The Honourable Company Of Edinburgh Golfers Muirfield

GEO Certified® 04/2015
Scotland, United Kingdom
Telephone: 01620842123

'The Honouable Company of Edinburgh Golfers' reside at Muirfield where golf has been played over its historical links since the opening of the club in 1891, the 18 hole course currently measures 7192 yards and is an 'Open Chamopinship' venue which was last staged here in 2013.
The Golf Course is 80 hectares in area along with 90 hectares SSSI, Woodlands and Fields.
The club work with STRI and SGEG and try to make their practices throughout the company as sustainable as possible. Muirfield do not have an environmental subcomm…

Stuart Rennie, GEOSA, Accredited Verifier Read verifier report.

GEO Certified® Report

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

Facility details

Golf Courses
Muirfield (18 holes, 7192 yards, year opened 1891)
1 Clubhouse(s)
1 Maintenance Facility/Facilities


The golf course at Muirfield is located upon the southern banks of the Firth of Forth and within an area of maritime fixed-dune grassland. A significant amount of the Muirfield estate however, surrounds the course where coastal sand-dunes, coniferous & deciduous woodland, small stands of sea buckthorn and sparse scattered hawthorn scrub exist. Gullane Bents SSSI also lies adjacent to the golf course boundary.
Habitats exhibited within the estate support several threatened bird species including skylark, yellowhammer, linnet and grasshopper warbler. Regionally scarce plants such as rock rose are present that may support the nationally scarce northern brown argus butterfly and a number of rare beetles can be found within the coastal sand dunes.
The estate itself is surrounded by a variety of coastal habitats, some of them which fall within the intertidal area of the Firth of Forth Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI), also classified as a Special Protection Area (SPA) under the European Wild Birds Directive and also designated as a RAMSAR Wetland of International Importance. Habitats here include invertebrate-rich intertidal mudflats, saltmarsh that support scarce plants, reedbeds, saline lagoons (which are uncommon in south east Scotland), grasslands, sand dunes and small areas of rocky shoreline.
This wider environment supports scarce plant communities that contain a variety of notable flora, several nationally scarce species of invertebrate, several breeding birds of importance and an abundant wintering bird population of wildfowl and waders.
Sand dune and grassland habitats surrounding the Muirfield Estate are thought to be in an unfavourable-declining condition due to overgrazing, scrub encroachment and the presence of undesirable species. However, habitats present within the estate are quality habitats managed to maintain their high quality or enhance those that are impoverished. This is proffered by grassland, scrub and woodland management regimes to include all out-of-play habitats.

Consultation & Surveys

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

  • Scottish Natural Heritage

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

Title Author Date View document
Firth of Forth Site of Special Scientific Interest - operations requiring consent from SNH SNH 2011/03/29

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

  • Scottish Natural Heritage
  • Sports Turf Research Institute
  • R.S.P.B
  • Woodland Consulting

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

Title Author Date View document
Muirfield Woodland Appraisal Colin MacBrayne 2006/08/01
Roe Deer Count Report SNH 2012/02/12
Roe Deer Count Report SNH 2011/02/28
Muirfield Golf Course Bird Survey and Conservation Recommendations RSPB 2008/05/01
Pre-open ecological/landscape assesment Bob Taylor 2013/04/09
Muirfield Ecological/Environmental Management Plan (with Phase 2 assessment) Bob Taylor, STRI 2007/01/31

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

Local name Scientific name
Skylark Alauda arvensis
Yellowhammer Emberiza citrinella
Grey Partridge Perdix perdix
Cuckoo Cuculus canorus
Common Shelduck Tadorna tadorna
Kestrel Falco tinnunculus
Grasshopper Warbler Locustella naevia

This golf facility does not monitor any species as indicators of environmental quality.

