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Why and how to have an eco-responsible golf course

Posted by Ryan Segal on March 31, 2020

Who doesn’t love playing on a golf course with beautiful, natural scenery? Golf allows players to combine physical activity while also taking advantage of being in an outdoor setting. Playing on a course that is rich in flora and fauna elevates a players experience and is often a major criterion in deciding which club to play at. Upon closer inspection, golf courses can have major negative impacts on the environment they operate in and could result in the loss of it’s natural beauty in the future. From the construction of the course to the volume of water used to maintain the greens, the impact that golf facilities can have on the environment is substantial. Nevertheless, it is possible to reduce its impact with minor adjustments that will ultimately increase the quality of your facility.

 

Increase the biodiversity of your golf course

Complementing a beautiful green landscape with different species of birds and animals can really enhance a golfers playing experience. For this reason, it is important that you pay close attention to the wildlife that surrounds your facility.

Growing and maintaining the biodiversity of a natural environment is easier than you might think. In order to achieve success, one important rule must be respected at all times; designate large natural spaces that will allow your fauna and flora to flourish and that is protected from human interference. For example, you can add more bodies of water as they are essential to the proper development of biodiversity. Additionally, densely wooded areas provide excellent shelter for any animal species that exists in your region. These areas should be reserved entirely for natural life and you should do whatever possible to minimise the human impact on them.

The environment surrounding your golf course can be a significant competitive advantage that sets you apart from competitors in the area. For example, to highlight the biodiversity of its course, Le Dinard Golf provides its customers with a booklet of all the plant and animal species found on the course while providing pictures and descriptions so golfers can know what to look out for. Additionally, you can add a section to your website that highlights your eco-responsible actions to show your golfers that you are committed to caring for the environment.

 

Le Golf National: A sustainable golf course

Built by the French Golf Federation, Le Golf National is located on the site of a former landfill using recycled construction materials. This shows golfers around the world that promoting nature, conserving resources and engaging with local stakeholders is an integral part of an eco-responsible golf club. “By proudly flying the GEO flag everyday, we show our customers, whether they are local golfers, international visitors or corporate groups, that we share their environmental concerns” said Paul Armitage, Direct of Golf National.

By implementing electric lawnmowers, efficient irrigation systems and rainwater harvesting systems, Golf National is able to assert its position as a sustainable golf course and in turn, attract more golfers.

 

How to make your facility more responsible

To minimize your organisation’s environmental footprint, there are a number of simple actions that can be implemented that will have a positive effect on the environment. Firstly, as mentioned above, it is important to reduce the areas that are mowed to encourage the expansion of natural vegetation. This will promote the growth of shrubs and other natural areas that are essential for the protection of wildlife. It is also a good idea to have bee hives located throughout your facility. Bee hives will help the vegetation on your property bloom and will provide the added benefit of using the honey collected in certain dishes at your restaurant.

In order to see success in your eco-responsible plan, you must also limit the use of pesticides at your facility and carefully select other garden care products that are not harmful to the environment. In addition, you can also be more selective about the origin of food products that make up your menu. Rather than purchasing everything from large food distributors, you can favour local merchants. These local merchants will be able to provide fresh, high quality ingredients that your guests will appreciate.

The optimization of green irrigation systems is also essential. To limit the impact on the environment, it is recommended to use recycled water from water treatment plants and have a rainwater harvesting system on-site to collect additional water. By using efficient sprinkler heads, you can improve watering while also limiting the amount of water being used. This investment will allow you to lower your management costs by using resources efficiently and help improve your image for years to come.

Waste management is also an important part of becoming greener. Ensure that you recycle the waste generated on your property properly and avoid using materials such as polystyrene that is difficult to recycle. Additionally, you can place compost bins around your restaurant to reduce the amount of waste produced by your restaurant and use the compost that is produced for your green spaces. 

 

Final thoughts

The natural environment of your golf course is what characterizes your organization. By applying some of the practices outlined above you will be able to improve your golfers playing experience. Having an eco-responsible club will become a valuable way to promote your facility. As more and more people are becoming aware of the importance of protecting the environment, it is vital to show them that you care and are doing your part.

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We’ve recommended Chronogolf by Lighspeed to a number of different operators. I feel very good about making that recommendation, you guys have done a great job of following through with everything that I told people you were going to do.

Aaron Gleason,
Walters Golf

Based on more than 100 reviews from operator wordwide.
Read them here.

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