What inspired you to launch Ocean Tee?
Simply put, I love the ocean and I love golf. I have always been fascinated by marine life and habitats. The rate at which marine environments are being threatened by plastic pollution is alarming and I wanted to create a brand to help shine a spotlight on this. I am also hoping that by focusing on sustainability we can help to showcase golf as a modern, forward-thinking sport. We all want to open up the game to a more diverse audience and substituting plastic tees for a sustainable alternative is a really simple change that anyone can make to widen golf’s appeal.
Why is it important to move away from plastic tees?
To be honest, I am surprised that we still use them at all! Golf tends to follow the Tour players and they traditionally don’t use plastic tees. Plastic tees do not biodegrade. When they are lost during play, they either have an immediate effect on the local ecology – particularly birds who like picking up coloured plastic tees – or they get washed into waterways and ultimately the ocean. There is just no need for golf to continue being part of this growing problem when there are environmentally friendly and cost-effective alternative materials to make tees from, such as bamboo.
Why did you decide to use bamboo to make your tees?
Bamboo is an ideal material for manufacturing golf tees. It’s strong and flexible, producing a durable tee that is less prone to snapping than traditional hardwood. As a grass species, bamboo grows at an astonishing rate – stocks replenish within months of harvesting compared to the decades taken for hardwood forests.
How did the relationship with the Oman Open come about?
The Oman Open tournament director noticed that we are working with the EuroPro Tour and thought that there was a natural synergy between the event and Ocean Tee. The environmental diversity here at Al Mouj Golf is astonishing! I recently saw that 173 different bird species have been spotted here and we are all committed to conserving their natural habitat.
What are your ambitions for Ocean Tee?
If our tees can spark a conversation on a tee box between playing partners about the environment and sustainability, then I will be delighted, but ultimately, we want to support and showcase new sustainable materials, fabrics and processes and be the first to introduce these products to the golf market. We will be launching clothing next and each product will have its own sustainable story.
Can Omani residents buy Ocean Tee products?
Yes! We have realised that there is international demand for the product so we are developing a commercial arm to our website oceanteegolf.com and will be shipping worldwide this month.
For more information about Ocean Tee follow them @oceanteegolf or visit their website www.oceanteegolf.com