Rory McIlroy wants to travel climate-neutral.

The discussion about the CO2 footprint of professional sport has now also arrived in golf. As the first world-class player, Rory McIlroy has publicly spoken out about the need to do something about climate change. As part of that effort, the world number one paid £150.000 through the end of 2021 to offset its carbon footprint from air travel.

“If every other industry in the world is trying to go green, why shouldn’t we?” In the field of professional sports, the discussion about the CO₂ footprint is very present, but golf has so far held back in many areas. Only at a few tournaments did sponsors compensate for the arrival of players and caddies . “I wouldn’t call myself an ecohero, but I don’t want to further damage the environment – so what I’ve tried to do is make all my travels around the world neutral.”

The fact that Rory McIlroy, who in the past had repeatedly taken a clear position on controversial issues such as the European Tour’s involvement in Saudi Arabia, commented on the subject is essential. This way, the topic gets much more publicity. After McIlroy committed to offsetting his carbon footprint, all major American golf publications reported on it.

“I live in a world where hurricanes are dominant and, more importantly, becoming more frequent. We can all do our part in some way. We play on huge areas of land that use a lot of water. Some argue that this water could be put to better use for other purposes. I haven’t talked about that much with other players. But for my own peace of mind, at least I no longer travel in a way that is to the detriment of this world.”

Other players are noticeably more impartial: Matthew Fitzpatrick, asked about the subject at the DP World Championship 2021, gave the reporter of Golf Digest’s the following response: “I don’t think about it. This is my job. If I didn’t travel by plane, I would probably play five tournaments a year.”