As the players and spectators set out across Gullane Golf Club last week for the Aberdeen Standard Investments Scottish Open, they stepped onto a course in excellent playing condition - and flying a new accolade as a GEO Certified® golf club.
The club recently received the international marque of distinction for sustainability in golf, recognising their efforts to foster nature, conserve resources and benefit their local community.
In doing so, the club joins previous events hosts Royal Aberdeen, Castle Stuart and Dundonald Links in demonstrating the sport's highest standards and helps deliver on the European Tour's stated policy of encouraging venues to be run in an environmentally and socially responsible way.
Stewart Duff, Course Manager said: "This award is recognition for the care and responsibility the entire greenkeeping team applies to their work. We are all very proud of the local environment and want to everything we can to protect and enhance it, for golfers and to the wider benefit of the community. We are extremely grateful to Scottish Golf's Environmental Advisory Service for their excellent and invaluable support."
David Morgan, Club Manager said: "The process of becoming certified, using the new OnCourse® programme has helped us take a more consistent and comprehensive approach across all parts of the facility. We now have not only a good baseline understanding of what we are doing well, but also clarity on things we can improve over time. We're proud to have our commitment and achievements recognised by GEO Foundation."
Some highlights of the sustainability work at Gullane include:
- Only 23% of 200+ hectare site is maintained turf and only 50% of the maintained part is irrigated
- Seasonal wetland habitat creation to increase biodiversity and outstanding grassland management
- Air-source heat pump providing renewable energy to the staff area of the maintenance facility
- Holistic approach to turf management, with focus on drought tolerant and durable grasses, with extremely low chemical inputs
- Extensive composting and green waste storage area for organic material recycling
- Longstanding excellent reputation as a welcoming club and course with a particularly good programme for juniors, and strong links with local suppliers and businesses
Jonathan Smith, Executive Director of GEO Foundation said: "Gullane Golf Club is a great example of the overall positive impact golf can have in local communities, and the visibility provided through the ASI Scottish Open extends the reach of that message way beyond Scotland's Golf Coast. We also hope this award can inspire other clubs to integrate sustainability into their operations and step forward themselves as valued leaders on important issues."
GEO Foundation - www.sustainable.golf
Gullane Golf Club - www.gullanegolfclub.co.uk
Scottish Golf - www.scottishgolf.org/environment