through golf, the minister said a pragmatic approach should be taken to the building of courses.

The minister pointed out that the golf industry could be a "responsible partner in the protection and sustainability of the environment".

He proposed laying down policies governing the designing of a golf course that would incorporate environmetally sustainable practices to be adopted globally.

The TAT Filipinas Golf Club in San Pedro, Laguna, the Philippines, was honoured as the first to received the much coveted "Custodian of the Environment Award".

It was recognised for successfully transforming its club into a sustainable golf course with a clear mission to serve its members and an awareness of its role in the community and the environment.

Edna Seeloriquez Pana, the corporate counsel of the TAT Group of companies, received the award at the Asia Pacific Golf Summit Dinner and Award Presentation yesterday at the Royal Brunei Polo and Riding Club's Royal Berkshire Hall.

In her speech, Edna said the TAT Filipinas Golf Club served the needs of golfers who appreciated that their sport was not harming the environment.

"Throughout the transformation of the TAT Filipinas Golf Club, we are often surprised that sustainability does not require expensive innovations at all.

"And that led to the discovery (of eco-friendly methods and knowledge to maintain the land) that was used by farmers for generations, (such as) the benefits of keeping bees healthy for pollination."

The TAT Filipinas Golf Club collaborated with experts from the College of Forestry at the University of the Philippines, the Philippines Coconut Authority and the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources to ensure the course was environmentally green.

Edna said the company hoped that its efforts would be replicated by the golf industry globally and that sustainable practices would become the norm.

The Brunei Times


TAT Filipinas Golf Club wins inaugural Custodian of the Environment Award 2012 for Asia


TAT Filipinas Golf Club Advocacy for Sustainability


TAT Filipinas Golf Club Advocacy for Sustainability


A Round of Golf goes eco-friendly with TAT Filipinas

 By: Lalissa Singson, UBE Media

Season 11, Episode 3
Airing Date: February 23, 2012

A ROUND OF GOLF, your one and only local golf and lifestyle TV show in the Philippines, come to an all-natural and sustainable lush of green at TAT Filipinas Golf Club in San Pedro, Laguna. Our hosts Dominic Uy and Geleen Handog play on its top three courses while learning the importance of an eco-friendly golf course together with TAT Filipinas’ General Manager, Jose Dagdagan, and Golf Course Architect, Dana Fry.

Golf Gear features the latest gear that Titleist offers, the newest AP1 and AP2 Irons.

To complete the A ROUND OF GOLF third episode for season 11, Golf Guru Jun Cedo shows how to keep your left wrist firm while chipping. Enjoy the segment with this week’s student, Annika Cedo.

Watch A ROUND OF GOLF every Thursday at 8 PM on Solar Sports at Global Destiny (Channel 35), Sky Cable Digital (Channel 70), and Cablelink (Channel 31).



Can golf be environment-friendly?


Text and photos by Fernando Sepe Jr, ABS-CBNnews.com

Golf course designer Dana Fry wants to take lessons learned in sustainability to the Philippines.

MANILA, Philippines – Golf and the environment don’t come together easily. At least not in Asia and certainly not in the Philippines.

Golf course architect Dana Fry wants to change that.

The Hong Kong-based Fry, who is tasked with looking after the projects of his company, Hurdzan Fry Environmental Golf Course Design, in the Asia-Pacific region, was recently in the Philippines to look into possibilities of building an environment-friendly golf course from the ground up.

Fry was a guest of Atty. Edna Paña of Tat Filipinas, a golf course in San Pedro, Laguna that practices an environmentally sustainable operation.
The two met each other at a golf conference in Kuala Lumpur back in 2009. Fry heard Paña talking about environmental sustainability and they immediately found a common interest.
Paña put those words into action by adopting a sustainable approach in the operation of the 30-year old Tat Filipinas golf course, starting with the use of native vegetation as part of the course landscape.

Today around 22 hectares of the 50-hectare course is devoted to natural vegetation that not only reduced 30% of the operating cost but has become a habitat for both wildlife and fruit-bearing trees. In fact, if you play on any given day there, you’ll find a variety of fruits and root crops for sale in the lobby


"We are just going back to the way golf started."

“I can walk around and see the native habitat with my own eyes,” Fry said about the course. “And I’ve seen seven or eight courses over four visits in the Philippines and with what they have done here (at Tat) there is nobody even close to that.”
Fry lamented the lack of willingness among golf course developers in Asia to go environmental.

“They keep building courses just to sell real estate and fill hotel rooms,” Fry noted.
Fry further stressed that the only way to grow the game in Asia is to make it accessible for everyone so that you grow the number of players and the only way to do this is to offer lower green fees staffed with teaching pros.

And the money saved on operating costs by turning “green” can help make this feasible, he said.

