Second Open venue gains sustainability certification from GEO


Second Open venue gains sustainability certification from GEO
Sean Dudley
By Adam Lawrence

Carnoustie Golf Links in Scotland has become the second Open Championship venue to be certified for sustainability by the Golf Environment Organisation.

The GEO certification was awarded after Carnoustie proved it had met a wide range of standards in areas such as nature conservation, water conservation, energy usage and pollution control. Open organiser the R&A has specified that all courses on the rota should seek certification from GEO.

“The R&A has requested that all Open venues obtain GEO certification and we were happy to oblige because for some time we have been committed to a wide range of sustainable practices that will benefit the Links and the wider area as a whole,” said Graeme Duncan, general manager of the Carnoustie Golf Links Management Committee.

Since 2007 the maintenance programmes for all three Carnoustie courses have adhered to practices set out in an ecological management plan prepared for the management committee by the Sports Turf Research Institute. In addition, the town’s Championship course also receives an annual ecological assessment by the STRI on behalf of the R&A.

Within GEO’s OnCourse report, Carnoustie received plaudits for a number of key achievements including:

  • Long term restoration of a true links landscape through the removal of introduced tree plantations of non-indigenous species

  • Continued high standards of low-input maintenance of turfgrass swards

  • The recent new development project on the Buddon course, led by design firm Mackenzie & Ebert

  • A highly efficient irrigation system sourced from natural groundwater

  • A recent energy audit providing the basis for a significant reduction in consumption

  • Conservation and reuse of on site soil resources providing substantial savings in resource consumption.