Environmentally friendly golf tees to showcase sustainability and innovation in the UAE

The fully biodegradable product created by Alex Macdonald and Luke Roebuck at Palm Tees gets a huge thumbs-up from the EGF

By Nick Tarratt/ KT Guest Golf Writer

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UAE-based  entrepreneurs Alex Macdonald and Luke Roebuck, - Supplied photo
UAE-based entrepreneurs Alex Macdonald and Luke Roebuck, - Supplied photo

Published: Sat 2 Sep 2023, 12:23 PM

Last updated: Tue 12 Sep 2023, 6:53 PM

Two local UAE entrepreneurs have launched an environmentally friendly initiative for Golf Tees, every golfer’s friendly, on-course accessory, which will play a significant role during the World Amateur Team Championships (WATC).

Palm Tees, produced locally in the UAE through a partnership between Dormie and Palmade Biodegradable Products, is taking a new approach to Golf Tee manufacture.


Alex Macdonald, 40 and Luke Roebuck, 41, are co-founders of the Palm Tees project, which hopes to serve the rapidly expanding golf industry across the Emirates.

Both are avid golfers, playing off six and 14 handicaps respectively, with Alex having been born in the UAE.


Khaleej Times met up with Alex and Luke to discuss the project.

“The Tees themselves are made from waste palm leaves that would otherwise go to landfill and other natural ingredients,” said Alex.

“Using a patent-pending formula developed by Palmade, the discarded date palm leaves are blended with biopolymers stemming from natural sources such as sugarcane and then moulded into the shape of Golf Tees.

Golf tees made out of Palm waste in the UAE. Palm Tees website
Golf tees made out of Palm waste in the UAE. Palm Tees website

“Traditional Golf Tees are usually produced either from plastic or by growing material (typically silver birch, cedar, bamboo), with subsequent felling of that material and post-processing.”

“The benefits of these Palm Tees speak for themselves by being fully biodegradable and compostable, leveraging a non-utilised waste material that is abundant and indigenous to this region,” added Luke.

“In addition, the Tees are produced locally in the UAE reducing overseas shipping and cutting down lead times for production.

“Moreover, the waste palm leaves can be collected from the golf courses across the UAE, transformed into Golf Tees, returned to the same golf courses and once used, biodegrade back to nature; thus, promoting and enabling a more circular economy,” he said.

Palm Tees have been invited to be an official supplier of the World Amateur Team Championships (WATC), to be held at Abu Dhabi Golf Club in October 2023: the Eisenhower Trophy 18th–21st October 2023 and the Espirito Santo Trophy, 25th–28th October 2023 on the National Course.

General Abdullah Alhashmi. - Supplied photo
General Abdullah Alhashmi. - Supplied photo

General Abdullah Alhashmi, Vice-Chairman of the Emirates Golf Federation (EGF), the country host and organisers of the event along with the International Golf Federation (IGF), Abu Dhabi Sports Council (ADSC) and the UAE, commended the partnership.

“2023 is the UAE’s year of sustainability and being able to use a locally produced, 100% natural and 100% biodegradable product for this event is helping to showcase both sustainability and innovation in the UAE,” said Alhashmi .

“We are proud to host the event and have the Palm Tees on board, which will also contribute to other initiatives we are actively looking at.”

The producers of the tees, Dormie and Palmade jointly commented: "The support from the EGF has been phenomenal and we are excited to have been allowed to contribute to one of the biggest events on the world amateur golf circuit.”


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