‘Living research’ laboratory
Fry joined the Hurdzan Fry Environmental Golf Course Design in 1988 after working with renowned golfer Tom Fazio.

It was Dr. Michael Hurdzan who pioneered a study on environmental sustainability in golf courses by designing a golf course that would become a “living research” laboratory.
Hurdzan and Fry converted an abandoned sand and gravel quarry in Scituate, Massachusetts and converted it into a public links golf course now called Widow’s Walk. The course design called for the use of grasses native in the area, which would cut the use of fertilizer and pesticides. They also consumer less water; only 30 acres of the 100-acre course area are irrigated.

“Back then, the golfing community looked at Dr. Hurdzan as crazy,” Fry recalled, adding that in the early years, green meant “beautiful” as exemplified by courses such as the Augusta National, home of the US Masters.
But from the late 1990s to the early 2000s, environmental golf slowly became the buzzword in the golfing industry.

“Our company became the sort of go-to guys from the mid-‘90s on through mid-2008 before the economy crashed. We were getting a lot of work from the developers because Dr. Hurdzan can talk to the environmental people and address their issues,” Fry said.
U.S. Open

Hurdzan and Fry are best known for the construction of Erin Hills in Erin, Wisconsin, which began in 2005.

Fry said they knew before they even opened the course that it would host some of the biggest tournaments in the United States.
Even before it officially opened in 2006, Erin Hills was already chosen to host the US Women’s Amateur Public Links Championship in 2008 and the US Amateur in 2011 by the United States Golf Association (USGA).
The USGA events caught the attention of Mike Davis, executive director of the US National Open Championship, who, in June 2010, awarded the 2017 U.S. Open to Erin Hills.

The last time the U.S. Open was awarded to a living golf course architect was in 1970 with the Robert Trent Jones, Sr.-designed Hazeltine National Golf Club in Chaska, Minnesota.

It will also be only the sixth time in the 111-year history of the Open that it will be played on a public course.
“It is unbelievable, unprecedented because most U.S. Opens are held in courses that are a hundred years old and have quite a history,” said Fry, obviously thrilled with the attention and opportunity of hosting one of only four major golf championships in the world.
Fry believes part of the reason is the size of Erin Hills, which is nestled on a 700-acre (283-hectare) lot that can accommodate over 100,000 spectators compared, say, to the Merion Golf Club, which will host the 2013 Open, at 108 acres.
The large area is also ideal for any adjustments in terms of length that designers now have to make to courses in the face of long-hitters such as Tiger Woods and the rest of the top players in the world.
But the most notable feature of Erin Hills is its use of fescue and wild grasses.

Unknown to many, the old courses in Scotland and Ireland all use varieties of fescues, and that’s the reason why when one is watching the British Open, for example, the fairways would look “dry” with large patches of brown areas.
But compared to blue grass or bentgrass, fescue, being native to the environment, takes far less water, fertilizer and pesticides.
“We are just going back to the way golf started. St. Andrews in Scotland was not a built golf course, it is mowed by sheep,” Fry said.

Natural vegetation results in less water and chemicals used to maintain the course at Tat Filipinas.




The 3rd TFGC President's Cup 2011



A Round of Golf Honors Sustainability at TAT Filipinas Golf Club

By: Lalissa Singson, UBE Media

Season 8, Episode 1
Airing Date: February 3, 2011

A Round of Golf, your one and only local golf TV show in the Philippines, takes pride on its eight season as it features TAT Filipinas Golf Club, a sustainable golf course located in San Pedro, Laguna. Join our host Dominic Uy and feel the essence of an organically maintained golf course that nurtures the sport and nourishes the environment.

In Golf Gigs, experience a golf tournament wonderland in APT Cup. Spot golfers in your favorite fictional character costumes on the fairway where glory is definitely eyed on. Join us as we learn about the Dynamic Sports in Golf ETC. Welcome the new season with better performance as Golf Gear digs to the potentials of Titleist 910 Driver. To smash up our pilot episode for season eight, our Golf Guru Jun Cedo will teach how to use breathing to improve your putting.

Watch A Round of Golf every Thursday at 8PM on Solar Sports at Global Destiny (Channel 34), Sky Cable (Channel 70), and Cablelink (Channel 31). Visit our website www.aroundofgolf.tv for our past episodes, the hosts’ blogs, and behind-the-scene pictures. Remember to follow the show on Multiply, Facebook, and Twitter. A Round of Golf is presented by Air21 and specially produced by UBE Media.

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For reservations please contact Shiela Aquino

+632-868-0267 / +632-868-0270

Smart +63-918-670-2004
Globe +63-927-597-7117


Narra Road, San Antonio,
San Pedro, Laguna
4023 Philippines
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