The Ryder Cup is one of the most prestigious events in the world of golf, where the best players from Europe and the United States compete for glory. In 2023, the Ryder Cup found its home at the magnificent Marco Simone Golf and Country Club in Rome, Italy, where sustainability was at the forefront of its preparations.

The significance of the Ryder Cup is immense, but so is the responsibility that comes with hosting it. With severe droughts across Europe, Golf Course Superintendent Lara Arias and her team at Marco Simone were acutely aware of the need for responsible water management.

“Water management was our biggest challenge in preparing for the Ryder Cup,” said Arias. “Of course, my team and I didn’t want to waste water, so we were determined to create world-class playing conditions while conserving precious water resources. And that’s where Toro’s irrigation solutions became the unsung heroes of the Ryder Cup’s sustainability mission.”

Eco-Friendly Excellence: Marco Simone’s Sustainable Redesign

Marco Simone is no ordinary golf course. It was meticulously redesigned and purpose-built to host the Ryder Cup, making it the first of its kind. Right from the inception of the project in 2020, sustainability was a top priority. The commitment to eco-friendliness is evident in every aspect of the course’s design. The property preserved and reused everything onsite, a testament to the dedication to minimizing waste. Rainwater and any water on the property were harvested and redirected to the irrigation lake. The inclusion of stream and water features not only enhanced the golfing experience but also contributed to habitat creation, promoting biodiversity. Moreover, local materials were used extensively in the construction, reducing the environmental footprint.

Sustainability isn’t just a buzzword at modern golf courses; it’s a fundamental aspect. Golf courses, by nature, are sustainable spaces, fostering biodiversity and providing a home for various insects, plants and wildflowers. Marco Simone’s approach integrated irrigation into this sustainable vision seamlessly.

Sustainability Through Smart Water Use

Toro’s innovative irrigation systems, including the Lynx® Central Control System and INFINITY® sprinkler heads, were instrumental in achieving this harmony. Over 2,000 INFINITY sprinklers were deployed across the course. The Lynx Central Control System played a pivotal role in optimizing water usage, a critical factor in a region that often experiences scorching summers.

One of the key sustainability strategies was to irrigate only the essential areas in play, such as fairways and greens. This approach aligned perfectly with the goal of water conservation. The long-term plan for Marco Simone involves full wastewater recycling, further reducing the golf course’s environmental footprint.

An Environmental Hole-in-One: The Ryder Cup’s Sustainable Victory

The Ryder Cup at Marco Simone was not just a celebration of golf’s finest but also a celebration of sustainable practices. The meticulous attention to environmental concerns, the integration of state-of-the-art irrigation systems and the commitment to conservation make it a stellar example of what the golfing world can achieve when sustainability takes center stage.