With the deadline for the Golf Environment Awards 2020 fast approaching, we ask the 2019 winners a few questions about how their environmental initiatives led to success.
Congratulations on being a winner. Has winning helped you promote the club?
Mark Broughton (Aldeburgh Golf Club): Yes, it has attracted a lot of attention and raised the profile of the club.
Phil Stain (Notts Golf Club): Yes, anything environmental that’s positive is of interest at the moment.
Ryun Holden (Wylihof Golf Club): Yes very much so. Our success has been communicated through both printed literature and on-line. Local newspapers, national golf magazine and Swiss Olympic committee have all produced articles reporting our achievement. The interest from both existing members, external golfers and non-golfers has all been very positive for the club’s image and that of golf as a whole.
What advice would you give a club who has never applied before?
MB: Have a go – taking part helps to focus the club’s attention on environmental matters and gives an opportunity to look at the management of the course from a different perspective.
PS: I’d advise any club that’s doing any sort of environmental work to enter. The awards have provided a platform for us to share the work we do, promote the club in a positive way, share ideas and advice, and make new contacts. We can also show the wider audience that golf and nature can exist side by side.
RH: Just enter. I had absolutely zero expectation, our aim was to be nominated as the first mainland European golf club, to receive a nomination was prize enough. To go on and actually win was just incredible. Personally, a career highlight and certainly only positive for the club.
What’s been the response from the members?
MB: The members have shown great interest and pride in the award. Winning the award has fostered a greater awareness of the environmental management of the golf course and our wider estate.
PS: Club members have been very supportive, they’ve been continually congratulating us. They seem very proud of the achievement.
RH: Pride essentially. The feedback is generally one of pride in our work, sustainable approach and success in the awards.
Have the GEAs proved valuable to yourself and the club?
MB: Yes, both externally and internally, for reasons given above. The award has helped to enhance the club’s profile nationally and has helped the club to promote environmental initiatives within the clubhouse and on the course.
PS: We’ve been able to use the awards to support our GEO certification, they provide great evidence regarding the work that goes on at Notts. I’m particularly proud to have the work we’ve done recognised.
RH: The club has significantly improved its image within the local community. Once seen as a snobby club for the rich, we are now changing that view and a realisation of how golf can benefit the wider ecology. The award, along with our continued Eco work, is really changing opinions.
STRI would like to thank the sponsors of the Golf Environment Awards for their continued support, and to our lead partner The R&A.