Golf Du Rhin

GEO Certified® 06/2012 GEO Re-Certified 09/2015
Telephone: 0033 389 832 832

Executive summary (English & local language)

Golf du Rhin (Chalampy, near Mulhouse) is a private golf facility located on the frontier of France and Germany within 35 km of Basel. It's specific location, situated on an isle between a river, the Rhine and a canal, the Grand Canal d' Alsace, makes the site very unique (altitude 126 m). Across the canal you find the industrial zone of Ottmarsheim so the Golf du Rhin is both for people, birds and wildlife a safe and quiet escape. The club has 18 holes well integrated in the surrounding landscape. The botanical identification with discrete signs will inform the golfers about the major species of trees. The site of the Golf du Rhin is preserved within the ZNIEFF program and designated as "natural area for ecological interest for fauna and flora”. The specific location of the orchids is a well hidden secret in order to maintain the species. The club is aware of the quality necessary for players and nature and is well surrounded by experts with professional advice. The GEO Committee is almost the same as the Golf Course committee which is quite exceptional. The intention to achieve certification rewards for the efforts that have been made and has led to an intensive increase of knowledge about the club and his possibilities to comply with sustainability.

Golf du Rhin (Chalampe, près de Mulhouse) est un club de golf privé, situé sur la frontière avec la France et l’ Allemagne à moins de 35 km de Basel. Situé à un île, entre le Rhin en le Grand Canal d’Alsace, le site est exceptionnel (altitude 126 m). Partout dans le canal, vous trouverez la zone industrielle d'Ottmarsheim de sorte que le Golf du Rhin est à la fois pour les personnes et les oiseaux et la faune une évasion sécuritaire et calme. Le club a un parcours de 18 trous bien intégrés dans le paysage environnant. L'identification botanique avec des signes discrets informera les golfeurs sur les principales espèces d'arbres. Le site du Golf du Rhin est conservé dans le programme ZNIEFF et désignée comme «zone naturelle d'intérêt écologique pour la faune et la flore". L'emplacement spécifique des orchidées est un secret bien gardé, afin de préserver les espèces. Le club est conscient de la qualité nécessaire pour les joueurs et la nature et est bien entouré par des experts avec des conseils professionnels. Le Comité GEO est presque le même que le comité de golf qui est assez exceptionnel. L'intention d'obtenir une expérience enrichissante GEO pour les efforts qui ont été faites, a conduit à une augmentation intensive des connaissances sur le club et ses possibilités pour se conformer à la durabilité.


The management of Golf du Rhin pays attention to the specific opportunities of the landscape and the occurring species. With the transformation of fairway into more rough zones and new water area the golf course naturalizes. Almost 3 ha of fairways and 7 ha of semi rough was transformed into wild rough zone (total of 24,3 ha ecologic wild rough).

The management of Golf du Rhin is advised by experts on ecosystem protection and enhancement. As a result they made the decision to maintain only local species.
A detailed listing of the occurring trees is available and trees are marked with a plate with the scientific name. During the visit the recent report on “Biodiversité au golf du Rhin à Chalampé” was available describing occurring plants, butterflies and other insects (report dd. 11/5/2015).

The new pond between hole 13 and 14 is a opportunity to create biodiversity. The club's sustainability team has chosen for native fish and mussles to fish off.
The surface of fairway and semirough was reduced and transformed in rough (10 ha extra )with creation of new habitat patches.

Overseeding of poa annua with agrostis tenuis and festuca has started step by step since 6 years and still going on.
The surface of fairway and semirough was reduced and transformed in rough to enhance biodiversity and less need for fertilizer, pesticides and operations (less fuel). The mowing length of the turfgrass on the fairway is maintained at a higher level (less operations), the members are informed by the letter of the president.
Teeboxes are being transformed (less slope) for better use of the space and less intensive maintenance (easier to prevent herbs on the slopes of the teeboxes).

The letter of the president pays attention to the maintenance of the course, golfers are well informed about the work and effort that has been done. The GEO-theme is an important aspect.
The increase of the wild rough and the creation of a new water pond with fishes etc are big improvements.


The use of water is of special concern for the management of Golf du Rhin. The soil of the golf course is very permeable and in combination of a “micro climate” there is a severe risk on burning the turfgrass (low yearly water fall). Irrigation of the turfgrass is locally monitored and the irrigation system is well maintained.

The use of water is of special concern for the management of golf du Rhin, they signed the “Charte de l’eau” of the French golf federation for water awareness. The use of water is monitored and depends on the local climate.

The soil of the golf course is very permeable and in combination of a “micro climate” there is a severe risk on burning the turfgrass. Irrigation of the turfgrass is locally monitored and the irrigation computer uses also the information of a local pluvio-system to prevent to use too much water.
Yearly figures about the captivation of groundwater are send to the Agence “Bassin Rin-Meuse”. The communication was available during the visit.
7 years ago Golf du Rhin installed new sprinklers for the greens, fully automated.

Toilets and douches are renovated and water saving systems are installed.


