Golf At Goodwood earns award for environmental stewardship

Rebecca Mowlingin Golf

Goodwood's Agronomy Team receive an international sustainability certification for the estate's two golf courses.

The Golf Environment Organisation (GEO) certification was awarded after the Goodwood team successfully demonstrated its commitment to making sustainability a priority across the Park and Downs courses in West Sussex.

"We're proud of our social and environmental contributions, which show that even simple actions can have a powerful impact for golf and the environment. We look forward to achieving more on our sustainability journey," said Golf At Goodwood general manager Gary Beeves.

The Agronomy Team's application outlined its environmental projects, which included creating habitats and biodiversity along with the management of turfgrass.

Commenting on Golf At Goodwood's commitment to sustainability Head Greenkeeper Rob Dyer said: "Being GEO certified is one of the ways we are showing our commitment to fostering nature, conserving resources, strengthening communities and taking climate action. We're also taking steps to inspire golfers, staff and the wider community because we all have a part of play."

GEO Certified® is the symbol used by accredited great golf environments worldwide, to show that a golf facility has met a credible standard in sustainability across six key areas.

Head Greenkeeper Rob Dyer

Some of Goodwood's sustainable golf highlights include a two-year experiment to stop flailing a natural tough area next to a woodland edge. As a result, 20 tree shoots - including beech, hawthorn and lime - came up.

The greenkeeping team removed some of the reeds and weeds at the pond on the 17th hole to create space and a more diverse habitat. Now the pond on the Downs Course has come to life with carps and tadpoles.

The natural rough on The Downs course has allowed a wide range of biodiversity to run through all 18 holes. There are more wildflowers and fine grasses present compared to five years ago.

"It's nice to have the orchids coming out in our natural rough. Wildflowers growing natural rough areas - woodland canopies show our ecological policy is working well," Mr Dyer added.

GEO independent verifier Tony Hanson added: "Golf At Goodwood have continued their work to improve their environmental performance. Man hours, machinery use and fuel consumption have been reduced through the reduction of closely managed areas."

Meanwhile, Goodwood's golf courses narrowly missed out on the 2022 Environmental Golf Course of the Year Award to The Grove in Hertfordshire, last Wednesday (23 March). Other prestigious European golf courses who also reached the finals included Hever Castle, Kent; Quinta do Lago in Portugal, Gleneagles and Naim Dunbar both in Scotland.

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