2023 has been an exciting year working with sustainable golf developments. With more projects engaging, working in new locations, more certifications being achieved and in general more interest in sustainable golf and climate action throughout the entire golf industry. This continual and increased industry engagement emphasises how parts of the industry are feeling about this important topic and that they are willing to try and make a difference.
Another point of note from 2023 was the launch of a Sustainable Golf Renovations guide and improved support for courses planning a renovation. This the latest in a series of Sustainable Golf guidelines produced by the development team. This improved support will help golf courses to carry out connected and sustainable renovations, whether a small upgrade or wholesale changes to the course and surrounding area.
The team continued to work alongside the three major architect’s organizations (American Society of Golf Course Architects. (ASGCA); European Institute of Golf Course Architects (EIGCA); and Society of Australian Golf Course Architects (SAGCA)) as they progress with their joint pledge to take climate action.
For more information visit https://sustainable.golf/
Bognor Regis Golf Club
Bognor Regis, England
Designer: Gary Johnston, EIGCA, European Golf Design
When the land that the original Bognor Regis Golf Club sat on was planned to be sold for housing, a new site was required where the course and club could be re-built and re-invented. When land was found, new permission was required. As the development was seeking to achieve GEO Certified® Development status we worked with the club and European Golf Design to help with the planning application. A very open, large, arable agricultural field greeted us at the site visit and the team were convinced that this project would have a number of positive impacts – and that this was a process that we wanted to assist in as much as we could.
By creating a Sustainability Blueprint for the project, which set out the positive sustainability impacts and outputs from the designs, we were able to provide the local council with the assurances that the planned development of the golf course would be have a positive impact on the community, site and local wildlife population.
As the planning permission process continues and wait for the development process to begin we have no doubt that this project has the potential to significantly boost the biodiversity levels and be able to address minor flooding issues around the area with its proposals.
Designer: Ross McMurray, EIGCA, European Golf Design
Similarly to the Bognor Regis project, Hulton Park is a development in England which is seeking GEO Certified® Development status. We have been involved here since 2016 in the early conceptual stages of the project and as such, have been involved throughout the planning application process.
The project, designed by European Golf Design and owned by PEEL Holdings, has a primary ambitious objective to host a Ryder Cup in the future. Situated on a landscape of mixed woodland, recreational and livestock uses, the project looks to restore a historic designed landscape framework and weave a set of exciting ‘match play’ specialist golf holes throughout the property. Twinned with a best-in-class training academy and short course area, this will also significantly boost the golf offering for the aspiring golfer in Bolton and the North-West of England in the future.
Having recently secured planning approval, focus in the team now switches to Ryder Cup hosting efforts. We have no doubt that this course has to potential to be one of the premier courses in the country.