Golfpark Nuolen

GEO Certified® 12/2012 GEO Re-Certified 06/2016
Telephone: +41792496894

Nuolen was first GEO certified in December 2009, being one of the first 10 clubs to be certified and the first club in Switzerland. The site was formerly exploited as a gravel quarry before part of it was converted into a golf course about 18 years ago. Since then the club has been dedicated to improving biodiversity, maximising mechanical practices and minimising inputs of fertiliser and pesticide.

The golf course is dominated by extensive areas of wildflower meadows in the out of play areas, 6 man-made lakes and biotopes which separate th…

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GEO Certified® Report

GEO Certified® is the symbol of great golf environments worldwide – designating that a golf facility has met a credible standard in the areas of nature, water, energy, supply chain, pollution control, and community, and is committed to continually improve. GEO Certified® is widely trusted and endorsed by a growing number of organizations and people, both inside and outside golf.

Click below to read about the activities undertaken by this golf facility to operate sustainably.

Facility details

Golf Courses
Pitch & Putt (9 holes)
9-Hole Course (9 holes)
1 Clubhouse(s)
1 Maintenance Facility/Facilities
1 Pro Shop
1 Practice Facility/Facilities
1 Halfway House(s)
1 Other
1 Other


Golfpark Nuolen, situated at the end of lake Zurich, was constucted on a reclaimed gravel pit and landfill site that features the remains of a large concrete factory. The site had no natural value after its previous use. The owners of the land, in cooperation with local government, decided to construct a public golf course and surrounding utilities including a restaurant, marina and public bathing facility by the lake.

Since construction, a natural landscape including 6 lakes, numerous wildlife habitats and environmentally sensitive areas - including one existing area of national scientific interest - has emerged. This has led to the golf course being certified by the WWF and winning the GCSAA enviromental stewardship award international merit prize three times.2012 awarded ELGA International and Overall winners Prize
The area inside and around the golfcourse is now enjoyed by golfers and just as much by local schools and groups that use the nature trail around the area. This close relationship with the local community has resulted in great support from nature groups and local government.

Golfpark Nuolen, befindet sich am unteren Ende des Sees Zürich wurde auf einem neu erschlossenen Kiesgrube, die man als Deponie genutzt hatte, und die Reste eines großen Betonwerk constucted. Die Seite hatte keine natürlichen Wert nach ihrer previos verwenden, wo nach dem Besitzer des Landes in Zusammenarbeit mit lokalen Regierung auf, einen öffentlichen Golfplatz und die umliegenden Bau-Utilities wie retseraunt, den Hafen und öffentlichen Bädern am See beschlossen.

Seit dem Bau ein Naturlandschaft einschließlich 6 Seen zahlreiche Lebensräume von Wildtieren und enviromentaly sensiblen Bereichen incoperating ein existig Bereich der nationalen wissenschaftlichen Interesse, die dazu führen, dass der Golfplatz von der WWF-zertifiziert und Gewinner der Auszeichnung GCSAA Umwelt Stewards internationalen Verdienst ptize dreimal.2012 ELGA Intenational und Gesamt Sieg

Consultation & Surveys

This golf facility consults the following organizations regarding landscape heritage conservation:

  • WWF
  • ANL
  • Local and National Government
  • Beuchberg Bird watching club
  • Amt für Umwelt Kanton Schwyz

The following landscape assessments and surveys have been undertaken at this golf facility:

Title Author Date View document
Annuall Bird and Amphiebien sightings Mr Appart 2012/07/10
Wiesenvegitation Res Knobel 2014/07/18 Download

This golf facility consults the following organizations regarding ecosystem protection and enhancement:

  • WWF
  • Local Government
  • Pro Natura
  • ANL

The following ecological surveys have been undertaken at this golf facility:

Title Author Date View document
Anuall Amphibien report Res Knobel 2011/12/06
Tagfalter im Golfpark Nuolen Sarah Marthaler 2013/05/29 Download
Libellen Bestandesaufnahme Golfpark Nuolen Daniela Keller/Katharina Weber 2012/11/08 Download
Kontrolle Wiesenveegetation ANL Interner Bericcht 2014/06/27
Libellen Bestandesaufnahmen Golfpark Nuolen Daniela Keller 2014/11/14 Download

Rare, protected and notable species occurring at this golf facility:

Local name Scientific name
Bergmolch Triturus alpestris alpestris
Gelbbauunke Triturus variegata vareigata
Fadenmolch Triurus helveticus helveticus
Vierfleck Libella quadrimaculata
Frühe Adoinsbelle Pyrrhosoma nymphule
Gemeine Winterlibelle Sympecma fusca

This golf facility regularly monitors the following species as indicators of environmental quality:

Local name Scientific name
Erdkrote Bufo bufo bufo
Grosse Koniglibelle Anax imperator
Frühe Heidelibelle Sympertrum fonscolombii
Faulbaumbläuling Celestrina argiolus
Violetter Silberfalter Brenthis ino
Feldhasen Lepus capensis

Habitats & Designations

This golf facility features the following landscape designations:

Description Designating Authority
Class 1 Naturschutz gebiet Kanton schwyz
Areas of Scenic Beauty National Government
Disused Gravel pit and Landfill site Company owned land

Area of habitats / vegetation types, and associated designations at this golf facility:

Title Estimated Area (Hectares) Designation
Rough 'ecological' grassland 16 National Government
Scrub Vegetation 5 Local Government
Non Native Plantation Woodland 0.5 Self Appointed
Wetlands 2 National Government
Open Water Features 6 National Government
Biotope / environmentally friendly areas 5 National Government
Fruit Plantation 1.2 Self Appointed


Size and estimated species composition of amenity turfgrass maintained at this golf facility.

