Golf Environment Awards 2018 winners revealed

The winners of the 2018 Golf Environment Awards (GEA) have been announced at Harrogate’s Crown Hotel, in a ceremony hosted by STRI Group and the R&A.

Environmental Golf Course of the Year 2018 – Carnoustie Golf Links

Conservation Greenkeeper of the Year 2018 – Stephen Thompson (John O’Gaunt Golf Club)

Outstanding Environmental Project of the Year 2018 – Abergele Golf Club

Operation Pollinator 2018 – Kingsdown Golf Club

STRI ecology consultant, Sophie Vukelic, said: “A huge congratulations to the winners and finalists of this year’s awards, you each showcase what sustainable management is within golf. The golf environment is a better place with you all working to protect it.”

The annual Golf Environment Awards provide the platform from which the golf industry can demonstrate environmental excellence in all its forms. Established in 1995, the awards have gone from strength to strength and in 2018, attendees to the awards almost tripled in numbers.

Carnoustie Golf Links were awarded Environmental Golf Course of the Year for their incredible work within the local community and their continued environmentally conscious practices in all areas of golf course management. Each decision at the golf facility considers the impact on the environment and each member of staff is trained to work in such a way.


Carnoustie Golf Links and sponsors


Conservation Greenkeeper of the Year was received by Stephen Thompson of John O’Gaunt Golf Club for his passionate dedication to nature conservation within golf. Stephen has extensive biodiversity records for both courses at his club, enabling him to tailor the management of the mosaic of habitats accordingly.


Stephen Thompson - John O'Gaunt Golf Club
Stephen Thompson – John O’Gaunt Golf Club


Abergele Golf Club won Outstanding Environmental Project of the Year for their Tir Gwylllt (Wild Land) area. Darren Anderson, his team of greenkeeping staff and several members have created a wildlife haven from materials ready to hand or donated. The project is a remarkable example of people pulling together to create something spectacular.


Abergele Golf Club - GEA Winners
Darren Anderson – Abergele Golf Club


Operation Pollinator was awarded to Kingsdown Golf Club where Tom Freeman had introduced extensive native wildflower areas with the help of local primary school children. Not only did this Operation Pollinator project provide for nectar and pollen loving insects, it also provided a great golf education to the younger generation.


Kingsdown Golf Club - Operation Pollinator Winners
Tom Freeman – Kingsdown Golf Club


STRI is indebted to lead partner, The R&A, and the sponsors – Ransomes Jacobson, Aquatrols, Syngenta, Tillers Turf and Wiedenmann for their continued support. The R&A’s involvement in the GEA Awards does not elicit its endorsement for the sponsor’s products or services.

Fancy having a go yourself? The entries for the 2019 Golf Environment Awards are now open and we encourage all golf clubs, big or small, to enter and show off their hard work. Enter today at

For more information contact:
Bob Taylor or Sophie Vukelic in STRI’s ecology department, on +44 (0)1274 565131 or email