PRINCEVILLE – Just before COVID-19 countermeasures were put in place and golf courses were closed to the public, Princeville Makai Golf (PMG) Course banned plastic water bottles on their course, and now golfers get a refillable water bottle to use at various machines along the course, instead.
Gov. David Ige opened up the golf courses up to the public this week.
Last year, PMG management realized the course contributed over 100,000 plastic water bottles to Kaua‘i’s waste problem. Even though PMG recycled the bottles, they were giving out the water bottles for free.
“We are on the island in the middle of the Pacific, and if we are personally responsible for over 100,000 water bottles, then I can only imagine what the other communities are doing and the other golf courses are doing,” sales and marketing manager Lindsay Waller said. “How everything can add up. I swear I had a nightmare…I just saw water bottles coming at me.”
According to Waller, the management team explored environmentally friendly and sustainable options.
PMG began its sustainability journey by partnering up with different vendors that aligned with its vision.
“That’s when we started looking into pairing up with partners such as Yeti, PATHWATER, FloWater. Once we put in FloWater, we really wanted to kick it up a notch and just totally eliminate water bottles,” said Waller.
PMG first sent out memos to all of their guest and employees a few weeks before stopping its water bottle orders.
Now when golfers check into the Pro Shop, employees will inform them that free plastic water bottles will no longer be given out, and plastic water bottles are now banned on the course. However, golfers can get a refillable PATHWATER aluminum water bottle that can be refilled by using a FloWater machine or refilled it at one of four refilling stations on the golf course.
To help ensure that PMG’s employees were on board with the new no plastic water bottles movement, every employee received a Yeti at the company Christmas party.
The starter on the golf course knows to mention the no water bottle policy to all of their golfers. Employees are encouraged to let guests know about the policy and help promote bringing reuseable water bottles or buy one in the Pro Shop.
Waller mentioned Yeti was working on a Napali Coast flask to be sold in their Pro Shops by summer. She hopes that PMG’s actions on the North Shore help other golf courses and community businesses do the same and help keep Kaua‘i green.
Stephanie Shinno, features and community reporter, can be reached at 245-0424 or firstname.lastname@example.org.