Estimated Area (Hectares) Turfgrass Species Sward Composition (%)
Greens 1.5 Hectares Agrostis stolonifera / palustris 80%
Festuca rubra 20%
Tees 1.0 Hectares Agrostis stolonifera / palustris 50%
Lolium perenne 50%
Fairways 6.0 Hectares Agrostis stolonifera / palustris 60%
Lolium perenne 40%
Semi Rough 8.0 Hectares Poa pratensis 30%
Lolium perenne 70%

These turfgrasses are optimal for the circumstances at this club because:
Due to the fact the site was landfill there was basically no top soil available to use. A lot of second class soil was used and ameliorated with sand to provide a growing medium.

After considering ground conditions the use of Bent grass on fairways tees and surrounds was considered the best option. Using the newer breeds of bent (ie L-93) and southshore mixed with fescue we have produced a fine playing surface with very good disease resistance from snow mould. It is not uncommon for Nuolen to have 3-4 months of snow cover, reaching lows of -20c. Heat tolerance was also a factor with summer high temps reaching 36-39c.

Intensive mechanical practices including verticutting fairways 4-6 times per season as well as 3 topdressing of fairways has now produced an excellent growing medium from what 10 years ago was basically waste material of no use. All these decisions and choices where made in consultation with the Golf Course Arcitect Peter Harradine, The Company Harradine Golf being the

This golf facility assesses mowing patterns every: 1 months

This golf facility consults the following individuals / organizations regarding its grassing plan:

  • Harradine Golf
  • Rossknecht Golfplan GMBH

This golf facility is making the following efforts to manage the playing quality expectations of customers:

Activity Description
Establishing clear internal policies for irrigation, fertilization, colour, cutting heights, overseeding etc Playing surfaces are maintained in such way the grasses used to their maximum benefits , definition with different grass species giving optimum appearance with minimum input, minimum fertilizer, water use.
Promoting the playing quality values of more naturalized turf, particularly fairways and semi-rough Semi rough receives no water or fertilizer, wild roughs are mown twice yearly
Promoting the financial benefits of presenting sustainable surfaces Reduced mowing gives reduced cost in both maintenance thus leading to more sustainable running and playing cost
Improving customer understanding around greens maintenance Intensive mechanical maintenance ie verticutting, topdressing and aerification virtually eliminate chemical treatments and reduce fertilizer use
Demonstrating the direct relationship between environmental best practice and year round high quality playing surfaces Enviromental best practices help earlier opening after average 3 months snow cover, better heat and drought resistance in very warm summers and less fungal attacks in humid periods

Conservation & Enhancement

This golf facility is undertaking the following activities to conserve landscape character:

Activity Description
Allowing seasonal variation of course coloration and texture spring discolouration is accepted on all non playing areas, roughs are let to go brown before cutting giving a pleasant contrast to the playing surfaces
Appropriately matching mowing lines to contours only finely cut areas have mowing pattens , greens, tees and fairways, all other areas such as semi rough and rough are cut in one direction with no sriping to show off fine playing surfaces
Protection and restoration of historic features There are no historic features on site
Discreet on-course signage and furniture use of natural products , wooden tee markers and benches only, one ball washer and bin per hole set in a place easily reached by all golfers
Addition of Information boards regardin enviromental achievements and types of fauna , insects ect
Conservation of specimen trees being such a new landscape on a landfill site the planting of specimin trees is done with the consultation of WWF and local authorities
Screening and softening unsightly man-made features annual checks with golfcourse architect enables changes to be made while keeping the feel of the golf course

This golf facility is undertaking the following activities to improve the landscape ecology of the golf course:

Activity Description
Minimizing the amount of amenity grass Controlling cutting patterns , making sure boundaries are maintained.
Increasing the size of habitat patches As gravel and land fill operations decrease there has been more land available to create new natural habitats. In the last 3 years a 5 % surface increase has been achieved.
At this time spring 2016 lanfill is finished awaiting permision to complete 18 hole gravel production ended summer 2015
Connection of internal habitat patches Open habitats for diverse animals and insects have been created in conjuction with WWF.
Connection of patches with external habitats Use of open water ways has been of great benefit for the transportation of many amphibians.
Natural areas between Biotops creating animal corridors
Creation of habitat corridors Open corridors are used by animals such as the large population of wild Rabbits and Hares found in Nuolen.
Avoidance of habitat fragmentation Unwanted fish in water ways under control
Improving and diversifying habitat edges The recultivation and removal of unwanted species is an ongoing project.

This golf facility is undertaking the following activities to improve the quality of habitats on the golf course:

Activity Description
Creation of botanically rich rough grassland By encouraging native wild grasses by zero input the process has taken 12 years but now the benefits and results can be seen. These grasslands were an original part of planning permissions.
Ecologically informed management of scrub vegetation 3 annual meetings with the golfparks environmental committee decide on action plans on which work will and when be undertaken. All these meetings have protocols and check list.
Promoting species and structurally diverse woodlands By removing unwanted weedy species the encouragement of local hardy species is taking place. An agrressive scrubland management plan is in place and carried out each autumn.
Establishment of littoral shelves and marginal vegetation in wetland areas As more space is made available certain water features are being enlarged and change of shape and depth of shelves being introduced. Also the use of different materials such as sand and different stone sizes.
Maintenance of an appropriate balance of open water and aquatic vegetation By pumping water aound the course this has made water quality better and reduced algae content to zero . This relieves staff and saves cost on maintenance of water features.
Naturalization of linear habitats The use of native plants and shrubs creating natural hedgerows