Habitats & Designations

This golf facility features the following landscape designations:

Description Designating Authority
Gullane Bents SSSI SNH

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

Title Estimated Area (Hectares) Designation
Rough 'ecological' grassland 15 None
Scrub Vegetation 1 None
Sand dunes 5 None
Native Woodland 2 None


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

Estimated Area (Hectares) Turfgrass Species Sward Composition (%)
Greens 1.0 Hectares Agrostis tenuis / capillaris 50%
Festuca rubra 35%
Tees 0.7 Hectares Festuca rubra 70%
Agrostis tenuis / capillaris 30%
Fairways 10.6 Hectares Festuca rubra 70%
Agrostis tenuis / capillaris 30%
Semi Rough 10.0 Hectares Festuca rubra 60%
Agrostis tenuis / capillaris 20%

These turfgrasses are optimal for the circumstances at this club because:
Turfgrass species at Muirfield are optimal species that thrive within the local environment and are reflective of the local ecology. Maintenance of these species helps to maintain the traditional links character of the golf course exhibited. They are also tolerant of various local environmental variables such as drought and salt which would negatively impact upon other less well suited turfgrass species.

This golf facility assesses mowing patterns every: Daily to monthly months

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

  • Richard Windows, Agronomist, STRI
  • Bob Taylor, Ecologist, STRI

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 There are no written polices regarding the above. The aspects listed above are all left to the head groundsman's discretion due to his experience within golf course management.
Promoting the playing quality values of more naturalized turf, particularly fairways and semi-rough These areas are maintained and enhanced with golf and ecology in mind and are featured within agronomic and ecological management plans commissioned by the STRI. Playing quality values are important to the club, however, there is a high tolerance of what is considered to be weed species to prevent excessive spraying of chemicals.
Promoting the financial benefits of presenting sustainable surfaces Information relating to this is offered to patrons of the golf course via a Summary Environment Management Plan.
Improving customer understanding around greens maintenance Information relating to this is offered to patrons of the golf course via a Summary Environment Management Plan.
Demonstrating the direct relationship between environmental best practice and year round high quality playing surfaces This aspect is positively administered at Muirfield and management regimes regarding the playing surfaces is proffered via management plans to move the playing surfaces to a higher quality or maintain those already at a high standard.

Conservation & Enhancement

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

Activity Description
Allowing seasonal variation of course coloration and texture Variation in course coloration and texture is apparent at Muirfield and is allowed to naturally commence throughout the year by allowing out-of-play habitats to go through natural processes in their development.
Appropriately matching mowing lines to contours This is administered at Muirfield to present the most aesthetically pleasing golf course whilst limiting the number of man-hours taken to mow these areas.
Discreet on-course signage and furniture Small discreet signage is a feature a Muirfield to allow the course to blend with the surrounding environment. Warning signs for the general public were located in relevant positions whilst information regarding individual holes were small and contained concise information.
Screening and softening unsightly man-made features Screening around maintenance facility in the form of sand dunes populated with a marram dominated grass sward is a feature at Muirfield. As such the facility is not visible from the vast majority 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 Opportunities to minimise that total area of amenity grassland are advised upon in ecological management plans produced by the STRI. Management plans are on a five-year rotation and new opportunities are offered via the plans on a ongoing basis.
Increasing the size of habitat patches Recommendations for increasing habitat patches are proffered within ecological management plans for the course and management at Muirfield implement these suggestions which also save man-hours normally needed to maintain these areas.
Connection of internal habitat patches Recommendations for connecting habitat patches are proffered within ecological management plans for the course and management at Muirfield implement these suggestions which also save man-hours normally needed to maintain these areas.
Connection of patches with external habitats Habitat patches within the course boundaries reflect those found in adjacent land and so wildlife corridors are unhindered by the presence of the golf course.
Creation of habitat corridors Recommendations for connecting habitat patches and therefore creating wildlife corridors are proffered within ecological management plans for the course and management at Muirfield implement these suggestions which also save man-hours normally needed to maintain these areas.
Avoidance of habitat fragmentation Avoidance of habitat fragmentation is considered within a ecological management plan. Connections between external and internal patches coupled with creating new corridors allows fragmentation.
Improving and diversifying habitat edges Habitat edges are managed appropriately by following contours on site and considered management. Scrub, for example, is controlled so as not to completely destroy the coastal dune system but not totally eradicated so not to offer increased diversity.

