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UPDATE: Entry to the 2018 Golf Environment Awards is now open – good luck to everyone!
Golf is enjoyed by millions of people across the globe, both as participants and spectators, and there are now more than 30,000 golf courses worldwide, each having an increasingly important part to play within their local environment.
In recognising the importance of golf courses and the greenkeepers that look after them, the Golf Environment Awards were created in 1995 (originally the BIGGA Golf Environment Competition), their main aim being to highlight and reward the most environmentally focussed golf clubs within the UK.
Applicants can choose from three categories to enter: Environmental Golf Club of the Year, Outstanding Environmental Project of the Year, and Conservation Greenkeeper of the Year. In addition, entries for our partner Operation Pollinator award can also be submitted as part of the GEA application.
A winner for each of the three GEA categories and Operation Pollinator is announced at an awards evening each January during BTME. The three big winners are rewarded with a trip of a lifetime to Europe and the chance to visit some of the world’s leading golf facilities and sites of specific ecological interest. The winning golf clubs and runners-up receive considerable publicity in national and regional media in addition to their individual prizes.
Entry to the awards is free, and we encourage every golf club in the UK to consider submitting an application, no matter how big or small.
The Golf Environment Awards are managed and administered by STRI and each entry is independently judged, not on the scale of project or financial investment, but on what the golf course has achieved and how it has benefited the environment.
From 2018 The R&A will become a lead partner of the GEA. It will work alongside STRI to bring greater credibility and recognition to what is the most valued and established award programme, that directly promotes golf’s positive environmental standing.
The R&A’s involvement in the GEA Awards does not constitute or imply its endorsement for the sponsor’s products or services.
The winners of the 2017 Golf Environment Awards (GEA) were announced at the Hotel Du Vin, Harrogate, on January 18 2017, in a ceremony hosted by STRI Group.
Environmental Golf Course of the Year 2017 – Greetham Valley Golf Club
Greetham Valley Golf Club astounded the judges with their whole team effort to create a sustainable golf course. Adi Porter, course manager of the 45-hole course has been the driving power to implement a number of ecological initiatives around the site along with the use of holistic greenkeeping techniques in the day-to-day management of the playing surfaces.
Conservation Greenkeeper of the Year 2017 – Edward Ainsworth (Avro Golf Club)
Edward impressed with his vivacious passion for wildlife conservation, not only on the 9-hole course that he manages, but within the wider landscape.
Outstanding Environmental Project of the Year 2017 – Frilford Heath Golf Club
Frilford Heath Golf Club amazed with their extensive fen restoration works, a result of true determination. Their efforts have seen the return of a number of fen indicator species which haven’t been seen for many years.
Operation Pollinator 2017 – John O’Gaunt Golf Club
The Operation Pollinator award went to bee and butterfly-friendly John O’Gaunt Golf Club for their mosaic of nectar and pollen-rich habitats created by greenkeeper Stephen Thompson.
STRI ecology consultant, Sophie Vukelic, said: “For 22 years the Golf Environment Awards has highlighted the biodiversity value of golf courses around the UK, rewarding the people who manage the land as sustainably as possible, for both golf and wildlife. A huge congratulations to the winners and finalists of this year’s awards, you truly are the future of golf course management.”
The GEA provide the platform from which the golf industry can demonstrate environmental excellence in all its forms, and from next year The R&A will become a lead partner.
Fancy having a go yourself? The entries for the 2018 Golf Environment Awards are now open and we encourage all golf clubs, big or small, to enter and show off their hard work. Be a #keenbean and enter today.
Golf Environment Awards 2017 Finalists
Environmental Golf Course of the Year
Conservation Greenkeeper of the Year
Steve Thompson – John O’Gaunt Golf Club
Eddie Ainsworth – Avro Golf Club
Neil Sherman – Ipswich Golf Club
Phil Stain – Notts Golf Club
Outstanding Environmental Project of the Year