This golf facility is undertaking the following activities to conserve and enhance biodiversity on the golf course:

Activity Description
Provision of nesting and nectar for pollinators Bees play a major role in Nuolen not only in the nature as written we have 1,5 hct of fruit trees including cherries apricots and the bees are needed for germination. They also supply us with up to 100kg of honey which is sold. We have 25 families of bees of which 13 have been bread on site over the last 3 years this is done by one of our staff who is a fully qualified Bee Keeper with all relevent certificates
Installation of nest boxes Planned constuction of immitation sand wall for swallows to nest ca 20mt long 5 mt high planned constuction 2017
Provision of feeding tables Old trees are not removed and provide nesting and feeding points for many bird species.
Control / management of alien species In conjuction with the local wildlife manager employed by the national government the control of Kororom bird which is devastating to local fish stocks is being undertaken to reduce this alien bird to Switzerland but with only limited suscess to date.
Provision of hibernation areas Piles of branches are provided around the golf course which are used by badgers and hedghogs as well as field mice for hibernation areas.
Creation of micro-habitats (eg log and stone piles) Stone are a natural product in Nuolen so have been used extensively. The use of stone piles with old drain pipes underneath are providing perfect breeding grounds for mammals .


The use of water in Golfpark Nuolen (GPN) is best descibed as minimal intillation of over 12km of drain lines directed into lakes on the golf course have enabled GPN reduce water extraction from Lake Zurich by 90% in the previous 2 years no water has been taken from Lake Zurich, water is used for irrigation on Greens Tees and Fairways no irrigation is applied to semi roughs and roughs

Sources & Consumption

The following water audits have been undertaken at this golf facility:

Title Author Date View document
Prüfbericht Labatorium der Urkanton A schachenmann 2012/03/30
Oberflächenwasser Kontrol A.Schachenmann 2013/09/09
Oberflächenwasser Kontrol A.Schachenmann 2014/05/14
Oberflächenwasser Kontrol A.schachenmann 2015/08/29

The water used at this golf facility is drawn from the following sources:

2015 Source(s) % of supply Total Consumption
Clubhouse(s) Public / Potable 80% 20,000,000 Litres
Reclaimed 20%
Golf Course Reclaimed 70% 40,000,000 Litres
Surface 30%
Maintenance Facility/Facilities Reclaimed 100% 1,000,000 Litres
Other Surface 100% 100,000 Litres
2014 Source(s) % of supply Total Consumption
Clubhouse(s) Public / Potable 80% 24,000,000 Litres
Reclaimed 20%
Golf Course Surface 50% 50,000,000 Litres
Reclaimed 50%
Maintenance Facility/Facilities Reclaimed 100% 1,200,000 Litres
Other Reclaimed 50% 700,000 Litres
Surface 50%
2013 Source(s) % of supply Total Consumption
Clubhouse(s) Public / Potable 100% 25,000,000 Litres
Golf Course Groundwater 20% 60,000,000 Litres
Surface 50%
Reclaimed 30%
Maintenance Facility/Facilities Reclaimed 100% 1,000,000 Litres
Other Groundwater 40% 600,000 Litres
Surface 60%

Irrigation & Efficiency

The following areas receive irrigation at this golf facility:

Greens 2-3 days per week
Tees Weekly
Fairways Weekly
Semi-Rough Never
Rough Never

The irrigation system at this golf facility is:
Fully computer controlled

The irrigation system at this golf facility is:

Serviced every 12 months

Upgraded every 6 years

Re-calibrated and checked for efficient application every 2 months

This golf facility is undertaking the following activities to maximize irrigation efficiency:

Activity Description
Selection of grass species Heat resitant Agrostis combine with Fescues enable to prove optimal playing surfaces with minimal water use fairways greens and tees have the same mix with the addition of small amounts of Loium in the fairway mix, these grasses are also very winter tolerant except the fescues wich take longer to recover fronm long witer snowcover whic can last up to 4 months
Soil decompaction and thatch management Frequent verticutting combined with by weekly topdressing on Green Monthly on Tees and up to 3 times on Fairways keep thacth at desiable levels and help to improve drainage reducind plant stress, core and solid tine aeration is undertaken mostliy in spring time and as neccessary during the playing season
Timing and dose of water application Most watering is applied at night time ,hot spots will be hand watered durin early morning course prep , Night time watering is done by using computer controlled automatic system
Analysis of soil moisture During warm/stress periods the use of Moisture control Meters ( TDR 300) are don in early morning and late afternoon Daily this gas helped ruce irrigation by 25% in the previous 3 years
Incorporation of evapotranspiration rates and weather data The Use of Moisture meters and weather station data helps plan and programme automatic irrigation cycles meter readings are very usefull for evaluating hot spots on greens saving the need for blancket irrigation
Use of wetting agents Greens and Tees have full Wetting agent programmes throughout the year staring in mid April until end of Augustthese are low rate applications of 10 lit per month, Fairways do not have a blacket programme where and if needed they will be treated with hand held applications
Overall reduction in irrigated area Since the use of moisture meters was introduced spring 2013 total water use has dropped by nearly 25% on greens and tees fairways by 50 percent
Targeting of sprinkler heads Sprinkler heads are controlled monthly and adusted where needed the use of back nozzels is used in certain areas aound greens to feduce need od fairway sprinklers which apply much more water than needed
Optimizing system pressure Systenm pressure is controlled Daily , this controll is made to see if any leeks are present as pipe work is very deep , because of the deep pipework (Up to 2 mtr deep) leeks can take days or even weeks to become evident on the surface
Adoption of cutting edge nozzle technology The existing sytem is planned for complete renovation in 2018 after constuction of new 9 holes this will bring the old system upto date this includes new pumps,pipework and the most modern sprinkler heads