The main energy source is electricity. Golf du Rhin has detailed information on the use of energy with more than 10 electricity meters. The energy use is declining and can be rated as average.

Golf du Rhin has detailed information on the use of energy with 14 electricity meters. The energy use is declining (less water use means less use of pumps and energy) and can be rated as average.

The building is electrically heated which results in the following top 5 on electricity use: administration; restaurant, pumps (groundwater), greenkeepers building and caddie room with lockers for buggy and batteries
Photovoltaic panels on selected locations are installed: course toilet and alarm for thunder and lightning.

Transformation of fairway and semi-rough in wild rough: less operations and less fuel use.

Supply Chain

The main products being bought on our facilities are sand, fertilizers, fuel, fungicides and pesticides , retail products for the golfshop, seeds, products for the office and cleaning products.
The purchasing policy is based on legal, economical, ecological and qualitative criteria. Other important criteria in the purchasing decision is the quality of service provided by the supplier (speed, security, after sales service, etc...).

The purchasing policy for Golf du Rhin is based on quality, reliability and price. When the same quality and price can be guaranteed the better results on sustainability and the selection of a local supplier is undertaken. Professionals annually provide sophisticated recommendations on fertilizer and pesticide use.

The impact of Golf du Rhin as an economic multiplier is very small but can be a sustainable choice as a tourism destination.

A lot of IPM activities are undertaken: overseeding poa annua with festuca and agrostis tenuis on the greens, management program according to the number of tournaments, players and season (various heights of cut, detailed and implemented work planning at the greenkeepers office), enhancement soil structure, use of growing regulators, detailed program of mechanical operations, managing surface moisture: eliminating dew on fairways, semi-roughs and greens; locally stop on disease, pestwarning and forecasting, monitoring/improvement of plant health with the elicitation
Information on the used pesticides is available with the “Index Phytosanitaire Acta” and is now supplemented with information on safety and environmental risks mentioned in the MSDS sheets.
Golf du Rhin uses no herbicides on greens, nematodes T and H are used at selected areas.
The mentioned use of pesticides and fertilizers on semi-rough should be read as the use on “fairway and semi-rough” because there is almost no semi-rough at golf du Rhin.

The waste collection at Golf du Rhin is in accordance of legislation and standards, recyclable materials are separated, specialized companies take care of the waste disposal. The necessary certificates were provided during the audit.

Pollution Control

The greenkeeping department is clean and containments for dangerous products are available.
The Phytobac construction is still used and improved by the greenkeeping team. Containments for dangerous products are available but the amount of paint (aerosols) should be evaluated.

Golf du Rhin has an internal recycling center for the treatment of remaining pesticides: Phytobac. The system is installed since 2010 with good results.
The discharge of the waste water of the wash pad is secured by using an oil separator. The waste water of the clubhouse and maintenance facility (sanitary waste water) is collected in 3 septic tanks and the waste disposal is guaranteed with specialized companies.

The storage of pesticides is situated in a chemical storage container with all the necessary precaution materials. The storage is safe and the instructions for use and storage are clear.
The greenkeepers have a spacious, orderly, safe and hygienic workplace.

The fuel tanks are periodically checked. The latest report on the intervention was available (Madic, dd. 24/2/2015).
The storage of flammable liquids (like essence) in the greenkeepers workshop is in a safety closet with fire resistance of min 90 minutes.

The daily inspection of the course by the greenkeeping team includes some manual weeding to prevent the use of extra products.


The interaction between the management, members, local business and schools is very strong. Many activities are organized: sports, education etc

The organogram is still active (since last visit a new head greenkeeper was accepted). The head greenkeeper and his assistant are trained by the AGREF and follow workshops about good practices on pesticide and fertilizer use. 5 members of the greenkeeping team were on training list.

The terrain commission is committed to the environmental working group at Golf du Rhin, which further has the general manager, course manager, a technical specialist, the local community and the local environment NGO among its members. The contacts and projects with “green” organizations is one of the achievements of the GEO On Course program.

The local community is very welcome, special school events are organized. The local government invested in a new entrance road.

The new entrance road has also facilities for hikers and other visitors of the habitat area (parking, picnic area).

The working inspections (authority controlling safety at work) has made some remarks on the use of pesticides and the period the course is closed for the greenkeepers to enter the course but during the audit visit the used procedure was found to be OK and safe.

The members are informed by the letter of the president about the actions that are taken by the Golf du Rhin concerning environment, maintenance etc. An environmental policy was formulated.

A new website ( was launched with specific attention for golf and nature. The club management will soon start with the "tree of the month" so visitors will be attracted to them.

Documentation Reviewed


Golf du Rhin earns the re-certification because of the ongoing performance in course management, nature and habitat creation and professional management.

Certification Highlights

Creation of new habitat area: more wild rough (10 ha fairway and semi rough transformed into wild ecologic rough (makes 24,3 ha wild rough), a new pond (0,7 ha)
Very clean greenkeeping area.
Transformation of teeboxes etc to use less fertilizers, pesticide etc (transformation still in progress)