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 This is administered via a range of management prescriptions outlined in the 5-year ecological management plan.
Ecologically informed management of scrub vegetation This is administered via a range of management prescriptions outlined in the 5-year ecological management plan. Sea Buckthorn scrub for example, is controlled to prevent it from invading the coastal sand dune habitats found on site.
Promoting species and structurally diverse woodlands This is administered via a range of management prescriptions outlined in the woodland report. Planting of native species and clearance allow for structurally diverse woodland in the small pockets of woodland on site.
Naturalization of linear habitats Linear habitats such as long-rough grassland located between two golf holes is managed in a ecologically sensitive manner to contain native species. Other linear habitats such as streams or hedgerows are not a feature of Muirfield.

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 Native wildflowers are represented within the rough-grassland swards at Muirfield and provide a much important nectar source for pollinators. These include birds-foot trefoil, common vetch and bulbous buttercup amongst others.
Control / management of alien species This is considered by the management at Muirfield and sea buckthorn scrub is controlled as described above. Other non-natives, such as oilseed rape represent a much smaller problem, however, informed management to remove them is implemented.


Irrigation of playing surfaces is only performed as a last resort during drought periods and all irrigation water is sourced from an on site borehole. Mains water is available for irrigation purposes, however this has not been used since 1997. An abstraction licence has been issued by the Scottish Environmental Protection Agency which was amended during January 2011 to allow for an alternative borehole to be constructed.

Sources & Consumption

No water audits have been undertaken at this golf facility.

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

2014 Source(s) % of supply Total Consumption
Clubhouse(s) Public / Potable 100% 2,660 Cubic Metres
Golf Course Groundwater 100% 10,140 Cubic Metres
Maintenance Facility/Facilities Public / Potable 100% 210 Cubic Metres
2013 Source(s) % of supply Total Consumption
Clubhouse(s) Public / Potable 100% 2,448 Cubic Metres
Golf Course Groundwater 100% 17,030 Cubic Metres
Maintenance Facility/Facilities Public / Potable 100% 6,500 Cubic Metres
2012 Source(s) % of supply Total Consumption
Clubhouse(s) Public / Potable 100% 3,265 Cubic Metres
Golf Course Groundwater 100% 5,600 Cubic Metres
Maintenance Facility/Facilities Public / Potable 100% 135 Cubic Metres

Irrigation & Efficiency

The following areas receive irrigation at this golf facility:

Greens Weekly
Tees Weekly
Fairways Weekly
Semi-Rough Never

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

The irrigation system at this golf facility is:

Serviced every 1 years

Upgraded every 1 years

Re-calibrated and checked for efficient application every 1 years

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

Activity Description
Selection of grass species The sward composition present on the playing surfaces are largely drought and salt tolerant and are composed of native fescue and bent with a small proportion of meadow-grass. Reseeding regimes are tailored to increase the proportion of bents and fescues and minimise meadow-grass and this is stipulated within agronomy reports produced by the STRI (these are produced at a biannual basis). At present bent is dominant upon the greens whilst fescue is dominant upon the fairways, tees and semi-rough. Other areas that are not as intensively managed consist of species that reflect the wider environme
Soil decompaction and thatch management A thorough program of soil decompaction and thatch management is administered and includes scarification and aeration methods. These are administered on greens, tees and fairways on a regular basis as stipulated by biannual agronomy reports produced by the STRI.
Timing and dose of water application Timing and dose of water applications is fully administered by the course manager who irrigates playing surfaces only as a last resort. Dosage is monitored to prevent runoff and therefore prevent irrigation that is surplus to the requirements of the playing surface being irrigated.
Incorporation of evapotranspiration rates and weather data Weather data is monitored on a daily basis via a on-site weather station to help assess incoming rainfall and other weather patterns. Decisions on whether the need to irrigate is necessary is based upon this as well as considering the condition of the fine-turf on the course.
Use of wetting agents There is a programmed use of wetting agents on the greens and other areas receiving intensive management to alleviate drought pressure upon these surfaces. This also is stipulated by agronomy reports produced by the STRI.
Overall reduction in irrigated area Advice is taken via ecological appraisals administered by the STRI and all opportunities to reduce irrigated areas are acted upon. This includes increasing the size of less-intensively managed areas wherever possible in locations that are out of the mine of play.
Targeting of sprinkler heads Targeted sprinkler heads are used to maximise efficiency of water use on the playing surfaces and allow irrigation to commence only in the areas requiring it. This is considered for all onsite greens, tees and fairways.
Optimizing system pressure System pressure for the Rainbird Irrigation system is monitored on a ongoing basis and any inconsistencies are dealt with by a qualified irrigation system specialist. An annual service of the irrigation system is also performed to maintain optimal pressure.
Adoption of cutting edge nozzle technology Any advancements of nozzle technology is incorporated into the irrigation system via advice taken from the annual service of the irrigation system.

