Edese Golf Club Papendal
Executive summary (English & local language)
The Edese Golf Club, established in 1978, has a very simple slogan: “if you have a green course you should also act as a green club”. Do they fulfil this promise? Certainly they do, several years ago the club decided to transform the course into a typical heathland course. Now, first positive effects of this restoration project are clearly visible. Open vista’s, increased amount of heather vegetation, and more open rough. With respect to sustainable management, the club is going into the good direction. Restoration of the club house is on its way and more attention is given to modern-energy saving equipment. The sustainability committee demonstrated knowledge on all GEO themes.
The club was established in 1978. The 9 holes course was laid out on approx. 52 hectares, and extended to an eighteen holes course in 1992. The course is quite undulated with height differences up to 15 meters. Until the 1900’s this sandy area mainly consisted out of heather vegetation, and from 1920 onwards it was taken into production for agricultural activities. Based on the history of the landscape, The club has taken the decision to transform their course into a typical heathland course. For this transformation several measures were needed. First soil fertility of nature areas had to be reduced considerably. For this they experimented with sheep but the last few years they switched to mowing in autumn and removing the clippings. Second, the club has opened the landscape by selectively removing bushes and trees resulting in quite some spectacular vistas. Removing invasive non-native species is also part of their well described nature management plan. During my visit the first results of this transformation were quite astonishing compared to my visits in 2010/2011. The small heather patches now have increased in size considerably and the look and feel is far more natural. Over more than 200 plant species have been registered over the last few years, several of them rare and protected in The Netherlands. From 2017 onwards they will monitor species composition (flora and fauna) more regularly. Greens and fairways were laid out on former agricultural land, resulting in a relatively high percentage of Poa annua. Measures to reduce the percentage have been described in their course maintenance plan, and according to the green committee first signs of improvement are already noticeable. It is their wish that the coming decade the course will be dominated once again with fine grasses like fescues typical for the so-called heathland courses.
Irrigation rates on these typical sandy soils can be quite high in the Netherlands. The club, however, managed to keep their annual irrigation within highly acceptable ranges. They do not have an irrigation system for their fairways. Only in the case of extreme dry weather conditions the fairways are irrigated using reels. On average water use was around 10.000 cubic meters for the foregreens, greens and tees. It is recommended to analyze this rate for the playing elements separately, giving opportunities to further decrease the percentage of Poa annua. The last few years several measures have been taken to further reduce the amount of potable water: e.g. a new water-saving dish washer was installed and showers were equipped with water-saving knobs. The GEO-committee is now analyzing further possibilities to reduce water consumption.
The slightly outdated club house is now gradually being transformed into a modern club house with reduced energy consumption. In several parts of the club house LED lightning has been installed. It is their intention to have an energy audit being performed as soon as possible. In this audit special attention must be given to insulation and possibilities to install solar cells once a new club house roof will be installed. On several places now also motion sensors have been installed. The use of electric cars and bikes has increased considerably over the last few years. Not surprisingly it is the club’s intention to install several charging stations. The greenkeeping location was recently built and provided with modern energy-saving equipment. The energy-contract with the supplier ends in 2017, and the club will then decide whether they switch to green energy.
Maintenance of the golf course and the restaurant is out-sourced at the Edese. However, during my discussions with the responsible managers it became clear that they are well aware of sustainability issues and act accordingly to it. E.g. the head greenkeeper is well aware of future changes in legislation with respect to pesticide use, and is experimenting with alternatives and with reduction in use of pesticides and fertilizer. Just as important, all activities of the out-sourced management are well described in their 2017-2021 management plan. Key Performance Indicators are addressed, making decisions far more easy. The club has regular meetings with the restaurant manager and head greenkeeper. This ensures that both sides are well aware of each other’s expectations with respect to sustainability. Based on data presented, it became clear that fertilizer management is appropriate for this type of course. Waste is collected and separated into glass, paper, grease and “rest-waste”.
The Edese has a very simple slogan: “if you have a green course you should also act as a green club”. This also holds for the way they deal with pollution. The greenkeepers location was spotlessly clean during my visit. All chemicals were stored and treated according to legislation. Waste water from several locations runs via an oil/grease separator before it is discharged to the main sewer. No-spray zones have been determined, and it is the club’s wish to minimize pesticide use as much as possible. E.g. already 10 years ago they introduced biological methods to reduce shaver plagues. Installing nest boxes for starlings that are considered as natural enemies of grubs and their parents, introducing specific plant species (Daucus carota) that are hosts for natural enemies of the grubs and the use of nematodes.
The club was in 2005 one of the first to receive the Dutch Committed to Green certificate, and since then several nature organization monitored species richness. Specific nature topics and sustainability issues are communicated via their website and newsletters and local media. All employees and members (marshals) are offered courses on safety issues in the course and in the clubhouse. An emergency evacuation/rescue plan is available for the course. They are now working on an emergency plan for the club house.
- Awareness Raising Materials
- Certification Report
- Emergency Incident Plan
- Environmental Management Plan
- External Surveys and Reports
- Internal Reports
Ten years ago most activities with respect to sustainabilty were concentrated on nature issues. Now, more and more attention is given to sustainable management in general. The club has shown that progress has been made with respect to reducing their footprint, and based on information obtained during my visit, I am convinced that they continue doing so. I, Adrie van der Werf, therefore recommend the Edese golf club to be awarded with the sustainability certificate GEO Certified® at this first renewal stage.
- The club is transforming its course gradually (and already succesfully) into a heathland course
- sustainabilty issues (especially energy use) is now an integral part of their management