The greening of golf

Sport, globalization and the environment

By Brad Millington and Brian Wilson

The greening of golf


  • Hardcover
  • eBook

Book Information

  • Format: Paperback
  • ISBN: 978-1-5261-4366-2
  • Pages: 264
  • Publisher: Manchester University Press
  • Price: £20.00
  • Published Date: September 2019
  • BIC Category: SPORTS & RECREATION / Sociology of Sports, Golf, Sociology: Sport & Leisure, Sociology, Sociology: sport & leisure, SPORTS & RECREATION / Golf
  • Series: Globalizing Sport Studies


Golf is a major global industry. The sport is played by more than 60 million people worldwide and there are more than 32,000 courses in 140 countries across the globe. This book looks at the power relationships in and around golf, examining whether the industry has demonstrated sufficient leadership on environmental matters to be trusted to make weighty decisions with implications for public and environmental health. The first comprehensive study of the varying responses to golf-related environmental issues, it is based on extensive empirical work, including research into historical materials and interviews with stakeholders in golf such as course superintendents, protesters and health professionals. The authors examine golf as a sport and as a global industry, drawing on and contributing to literatures pertaining to environmental sociology, global social movements, institutional change, corporate environmentalism and the sociology of sport.


Part I: Introduction and tools for seeing golf sociologically
1. Introduction: approaching golf and environmental issues
2. Light green to dark green: how to make sense of responses to environmental problems
Part II: Background and history
3. Waging a war on pests: golf comes to America
4. Golf in consumer culture and the making of Augusta National syndrome
Part III: The light-greening of golf
5. The turn to responsible golf and the roots of golf's light-green movement
6. Environmentalism incorporated: professionalization and post-politics in the time of responsible golf
7. Light-green regulation? Environmental managerialism and golf's conspicuous exemption
Part IV: The dark-greening of golf
8. Anti-golfers across the world unite! Global and local forms of resistance to golf-course development
9. Organic golf 'on the fringe': the potential and challenges of a chemical-free golf alternative
Part V: Conclusion
10. Reflections, recommendations and minor utopian visions for a game we love


Brad Millington is Lecturer in the Department for Health at the University of Bath

Brian Wilson is Professor in the School of Kinesiology at the University of British Columbia, Canada

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