This golf facility is undertaking the following activities to conserve / reduce / minimize water consumption:

Activity Description
Low-flow urinals and toilets All toilets and urinals are served by reclaimed water this has been introduced
Use of water efficient appliances Pressure reduction nozzles are used on all taps to save water usage
Use of efficient shower technology Showers run on timers to prevent over use and waste by being left running
Repairing leaks our goal is 100% efficiency in all buildimgs and 95& on irrigation
Water awareness signage These are placed in all toilets and changing rooms


Since the construction of Golfpark Nuolen in 1997 the clubhouse has been a mix of old farm buildings. It was planned to be provisional for ca 10 years, but this has gone on longer. Now a new project including complete rebuild of all required buildings using the most modern and enviromentaly friendly methods has been approved. The project will commence in 2013, but until the completion all possible environmentally friendly methods will be use to continue and improve our responsibility to the nature.

Sources & Consumption

The following energy surveys have been undertaken at this golf facility:

Title Author Date View document
Irrigation Audit Adrian Motramm 2010/08/12 Download

Consumption of renewable energy and resources at this golf facility:

2015 2014 2013
Biogas (Litres) 0 0 0
Biomass 0 0 0
First Generation Bio-Fuels (Litres) 0 0 26000
Hydrogen (Litres) 0 0 0
On-site Hydro (kWh) 0 0 0
On-site Solar (kWh) 0 0 0
On-site Wind (kWh) 0 0 0
Renewable Grid Electricity (kWh) 0 0 0
Second Generation Bio-Fuels (Litres) 25500 26000 0
Wood from sustainable sources 0 0 0

Consumption of non-renewable energy and resources at this golf facility:

2015 2014 2013
Coal 0 0 0
Diesel (Litres) 5000 6500 6000
Heating Oil (Litres) 12000 15000 20000
Hydraulic Oil (Litres) 200 200 200
LPG (Litres) 100 100 100
Natural Gas (Litres) 0 0 0
Non-renewable Grid (kWh) 1900 1800 1800
Petrol (Litres) 2000 2400 2300
Propane / Butane (Litres) 0 0 0
Wood from unsustainable sources 0 0 0

Energy Efficiency

This golf facility is undertaking the following activities to diversify energy and fuel supply:

Activity Description
Adoption of green tariff grid supply Has been in place for last 5 years
Installation of small scale wind turbine Not possible due to planning restrictions
Installation of photovoltaic and / or solar panels Will be introduced into new clubhouse design revised timescale now 2018 is not yet started due to planning permision but solar pannels have been installed on neibouring house
Use of geothermal and / or ground sources Part of planning for new club house
Use of Liquified Petroleum Gas (LPG) Not planned at present time
Use of biodiesel and /or ethanol Company policy states only the use of bio diesel is accepted
Use of electric hybrid vehicles All golf cars are electric and trials of utility vehicles are taking place

This golf facility is undertaking the following activities to reduce energy consumption:

Activity Description
Investment in low-energy heating and air conditioning systems Geothermal heating will be used in new buildings
Optimizing thermostat levels for heating and refrigeration Upgraded coolinf rooms for resteraunt where installed 2014
Use of natural light (e.g. sunlight pipes) Warm water on roof pipes is now supplying 90% of hot water for showers
Installation of low-energy lighting Became Swiss law in 2010. Only low energy light bulbs is now possible.
Use of motion sensor lighting In all areas these are in use.
Transition to energy efficient appliances where possible only the use of class A /A+ energy efficient units are used
Use of timers with appliances, heating and lighting Car parks have dimmer timers installed for out of peak times.
Educating staff and customers Use of signage and info boards to help and educate all parties.

Vehicles & Transport

The maintenance fleet at this golf facility uses the following fuel sources:

Ride-on Mowers Walking Mowers Utility Vehicles
Petrol 33% 60% 0%
Diesel 0% 0% 100%
LPG 8% 0% 0%
Grid Electric 50% 20% 0%
Micro Renewable 0% 0% 0%
Hybrid 8% 20% 0%
Hydrogen 0% 0% 0%

Additional vehicles operated by this golf facility use the following fuel sources:

Golf Carts Cars Buses
Petrol 0% 0% 0%
Diesel 0% 0% 100%
LPG 0% 0% 0%
Grid Electric 86% 0% 0%
Micro Renewable 0% 0% 0%
Hybrid 14% 0% 0%
Hydrogen 0% 0% 0%

This golf facility has established the following schemes to encourage reductions in staff and customer transport emissions:

Activity Description
Car sharing incentives the use of 1 bus with 9 seets helps transport ,pick up /coolect staff reducing need for larger carparks,less emisions on short journeys
Group transportation (e.g. buses) Group trips and excursions are done using company bus, keeping transport and running cost to a minimumm.
Secure cycle parking Is provided at clubhouse entrance.
Promoting public transport routes and timetables Train And bus timetables are at reception.
Increasing equipment storage (e.g. lockers) wI'll be inter grated with new clubhouse planned for 2018
Staff showers Are provided in 2 areas clubhouse for admin and catering and in greenkeeper center