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

Activity Description
Repairing leaks Any leaks, whether from the irrigation system or within other facilities, are dealt with promptly to prevent wastage of the water supply.


Energy used in all building infrastructure is largely provided by the mains electricity supply and natural gas. Meter readings for both gas and electricity are taken on a monthly basis to provide quantifiable data that is reviewed annually. Readings are further broken down to the clubhouse, maintenance facility, caddy shed and Forest Cottage (course manager accommodation). The use of coal and wood is also a feature of energy use at Muirfield and is used within the clubhouse for heating during the colder seasons. Wood here is sourced from a sustainable source.
A mixed fleet of maintenance vehicles is used throughout the golf facility that is fuelled by diesel, petrol, electric and hybrid technology. This includes a fleet of golf buggies and a utility vehicle that are electrically powered.

Wood use for heating is recorded in cubic metres below. Coal use for heating is recorded in Kg below.

Sources & Consumption

No energy surveys have been undertaken at this golf facility.

Consumption of renewable energy and resources at this golf facility:

2014 2013 2012
Wood from sustainable sources 5000 6000 5000

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

2014 2013 2012
Coal 1000 900 900
Diesel (Cubic Metres) 6.60
Natural Gas (Cubic Metres) 28074 26754 19487
Non-renewable Grid (kWh) 165820 163853 152751
Petrol (Cubic Metres) 2.85

Energy Efficiency

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

Activity Description
Use of geothermal and / or ground sources There is no means for use of geothermal/ground energy sources on site.
Use of electric hybrid vehicles There are currently 5 hybrid vehicles in use on site including 2 greens mowers and 3 fairway mowers. The club are aiming to increase this fleet upon lease contract renewal.

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

Activity Description
Optimizing thermostat levels for heating and refrigeration Thermostat levels within the clubhouse for heating and refrigeration are currently optimized to provide adequate ambient temperature levels and for the safe storage of foodstuffs.
Enhancement of natural ventilation opportunities There is currently no use of natural ventilation opportunities on site. However there are air-handling units present within the kitchens.
Use of natural light (e.g. sunlight pipes) Natural light features both in the maintenance facility and the club house at Muirfield. Here sky-lights were made use of to provide natural sunlight within these areas and large windows within the club house also exemplified this.
Use of timers with appliances, heating and lighting The use of timers for heating appliances was evident on site including small heaters within offices and the main central heating system within the club house.

Vehicles & Transport

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

Ride-on Mowers Walking Mowers Utility Vehicles
Petrol 100%
Diesel 58% 20%
Grid Electric 80%
Hybrid 42%

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

Golf Carts Cars Buses
Grid Electric 100%

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

Activity Description
Secure cycle parking A secured area is provided by the club house for staff who use bikes. However, currently this is not a locked facility.
Promoting public transport routes and timetables Bus/train timetables are provided within club house and a majority of club house staff are known to use public transport. However, this is not applicable to greenstaff who start their shifts usually during early morning when no public transport is available.
Increasing equipment storage (e.g. lockers) All staff throughout the golf club have lockers of adequate size.
Staff showers The greenstaff have access to shower facilities within the maintenance facility.

