Who doesn’t love playing on a golf course with beautiful, natural scenery? Playing on a golf 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.
However, if they’re not careful, golf courses can have major negative impacts on the environment they operate in, which can result in the loss of its natural beauty in future decades. 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.
The good news is, it’s possible to minimize negative impacts your course has on the environment with minor adjustments. Below are our best tips for creating an eco-friendly golf course.
Prepare your golf course for the future
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Increase the biodiversity of your golf course
Golfers aren’t the only ones who use your facility—it’s likely the home of many different plants and animals. It’s important to pay close attention to the wildlife that surrounds your facility to allow it to flourish and live harmoniously alongside you.
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 renovate your course to add more bodies of water as they are essential to the proper development of biodiversity. Densely wooded areas near your course 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 minimize the human impact on them.
In a similar vein, try 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.
Taking good care of the natural 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, so that golfers can easily identify and appreciate your course’s natural inhabitants. Additionally, you can add a section to your website that highlights your eco-friendly actions to show your golfers that you are committed to caring for the environment.
Limit your use of pesticides
In order to see success in your eco-friendly 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. Opt for more organic pesticides and fertilizer options for your fairways. Alternatively, you can invest in planting naturally pest-resistant grasses to ultimately save on maintenance costs long term.
Source food from local providers
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 favor local producers. Using more local food means that your restaurant will be able to prepare menu dishes with fresh, high quality ingredients that your guests will appreciate.
Reduce water usage
The optimization of green irrigation systems is essential to improve your impact on the environment. Aim to use recycled water from water treatment plants or install a rainwater harvesting system on-site to collect additional water.
A simpler way to reduce water usage is to use more efficient sprinkler heads. This can improve watering while also limiting the amount of water being used. Similar to investing in pest-resistant vegetation, an investment in better sprinkler heads will allow you to lower your management costs and help improve your image for years to come.
Invest in better waste management
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. Coordinate with your local municipality on how you can dispose of your waste in a less harmful way.
Additionally, you can place compost bins around your restaurant to reduce the amount of waste produced by your restaurant and use that compost for your green spaces.
Le Golf National: A real-world example of 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-friendly 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, Director of Le 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.
Equip your golf course with smarter tools
As more and more people are becoming aware of the importance of protecting the planet, it’s vital to show them that you care and are doing your part. Preserving the natural environment of your golf course while being kind to nature will set you up for success for years to come.
To further prepare for an ever-changing environment, your golf course will also benefit from investing in other tools that make day-to-day business more seamless. Lightspeed Golf is a one-stop golf course management platform that helps facilities oversee tee time bookings, pro shop sales, restaurant reservations and so much more. Book a demo to see how we can help you transform your business for good.
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