Supply Chain

Golfpark Nuolen is situated on lake Zurich - 38km south to be precise.This situation is fine for local supplies as there are a number of fertilizer, chemical and grass seed supliers which we use. Most materials are purchased through the farmers union in the local village. This has 2 advantages - local supply and speedy delivery when items are on stock. When not on stock delivery times can become long.
The major problem not just for us but other golf clubs in Switzerland is machinery - not so much purchase but spare part supply. To combat this problem we make one bulk order in the autumn for running spares ie blades, filters, belts, etc, which keeps prices and delivery charges down also reducing multiple transport cost. When during season special items may be ordered but will be expensive due to them coming from UK, USA, Germany or France.
Sand is the biggest expence for any club in Switzerland as there is no silica or river sand suitable for golfcourse use. This comes from Germany or France and transport is normally double the price of the sand itself!
All clippings and sand waste are stocked on site to produce our own compost. This is produced over a 3 year period providing a suitable soil for renovations and divoting, reducing the need to import more material.
Company policy defines that we use were ever possible local supply of materials and services. They may not always be experts in golf but after explaining our needs become very good services. On site we have our own fully equipped workshop including grinding machines with all work being carried ou in house.

Purchasing Policies

This golf facility undertakes the following ethical / environmental purchasing activities:

Activity Description
Measures to avoid waste at source Suppliers are required to use reusable packaging where ever possible, containers, pallets, oil drums ect must all be reusable.
Use of local suppliers Company policy is in place requesting the use of local suppliers and services, this benefits not only us as a customer( quicker service ) also the local economy and a better appreciation of the the Golfpark in the local community.
Use of local products Wherever possible local products will be used. They may be sometimes more expensive in purchase cost but end cost are generally no more expensive than cheaper imports.
Selection of certified products All golf related products ie grass seed, chemicals and fertilizers will be chosen for ther professional and legal use. Use of non certified or labelled products will not be tolerated.
Use of recycled and recyclable products This policy of recycling has been in place since the Golfpark was opened and continues to be a success. Switzerland has one of the highest recycling % in the world. Recent reports in june 2012 prove that 98 % of all pet bottles in switzerland are recycled. This has carried on in the following years as part of standard operating procedure
Selection of products that feature minimal packaging As with deliveries packaging shall be kept to a minimum where ever possible. Use of bulk packaging is recommended and where possible big bags and containers. Post packs are generally collected and returned to post for re use.
Use of accredited suppliers (e.g. ISO 14001) As Switzerland is a small golfing nation the amount of nationally accredited companies are small, but the use of accredited products is growing escpecially with grass seed which needs certifiying in order to be imported.

Supply Chain

An overview of the supplier network at this golf facility:

Total number of suppliers Total number of suppliers within 10 Kilometres Total number of suppliers within 100 Kilometres
Food & Beverage 10 7 3
Catering Supplies 2 2
Retail 15 5 10
Trade & Contractors 10 5 5
Maintenance Equipment 4 2 2
Course Supplies 3 3

Turfgrass Inputs

This golf facility undertakes the following IPM activities:

Activity Description
Encouraging drought and disease tolerant grasses Grasses are used and maintained for specific surfaces. Greens are kept lean but also at optimal heights. Bent grass will not be sustainable at 5mm - it will be thatchy and disease prone. 3.5-4mm is optimal. This policy is done on all our grass surfaces.
Managing stress and wear careful water management will help with stress management. Winter wear is not a problem as the course is generally under snow and -20c for 3-4 months of the year. Coming out of winter then care and expertise must be shown.
Enhancement of soil structure Optimal timing of works carried out help to enhance the soil structure. Regular topdressing and aerification at correct times are invaluable tools when improving soil.
Optimization of the growing environment Light and shade issues must be dealt with. This may also involve air movement problems. If we can keep these 3 points under control or even improve we will be optimizing our growing enviroment.
Drainage and soil composition may be issues.
Managing thatch levels Regualar verticutting of fine areas tees and greens and frequent light topdressing will help control thatch levels. Water and fertilizer use and monitoring are even more important.
Managing surface moisture Most moisture is removed/displaced by mowing when areas are not mown. An effective moisture control is the simple removal of dew in spring and autumn especially due to disease pressure.
Establishing thresholds for pests and disease Here in Nuolen we have since opening of the golf couse had thresholds in place. Greens, tees and fairways have different criteria - greens 10% disease fairways 15%, fairways 10%, tees 5%. Weeds are always under review and can change normally % goes up
Scouting for pests and diseases This is done daily. All the permanent staff in Nuolen are college educated and understand most pest and disease found on the golf course, by doing this thresholds can be monitored and many times any application will be local and not whole areas .
Monitoring / improvement of plant health The use of websites for upcoming disease pressures is becoming more common - the Greencast website is of great help.
Weather patterns can improve any mechanical or chemical works due to optimal timing therefore improving plant health.
Education A big priority for Nuolen is the continuing education of all its staff. The more knowledge collected will be a benefit to Nuolen and its natural habitat.
Moisture control By using moisture meters daily in stress periods as well as reular controls we have been able to save nearly 25% water over the kast 3 years

Fertilizer use at this golf facility in the last three years (kg):