Supply Chain

Services provided at Muirfield include the obvious golf course together with a clubhouse that provides dining and bar facilities together with a proshop that provides golfing equipment to patrons. There is a definite ethos to source local products necessary to provide these services and the vast majority are from local sources, some from within one mile of the site. Fertiliser and other chemicals, wines, beverages, foodstuffs and even maintenance machinery are sourced from within a fifty mile radius. However, sand required for the course is sourced from Ayrshire and the club is looking into sourcing sand from a borrow area on-site. Although the above is not written into policy there is a definite bias towards selecting local products for use in the clubhouse and on the course. The club also wish to provision recycling bins for both the clubhouse and maintenance facility but the local council are currently unable to provide the necessary recycling bins for that purpose. Wherever possible products are purchased in bulk to minimise the number of deliveries and therefore save on fuel emissions and packaging.

Purchasing Policies

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

Activity Description
Measures to avoid waste at source Wherever possible products are purchased in bulk to prevent additional unnecessary transportation. This includes products such as fertiliser, sand, fuel, wetting agents, tools and machinery parts and a range of other provisions needed in the clubhouse and associated facilities.
Use of local suppliers Wherever possible the use of local suppliers is high on the agenda. This is prevalent through the whole golf facility at Muirfield including the clubhouse and maintenance facility. Vegetables, meat, fish, stock for the bar, repairs, renewals, fertilisers and machinery are all sourced from the local area.
Use of local products Vegetables, meat, fish and fruit suppliers are all located within a 10 mile radius of Muirfield and there is a definite unwritten policy to the effect of using local products wherever possible. Supplies to the bar are sourced from a 5 to 50 miles distance. Local specialists including builders, plumbers, painters, electricians, information technology experts and refurbishment operators are all extremely local and are sourced from a 1 to 10 mile distance from the club.
Use of recycled and recyclable products Use of recyclables is limited, however there are operations on-site to use products that would normally go to waste. Excess soil is recycled to compost and divot mix and wooden pallets are all stored and taken by an official removal firm to be recycled.
Selection of products that feature minimal packaging Minimal packaging is proffered via the purchasing of products in bulk. Examples include the purchasing of fertilisers, wetting agents and other chemicals that could be delivered in larger containers to reduce packaging.
Use of accredited suppliers (e.g. ISO 14001) At present products are selected on quality and price but the club are moving towards using accredited suppliers.

Supply Chain

An overview of the supplier network at this golf facility:

Total number of suppliers Total number of suppliers within 10 Miles Total number of suppliers within 100 Miles
Food & Beverage 11 5 6
Trade & Contractors 6 6
Maintenance Equipment 1 1

Turfgrass Inputs

This golf facility undertakes the following IPM activities:

Activity Description
Encouraging drought and disease tolerant grasses Fescue and Bent are both featured in any reseeding programmes. These grass species require low chemical and water inputs on the playing surfaces. Reseeding programmes are incorporated into the greens, tees and fairways. A management regime for the out-of-play rough grassland and semi-rough areas encourages native grass species such as marram to flourish with no inputs - this is stipulated via biannual ecological reviews performed by the STRI. The club have a minimalistic approach to fertiliser, pesticide and water use on the course to save on costs and ultimately reduce their carbon footprint.
Managing stress and wear Ropes and posts are provisioned throughout the winter to recover summer routes that receive excess wear and tear. Pin positions are changed biweekly and tee positions are moved on a daily basis.
Enhancement of soil structure Soil structure is enhanced via a range of mechanical processes including scarification, tinning and slitting as opposed to chemical methods.
Optimization of the growing environment Species selected for the playing surfaces are selected to provide the best growing environment for the required land-use whilst maintaining the best possible service to patrons of the course. Out-of-play areas which largely consist of rough grassland reflect the coastal dune system and therefore provide aesthetic appeal to patrons of the course whilst enhancing the quality of this habitat.
Managing thatch levels Management of thatch levels in the greens is performed by vertidrain and solid tines operations although these operations are only performed very occasionally.
Managing surface moisture Tees, greens and green aprons switched during mornings when surface moisture is present . A programmed application of wetting agents applied to tees every 3 months, greens and aprons monthly and faiwways in specific areas as and when needed at the discretion of the course manager.
Establishing thresholds for pests and disease There is a high tolerance for pests at the club. Daisies, for example, are allowed to grow and only sprayed before becoming out of control. Spraying for Yorkshire fog for example is only as last resort and mechanical methods used first.
Scouting for pests and diseases All members of staff are educated about pests and diseases and remain vigilant as to their presence. Any pests or diseases are reported from all maintenance staff to the course manager who takes appropriate action.
Monitoring / improvement of plant health Plant health is monitored by the course manager and improvements are made accordingly. A biannual review of agronomic issues is also performed by the STRI to continually move towards improvements.

