Sustainability in Dutch Golf is celebrated at the 2015 KLM Open

Wednesday 23 September 2015

Golfbaan Zuid Drenthe

The Royal Netherlands Golf Federation (NGF) and GEO (The Golf Environment Organization) have announced the certification of two golf clubs to golfs global sustainability standard GEO Certified®. The announcement took place at the commencement of the 2015 KLM Open in early September, which was hosted at De Kennemer Golf and Country Club, who first achieved their own GEO Certified® status in 2010. The announcement of Golfbaan De Texelse and Golfbaan Zuid Drenthe as newly GEO Certified® clubs brings the total of Dutch golf clubs which hold the coveted sustainability eco-label to 54, the highest of any country in the world.

GEO Certified® is a global sustainability assurance which recognises clubs that show a continued commitment to nature protection and enhancement, resource efficiency and community value. The standard is administered by GEO, a member of ISEAL Alliance the membership body for credible sustainability standards whose members include other respected standards such as Fairtrade, The Rainforest Alliance and FSC. GEO Certified® is independently verified and publically reporting making it a transparent, credible and significant achievement for golf clubs across the globe. Re-certification of the standard takes place every three years and requires clubs to show continued commitment and improvement across all aspects of sustainability.

The sustainability initiatives identified in the third party GEO Certified® verification reports for Golfbaan De Texelse, Golfbaan Zuid Drenthe span the three pillars of sustainable golf, nature, resources and people. Some of the initiatives highlighted were:

  • The use of rainwater for irrigation on course at Golfbaan De Texelse through the collection and storage of rainwater from both the course and a nearby park in a 15,000m3 basin on site.
  • Preservation and creation of habitat for a variety of rare species at Golfbaan Zuid Drenthe including the rare Moor Frog and Great Crested Newt, along with digger wasps and viviparous lizard.

In addition to the 54 GEO Certified® golf facilities in the country, a further 34 Dutch golf clubs are currently working through golf’s sustainability programme OnCourse®, with the ambition of becoming GEO Certified® in the near future. OnCourse®, developed by GEO and the golf industry, is a free online programme which provides, practical guidance and tools to implement and support sustainable management practices at golf clubs.

Nature conservation, resource efficiency and community engagement have been core components of the NGF’s development of golf in the Netherlands since 1999.  In 2010, with the support of clubs and other industry partners, a new sustainability strategy was developed, to modernise their approach; strengthen credibility; provide more support and direction to clubs; and to connect their efforts with the wider international golf industry. Under the umbrella of the NGF’s ‘Committed to Green’ initiative, the Federation integrated important new activities to complement their advocacy, education, research and external relations work. In a relatively short time, the adoption of this system has helped the business and environmental performance of clubs; boosted the sport’s image and reputation; and given the game more influence especially in front of Dutch Government. Passing the 50 GEO Certified® clubs mark last year, is further evidence of the excellent progress that is being made in the Netherlands.

Joris Slooten, manager Golf Course development and sustainability at the NGF said:  “With sustainable management of golf courses becoming more and more important, the NGF has a responsibility for the environmental improvement and community integration of the areas in which golfers practice their sport. GEO’s OnCourse® system facilitates sustainability for course management in a very practical and effective way. We are very proud of all these dedicated, forward-thinking Dutch clubs that have become GEO Certified® and congratulate Golfbaan De Texelse and Golfbaan Zuid Drenthe on being the lastest clubs to have made this prestigious achievement”

Jonathan Smith, Chief Executive of GEO said “The relationship between NGF and GEO has been one of the highlights of our first 10 years. One third of the golf clubs in the Netherlands are signed up to OnCourse® and are making an active, recognised effort in moving towards sustainable management of their facilities. This success proves how effective this approach and partnership has been and provides a great example of what can strong leadership from a Federation and do and the benefits of facilities coming together under a consistent and unified plan. This achievement is something which all involved in golf in the Netherlands can be very proud of. We look forward to continuing to work with NGF and the Dutch clubs and give our congratulations to Golfbaan De Texelse and Golfbaan Zuid Drenthe.”

The full GEO Certified® verification reports for all Dutch GEO Certified® clubs can be found at


Further Information:

For Media Enquires Please Contact:

Libi Newell, Communications and Community Engagement, Golf Environment Organization Tel: +44 162 0895 100 Email:

About GEO Certified®

GEO Certified® is golf’s internationally accredited and widely supported eco-label and is a member of ISEAL Alliance, the global assurance body for standards in sustainability. GEO is a stakeholder-funded, not-for-profit organization, dedicated to helping the global golf community establish leadership in environmental enhancement, resource efficiency and community integration and value. For more information, please visit

About OnCourse®

OnCourse® is a free web-based tool available to golf facilities worldwide, guiding them around the priorities and resources for sustainability in golf, helping them easily and credibly share their efforts and value, and leading to GEO Certified®.  For more information, please visit

About the Royal Netherlands Golf Federation

The Royal Netherlands Golf Federation (NGF) is developing golf to be more widely accessable and enjoyable to every golfer, regardless of their level and ambition. NGF looks ahead to the future, it is innovative and on the move. Sustainability is one of the five spearheads of the NGF.

Together with the Dutch Association of Golf Accommodations (NVG), the Dutch Greenkeepers Association (NGA) and the Professional Golfers Association Holland (PGA Holland) the NGF works to make golf better and more attractive for both beginners and advanced players. Working together to they aim to develop and grow a culture of better golf in the Netherlands. 

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