2015 2014 2013
Fairways - K - Inorganic 10 12 12
Fairways - K - Organic 0 0 0
Fairways - N - Inorganic 8 9 8
Fairways - N - Organic 0 0 0
Fairways - P - Inorganic 1 1 1
Fairways - P - Organic 0 0 0
Greens - K - Inorganic 6 6 6
Greens - K - Organic 0 0 0
Greens - N - Inorganic 13 12 12
Greens - N - Organic 0 0 0
Greens - P - Inorganic 1 1 1
Greens - P - Organic 0 0 0
Rough - K - Inorganic 0 0 0
Rough - K - Organic 0 0 0
Rough - N - Inorganic 0 0 0
Rough - N - Organic 0 0 0
Rough - P - Inorganic 0 0 0
Rough - P - Organic 0 0 0
Semi-Rough - K - Inorganic 0 0 0
Semi-Rough - K - Organic 0 0 0
Semi-Rough - N - Inorganic 0 0 0
Semi-Rough - N - Organic 0 0
Semi-Rough - P - Inorganic 0 0 0
Semi-Rough - P - Organic 0 0 0
Tees - K - Inorganic 9 8 9
Tees - K - Organic 0 0 0
Tees - N - Inorganic 10 12 10
Tees - N - Organic 0 0 0
Tees - P - Inorganic 2 2 2
Tees - P - Organic 0 0 0

Pesticide use at this golf facility in the last three years (kg):

2015 2014 2013
Fairways - Fungicide - Active Ingredient 3 3 3
Fairways - Fungicide - Total Weight 12 3 3
Fairways - Fungicide - Number of applications per year 1 1 1
Fairways - Herbicide - Active Ingredient 4 4 7
Fairways - Herbicide - Total Weight 4 4 7
Fairways - Herbicide - Number of applications per year 1 1 1
Fairways - Insecticide - Active Ingredient 0 0 0
Fairways - Insecticide - Total Weight 0 0 0
Fairways - Insecticide - Number of applications per year 0 0 0
Greens - Fungicide - Active Ingredient 5 5 5
Greens - Fungicide - Total Weight 15 10 15
Greens - Fungicide - Number of applications per year 3 2 3
Greens - Herbicide - Active Ingredient 0 0 0
Greens - Herbicide - Total Weight 0 0 0
Greens - Herbicide - Number of applications per year 0 0 0
Greens - Insecticide - Active Ingredient 1 1 1
Greens - Insecticide - Total Weight 1 1 1
Greens - Insecticide - Number of applications per year 1 1 1
Rough - Fungicide - Active Ingredient 0 0 0
Rough - Fungicide - Total Weight 0 0 0
Rough - Fungicide - Number of applications per year 0 0 0
Rough - Herbicide - Active Ingredient 0 0 0
Rough - Herbicide - Total Weight 0 0 0
Rough - Herbicide - Number of applications per year 0 0 0
Rough - Insecticide - Active Ingredient 0 0 0
Rough - Insecticide - Total Weight 0 0 0
Rough - Insecticide - Number of applications per year 0 0 0
Semi-Rough - Fungicide - Active Ingredient 0 0 0
Semi-Rough - Fungicide - Total Weight 0 0 0
Semi-Rough - Fungicide - Number of applications per year 0 0 0
Semi-Rough - Herbicide - Active Ingredient 0 0 0
Semi-Rough - Herbicide - Total Weight 0 0 0
Semi-Rough - Herbicide - Number of applications per year 0 0 0
Semi-Rough - Insecticide - Active Ingredient 0 0 0
Semi-Rough - Insecticide - Total Weight 0 0 0
Semi-Rough - Insecticide - Number of applications per year 0 0 0
Tees - Fungicide - Active Ingredient 5 5 5
Tees - Fungicide - Total Weight 5 5 10
Tees - Fungicide - Number of applications per year 1 1 1
Tees - Herbicide - Active Ingredient 0 0 0
Tees - Herbicide - Total Weight 0 0 0
Tees - Herbicide - Number of applications per year 0 0 0
Tees - Insecticide - Active Ingredient 1 1 1
Tees - Insecticide - Total Weight 1 1 1
Tees - Insecticide - Number of applications per year 1 1 1

This golf facility undertakes the following actions to optimize pesticide use:

Activity Description
Selection on the least toxic and lest persistent products Trials in the last 2 seasons of with compost teas to improve microbiology and reduce chemical use are promising. Slightly less dollar spot has been noticed this yea, looks promising but needs more time and fine tuning. Compost tea products are no longer permitted in Switzerland due to concerns about long term effects
After 2 year trial products have been taken off market in switzerland we have no adverse effect since stopping compost tees , we cant say for sure if the worked or not
Selection of appropriate products for specific pests and diseases Only the use of approriate chemicals for targets and not full coverage that will damage useful fungi, insects and microorgisms.
Spot-treatment with handheld sprayers and wipers weeds are only spot treated, tees and fairways are targeted when signs of unacceptable weed invasion is taking place, winter spot treatment of disease also takes place. The main reason being ground conditions will not allow large sprayers on the ground.
Calibration and testing of sprayers Since spring 2012 the use of a new dedicated sprayer a Toro Multipro 1250 has seen a massive improvement of calibration and spraying techniques. Much less waste and easier calibration also gps and contour following enable the optimal application
of products
Our Sprayer has been Tested and approved by Swiss Goverment Controlers and we believe this is the first spray unit to be certified for golf course use agricultural sprayes have had these controls for many years these certificates are valid for 4 years this waas done in February 2016 also withthe addition of a self cleaning tank.
Use of shrouded sprayer and anti-drip nozzles As new sprayer is fitted with most modern nozzels drift is practically zero. The use of a hand pushed shrouded sprayer is also used in smaller areas where earlier a hose and nozzle would have been more common.
Non-chemical weed control On hard surfaces trials have been made with gas burners. I personally think the carbon footprint using this method is larger than tradional controls.since 2014 the use of herbicides on hard surfaces is no longer permitted .
Use of organic and biological products to improve plant health and resistance. the use of micronutrients in liquid feed helps the grass plant to be able to upta^ke the maximun from the provided feed,

Waste Management

The following waste audits have been undertaken at this golf facility:

Title Author Date View document
Recycling Kibag Kibag 2014/06/03

This golf facility manages key waste streams as follows:

Re-use Recycle Landfill Incinerate
Glass false true false false
Plastic false true false false
Aluminium true true false false
Metal true true false false
Paper & Cardboard false true false false
Grass Clippings false true false false
Cores & Turf true true false false
Sand true true false false
Wood / Timber false true false false

This golf facility undertakes the following activities to continue the lifecycle of materials and resources:

Activity Description
Separation of recyclable materials pet, aluminium, glass, paper, batteries, metal are all separated from each department.
In 2015 a new goverment run Recycling station was set up in our village wher all reusables can be taken for no charge-
Establishment of recycling centers In clubhouse, Driving range, workshop and kichtens there are centres to deposit waste materials. Also in local village larger items can be given back. Swiss law ensures that all electric goods has eco tax that enables buyers to return goods to point of sale
Returning clipping to fairways and walkways This has always taken place on fairways and semirough areas in Nuolen as return of nutrients and also staffing levels have made this a must.
A trial has been in place since spring 2011 with the use of Primo a plant growth regulator cutting costs have been reduced by 30%
Education of staff and customer education A company policy of further education is followed and enjoyed by all staff. Some of our results have seen my apprentice win the student of the year at Elmwood college 2 years running amd myself achieving Master Greenkeeper status with BIGGA.
Waste awareness campaigns International and national campaigns are in daily press or mounted on walls and are even seen on tv. Not just the Golfpark but the country and its people are very environmentally aware.

Pollution Control

Enviromental concerns in Golfpark Nuolen are set at a premium as the golf course belongs to one of the biggest construction companies in Switzerland - KIBAG.
The purpose of the golf course was to re-establish the local landscape after 70 years of mining leaving an eyesore on the landscape and a piece of land of little value when filled up.The decision to make a receational area for the local community including bridal ways, jogging courses, mountain bike trails and a golf course showed our commitment to the local area.
The image of our company was put in the spotlight at each stage of construction with extremely tight controls and monitoring. Tight emission controls of both air and noise where put in place and also working times and controls of ground conditions where tightly controlled.
Since the opening in 1998 it has been our responsibility to continue these best practices not only in the golf course operation but in all forms of local education involving local schools and local groups from bird clubs to the local gymnastic club. We have tried to make everybody welcome and educate them in the same time.
Up until this time we have never had one serious complaint about the golf course and its maintenance, quite the opposite, we have had an explosion of people who have no interest in golf but enjoy the natural surroundings that we have created.
One good example of all parties working together was in 2010 when a request to build an amphibian tunnel next to the golf course. It didn't affect the golf course but helped save thousands of frogs from being runover.The cost where mostly covered by Kibag with the administration and planning done by the local government.

Water Analysis

This golf facility monitors water quality with the following frequency:

Chemical Biological Visual
Inflow Two Yearly Yearly Daily
On-Site Two Yearly Yearly Daily
Outflow Two Yearly Yearly Daily

Waste Water

Waste water from this golf facility is managed as follows:

Discharges to Formal Discharge Agreement
Golf Course Irrigation Reservoir Yes
Clubhouse Mains Sewer Yes
Maintenance Facility Mains Sewer Yes
Wash Pad Closed Loop Recycling Yes

Hazardous Materials

Hazardous materials at this golf facility are handled and disposed of as follows:

Secure Storage Registered Uplift
Detergents true true
Cooking Oils true true
Lubricants true true
Pesticide Containers true true
Fertiliser Bags true false
Oil Filters true true
Batteries true true

Pollution Prevention

This golf facility undertakes the following activities to prevent pollution from its maintenance facility and clubhouse:

Activity Description
Storage of equipment and hazardous products on covered, sealed impervious areas Hazardous products such as chemicals, oils and petrol are in safe law conforming storage areas. Annual reviews about safety and upgrading take place with company appointed saftey experts.
Maintenance of equipment on covered, sealed impervious areas Workshop area has catch area for oils and petrol/diesel where services are carried out to prevent spillage and contamination.
Mixing of pesticides and fertilizers in covered areas New maintenance facility planned for 2017/18 improve current areas, legally ok but need improvement. A complete revue is currently underway on whole facility this is being undertaken by company safety and planning office.
Mixing of pesticides and fertilizers over impervious surfaces Mixing only takes place in designated areas where safety equipment is to hand in case of spillage.
Installation of above-ground fuel tanks At present underground tank is used with sister company as with other subject need for improvement , new above ground tanks will be installed by end of 2016 as part of new government pollution and fire laws
Installation of sufficient secondary containment for fuel All fuel storage areas have secondry basins which are controled by Swiss inspecters every 2 years and when deemed safe accure the certificate of approval
Provision of containment booms and absorbent materials All storage areas have absorbent materials and filling station hac contaiment pad

This golf facility undertakes the following activities to prevent pollution on its golf course:

Activity Description
Eliminating leachate and run-off through careful timing of turf inputs In last 2 years a change to 80% liquid feeds has taken place where low water volumes and optimal timings have eliminated any leaching. Application to the plant will enable optimal take up on the surface thus not allowing subsurface to receive products
Establishment of vegetative buffer strips around water bodies Swiss law decrees a buffer strip of 6m around any water surface the are checked periodically when goverment make spot checks and water probes.
Establishment of emergency spillage response plan This is in place in 2 phases; 1 small spilage ie hydraulic pipe on a fairway will be treated immediately by own staff who have received training from local fire brigade with foam, charcoal. Larger spills will be dealt with by local fire brigade.
Controlling erosion and sediment discharge Erosion was a problem during construction. By using grow mats and native plantings large areas could be protected. Steep slopes were seeded by the hydro seed methods by a local contractor to speed up germination and prevent wide spread erosion.
Establishment of pesticide-free zones Basically all non fine turf areas on the golf coursre are pesticide/chemical and fertilizer free. Not by law but by good housekeeping and eliminating extra works and cost.
Use of swales and bio-filters to slow and treat surface run-off The contours made during and after construction have enabled us to use water farming and filtration to maximum benefits. 90% surface run off is used for golf course irrigation. Some of this water will pass through the filtration system many times
Water testing Independent water testing has been carried out on Golfpark Nuolen since its opening in 1998. In that time old runs from gravel operations provided less than optimal water quality. In the years following this evidence shows that the water quality has improved by nearly 40%. This is only been made achievable by good practice and management of the golf course
Enclosed Wash pad this has been costucted to prevent pouution and overspill when maschines are washed down there is a closed tank whic at regular intervals is emptied and recycled by an independant company


Golfpark Nuolen was built on the old stone quarry and landfill site at the side of lake Zurich. It was an eyesore but also a major employer for the region for more than 70 years. Now mining and landfilling is coming to an end, 2015 will be the final close down of gravel/sand works. The golf course has taken over as a place of natural beauty with public walkways, environmental viewing points and economically a large employer for a small village.

Employment & Education

Typical staffing levels at this golf facility are:

Full Time Part Time Seasonal
Club Management 2 3 2
Course Management 7 2
Food & Beverage 5 5 4
Golf Coaching 2 2
Retail & Leisure 2 2 2

The sustainability working group at this golf facility is comprised of:

  • Owner
  • General Manager
  • Course Manager
  • Technical Specialist
  • Local Government
  • Local Community
  • Local Environment NGO

Employees at this golf facility receive the following formal and informal environmental education:

Activity Description
Storage, application and disposal of pesticides Government controls of storage and company policy enable highest standards to be kept
Efficient water management water farming and reuse of grey water / carparks roofs enable extra water supply to be generated
Management of accidents and emergencies Company policy use of national SUVA record keeping, annual training courses
Management of habitats and vegetation 3 time yearly meeting of environment committee
Waste minimization, separation and recycling storage of roof and carpark water in separate underground water tank
Health & Safety annual controls and training courses take place at regular intervals on diverse subjects, first aid, handling methods and storage etc
Energy Saving Study taking place at present for new clubhouse wich will involve all relevant studies
Understanding of landscape and cultural heritage Due to the fact the whole site was a gravel pit and landfill site for over 70 years there is little interest in the old lanscape some of the works buildings are standing but will be demolished over the next few years
Environmental management planning will go hand in hand as next 9 holes will start construction 2016

Community Relations

This golf facility engages with local community groups in the following manner:

Activity Description
Neighbours information signs and events on golf course,Open days for local residents have been a great success
Local Government 3 times annually meetings
Local Environmental Groups monthly informal and 3 times annual meetings with WWF
Local Community Groups Local Bird society have waiks on golf course and make notes of sitings.
Media use of press to inform pulblic on events and success of enviromental achievements, links now provided on Golfpark Homepage as well as facebook which a created a lot of interest
Local Businesses Company golf beginner course are offered which in clude information an presentation of all the enviromental efforts taking place at Golfpark Nuolen
Schools & Colleges school groups have active guided tours of golf course and local habitats

Land Use & Cultural Heritage

This golf facility provides access and diversified land use for others through:

Activity Description
Maintenance of existing public paths This is responsibility of local council, when advice is requested it is happily given
Creation of new paths and nature trails On new 9 hole part of planning permision is that a footpath around golf perimeter must be constructed
Installation of effective and welcoming signage This is a ongoing procedure with new updates when required
Providing opportunities for other recreation (e.g. fishing) Horse riding trail around golf course has been established in the last 2 years
Partnership conservation and access projects (e.g. community woodland) a controlled effort with local institutes includin cicil service work experience and local council education days are provided
Continuation of traditional agricultural activities this goes hand in hand with our wild meadow management the use of old fashion scissor mowers is standard practice as well as being safer than fast rotating mowers wich can be dangerous to wildlife

No archaeological or heritage surveys have been undertaken at this golf facility.

This golf facility does not consult any organizations regarding the conservation of cultural heritage.

This golf facility does not undertake any activities to conserve cultural heritage features.


This golf facility undertakes the following internal environmental communications:

Activity Description
Provision of newsletters, notice boards & poster display Displayed around clubhouse, Facebook club homepage are also now used
Members evenings and course walks Greenkeeping evenings are done twice annually. This involves course and environmental issues where questions can be made and answered.
Course guides / brochures Course guide are free for golfers and non golfers they are displayed in reception
Interpretation panels & course signage New info panels are in production these are being built and designed by the local www section
Establishment of a nature trail this is a provision of planning permision due to the fact the construction is not finished the trail is still provisional by widly used and enjoyed by the public

This golf facility undertakes the following social and environmental advocacy activities:

Activity Description
Website, press releases & brochures Company and golf club use of website to inform members, also facebook site where quick information and pictures can be displayed
Supporting campaigns Support of WWF and othe enviromental institutes ie GCSAA, BIGGA
Course walks / open days These are available, any request we do on average 10 such walks and info days per year mostly for external companies and private groups which are not involved with golf
Attending community meetings AGM of local council is always attended by golf staff
Joint practical projects with community Nature trail use and sinage is done with the cooperation of local enviroment grouos who also use it for there own event