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

2014 2013 2012
Greens - N - Organic 45 55 45
Tees - N - Organic 45 45 45

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

2014 2013 2012
Fairways - Herbicide - Active Ingredient 0.89 1.77 2.54
Fairways - Herbicide - Total Weight 8.84 17.68 25.36
Fairways - Herbicide - Number of applications per year 1 2 3
Fairways - Insecticide - Active Ingredient 0.72
Fairways - Insecticide - Total Weight 7.20
Fairways - Insecticide - Number of applications per year 1
Greens - Fungicide - Active Ingredient 0.24
Greens - Fungicide - Total Weight 2.14
Greens - Fungicide - Number of applications per year 3
Greens - Herbicide - Active Ingredient 3.03
Greens - Herbicide - Total Weight 9.09
Greens - Herbicide - Number of applications per year 2
Greens - Insecticide - Active Ingredient 0.72 0.72 0.72
Greens - Insecticide - Total Weight 2.16 2.16 2.16
Greens - Insecticide - Number of applications per year 1 1 1
Rough - Fungicide - Number of applications per year 0 0
Rough - Herbicide - Number of applications per year 0 1
Semi-Rough - Herbicide - Number of applications per year 0 2
Tees - Fungicide - Number of applications per year 1
Tees - Herbicide - Active Ingredient 0.88 2.08
Tees - Herbicide - Total Weight 0.88 2.08
Tees - Herbicide - Number of applications per year 1 2
Tees - Insecticide - Active Ingredient 0.72 0.72 0.72
Tees - Insecticide - Total Weight 0.72 0.72 0.72
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 Least toxic and least persistent products are selected wherever possible by the course manager.
Selection of appropriate products for specific pests and diseases All products are selected for the appropriate control of pests and diseases by the course manager.
Spot-treatment with handheld sprayers and wipers Spot treatment with handheld sprayers is administered as a last resort to controlling pests and diseases. The boom sprayer is also used to spot-treat affected areas that require more effort than handheld operations.
Calibration and testing of sprayers Calibration and testing is continual at the club. All sprayers are on rolling programme of renewal and nozzles are thoroughly cleaned checked after every use.
Use of shrouded sprayer and anti-drip nozzles Anti drip nozzles are used in all spraying operations. A shrouder used on knapsack sprayers. The shrouders do not fulfil the necessary requirements when performing work with boom sprayer due to undulations on the course.
Non-chemical weed control Hand pulling weeds and use of a scythe in rough areas is administered where applicable and this is performed before any chemical or mechanical control.
Use of organic and biological products to improve plant health and resistance. Seaweeds and other similar products are used to improve plant health and organic fertilisers used in all cases.

Waste Management

No waste audits have been undertaken at this golf facility.

This golf facility manages key waste streams as follows:

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

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

Activity Description
Separation of recyclable materials Grass clippings are placed in designated dumping areas for further collection and used within the composting area. Cores are used to create a divot mix. Wood in the form of pallets is stored for further collection from a recycling firm. Empty plastic, metal and aluminium containers are separated and stored adequately to be further removed from the maintenance facility by an official uplift company. Waste products from the clubhouse are not separated due to the lack of provision of recycling bins from the local council.

Pollution Control

There is a well established ecological management plan, produced by the STRI, to which the club have conformed to prevent degradation of habitats on site which would contain any pollution incidents on site. The club have a range of measures within the maintenance facility that would also negate potential pollution incidents with a range of necessary protection or containment areas. The storage of oils, fuels, chemicals, tools, maintenance machinery and other hazardous materials are carefully considered at the club and a range of incentives are in place and are well established.

Water Analysis

This golf facility monitors water quality with the following frequency:

Chemical Biological Visual
Inflow Never Never Never
On-Site Never Never Monthly
Outflow Never Never Monthly

Waste Water

Waste water from this golf facility is managed as follows:

Discharges to Formal Discharge Agreement
Golf Course Stormwater Drain N/A
Clubhouse Mains Sewer Yes
Maintenance Facility Septic Tank Yes
Wash Pad Closed Loop Recycling N/A

Hazardous Materials

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

Secure Storage Registered Uplift
Detergents true true
Cooking Oils false false
Lubricants true true
Pesticide Containers true true
Fertiliser Bags true true
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 Oils, fertilisers and other hazardous chemicals are all stored in designated areas within the maintenance facility that are locked, sealed and impervious to prevent pollution incidents. Oils, for example, are stored above a specific bund designed to collect any spillages. Fertilisers are stored in an designated area in sealed containers. Equipment is all stored in a safe manner in designated areas and hazardous products are locked in metal storage areas. Diesel fuel and petrol is stored in a protective bunded tank with an impervious floor that would prevent leaching and contain any spillages.
Maintenance of equipment on covered, sealed impervious areas Covered and sealed impervious areas are monitored on a ongoing basis to prevent degradation and the club are quick to repair any faults or breakages. Replacements to any of the above would commence upon degradation of quality of these.
Mixing of pesticides and fertilizers over impervious surfaces All mixing of pesticides and fertilisers are performed on a sealed impervious washpad.
Installation of above-ground fuel tanks A above ground mobile unit for storing petrol and a bunded diesel tank are provision at the maintenance facility.
Installation of sufficient secondary containment for fuel There is a mobile petrol transporter for use of petrol out on the course.
Provision of containment booms and absorbent materials A containment boom for oils and other absorbent materials is provisioned within the maintenance facility at the club.

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 Careful timing of turf inputs is always considered during all spraying/spreading operations.
Establishment of vegetative buffer strips around water bodies There no water bodies on site.
Establishment of emergency spillage response plan There is no exact plan in operation but all staff are trained with spraying qualifications and would report any spillage incidents to the course manager.
Controlling erosion and sediment discharge Drainage outflows on the 2nd and 3rd holes are checked monthly and any issues regarding sediment discharge and erosion are acted upon accordingly.


The management staff at Muirfield respect their position within the wider community. They have a range of incentives that allow for successful liaison between the two which include the provision of footpaths both within the coastal sand dunes and a small set-aside nature area. Local farmers are also involved with grey partridge breeding and introduction schemes as well as a trade-off where silage is taken by the farmers in return for maintenance of long-rough areas. The local community also hold the club in high regard as the facility brings in substantial tourism to the local area. Testimony to this was given by a local hotel manager who appreciated the presence of the club. Training is also high on the agenda at Muirfield with most employees receiving some kind of formal training. This is especially prevalent within the course maintenance sector as a large majority had received various spraying qualifications. Various reports commissioned also inform of the ecological importance of on course habitats and provide recommendations on how to maintain or enhance them.

Employment & Education

Typical staffing levels at this golf facility are:

Full Time Part Time Seasonal
Club Management 4
Course Management 16 1
Other 20

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

  • Technical Specialist

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

Activity Description
Storage, application and disposal of pesticides Formal training is given on a variety of subjects is given to employees at Muirfield. The following lists the number of employees who have acquired certification. 3 first aid, 10 out of 12 greenstaff have gained PA1, the other two without are the mechanic and seasonal staff, 8 staff have got PA6, 6 staff have got the PA2, 4 staff have got chainsaw qualification, 2 pest control and 1 forklift truck qualified.
Efficient water management 2 staff have irrigation training and cerificates which in turn provide further training to other staff.
Management of accidents and emergencies Staff are trained during induction about fire points first aid kits etc. 1 member of staff has completed a full first aid course and 2 staff acquired emergency first aid. 2 defribulators are also on site of which first aiders are trained. One defribulator is available to go out on course at anytime and other is located within the clubhouse
Management of habitats and vegetation The management at Muirfield and the head groundsman have access to a range of report material covering all aspects of habitat and vegetation found on the course and this is informally dispensed to other members of staff.
Waste minimization, separation and recycling The club is moving towards providing informal training regarding this subject. At present there is limited recycling of all recyclables, however, there are schemes to recycle paper and reuse soil and sand.
Health & Safety Douglas Shearer from MHS Golf has been in to provide health and safety advice to all staff across the course. There is also good signage, fire points and access to fire escapes within maintenance facility and clubhouse.
Energy Saving The club is moving towards providing informal training regarding this subject. At present there is limited use of energy saving initiatives, however, the club are aware of the benefits of this. The use of sky-lights and large windows within the rooms of the main clubhouse facility currently saves on lighting costs and heating is optimised throughout this facility.
Understanding of landscape and cultural heritage The club understand the course's place within the wider environment of coastal sand dunes and maintenance of this facility is geared towards maintaining and enhancing a coastal links golf course.
Environmental management planning The management at Muirfield and the head groundsman have access to a range of report material covering all aspects of habitat and vegetation found on the course and this is informally dispensed to other members of staff. This includes management plans for woodland, sand dune and scrub present within the course boundaries.

Community Relations

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

Activity Description
Neighbours Grey Walls Hotel have a good reciprocal relationship with Muirfield which provide occasional fertiliser for lawns etc. and the hotel facility provides facilities for R & A, preferential rates for members and provided kitchens when refurbishment at Muirfield in operation. Renaissance golf club also has a good relationship with Muirfield and a arrangement during the Open where members can have a round at renaissance and free rounds at Muirfield are reciprocated.
Several farmers involved in grey partridge run by Game and Wildlife Conservancy Trust
Local Government Muirfield and East Lothian Council have good relations and the management at Muirfield are happy to assist local government when called upon. Previous operations where the two have liaised include diverting water and ongoing clearance of overgrown vegetation along public footpaths.
Local Environmental Groups Scottish Natural Heritage provide specific advice and reports for Muirfield. These include Roe Deer counts and specific advice including management consent regarding borrow pits and other relevant information.
Local Community Groups A local historical society is allowed meetings at Muirfield to inform members/patrons of previous land use.
Media BIGGA host seminar days at Muirfield occasionally or during special events. These are usually attended by c50 greenstaff from around Scotland and Muirfield and golf management regimes are described at these.
Local Businesses Local farmers cut and bale long rough and take away for silage which in turn reduces the organic matter entering the soil structure within the course boundaries.
Schools & Colleges Students are brought in from collages annually for course walkabout. These include HNC and HND students which are given an overall description of golf course management.

Land Use & Cultural Heritage

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

Activity Description
Maintenance of existing public paths The staff at Muirfield provide maintenance of public footpaths for walkers which are also kept open for coast guard access.
Creation of new paths and nature trails A set-aside woodland plot to the left-hand-side of the 2nd tee is now maturing after relatively recent planting. This was undertaken in liason with SGEG and the area can be accessed by the public. A small pond is also present and a footpath is provisioned.
Installation of effective and welcoming signage Signage is provided to direct walkers and warn them of golf course environment to help prevent the public from being hit by stray golf balls.
Providing opportunities for other recreation (e.g. fishing) Muirfield allow a local orienteering club to visit which is usually on a annual basis.
Partnership conservation and access projects (e.g. community woodland) Grey Partridge project spearheaded Colin Irvine (head groundsman) and several local farmers involved with Gold Partridge Award run by Game and Wildlife Conservancy Trust. Here introductions and breeding programmes for the bird are administered.

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 A notice board is provisioned to inform members of relevant or important information, such as info regarding nesting birds in long-rough areas or to inform of any spraying/management that may affect patrons of the golf course.
Course guides / brochures A management plan summary provides course layout, historical, natural interest, landscape and turfgrass information. This also reveals specific issues relating to the management of habitats to be found at Muirfield.
Interpretation panels & course signage Course signage is very subtle at Muirfield as to not overly impact upon the surrounding scenic environment.
Establishment of a nature trail A nature trail is provisioned within a small woodland plot described earlier and maintenance of public footpaths through the coastal dunes is ongoing.

This golf facility does not undertake any social and environmental advocacy activities.