Machrihanish Dunes Golf Club

GEO Certified® 11/2010 GEO Re-Certified 12/2014
Scotland, United Kingdom
Telephone: +44 (0) 1586 810 069

This report presents the results of the verification carried out under the terms of the Re-Certification procedure, which takes place every 3 years. The Re-Certification procedure conforms to the same comprehensive protocols as the original certification, but with a focus on changes over the period since original certification. It therefore has specific priorities, and applies explicit criteria which differ slightly from those used originally. In particular, the club’s progress in addressing any Continual Improvement Points (CIPs) is a key a…

Mike Wood, GEOSA, Accredited Verifier Read verifier report.

Machrihanish Dunes Golf Club 2010 GEO Certified™ Report  

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
Machrihanish Dunes Golf Club (18 holes)
3 Clubhouse(s)
1 Maintenance Facility/Facilities
1 Pro Shop
1 Practice Facility/Facilities
1 Halfway House(s)
1 Other
1 Other
1 Other
1 Other
1 Other
1 Other
1 Other


The course is situated on the most extensive dune system in Kintyre, consisting of mobile dunes at the seaward face to stable sandhills and hollows inland.
In terms of plants, the dune slacks behind the mobile dunes (flooded in winter) contain 2 notable species: small-fruited yellow sedge and early marsh orchids (2 sub-spp). Indigenous grass species are protected wherever possible (which preserves the integrity of the game as well as the site) and care is taken to avoid the introduction of non-indigenous agricultural grasses. Many animals and birds reside on the site, and systems are continually reviewed to ensure that these populations can continue to live alongside the golf course developement. An agreed management plan was set up with Scottish Natural Heritage as an original condition of planning, and meetings are scheduled regularly with representatives to ensure continuity and the diversity of species is not impacted on. Wherever possible, efforts are made to actively encourage health and diversity of species, but this is carefully monitored.
The fixed dunes are vegetated by fine-leaved grasses and herbs – lady’s bedstraw and wild thyme are the most notable. Other characteristic plants which can be commonly seen are: frog orchid – beige to green/red flowers, common centaury - bright pink flowers, field gentian – purple flowers, bog pimpernel - pale pink flowers. This is the only site in Kintyre that supports the pyramidal orchid.

Consultation & Surveys

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

  • Scottish Natural Heritage
  • Argyll and Bute Council

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

Title Author Date View document
Birds Edward McGuire 2010/04/01 Download
Botanical Environmental Statement 2004/04/01 Download
Birds Environmental Statement 2004/04/01
Mammals Environmental Statement 2004/04/01
Invertebrates Environmental Statement 2004/04/01
Amphibians Environmental Statement 2004/04/01
Fungi Environmental Statement 2004/04/01
Breeding Bird Survey 2004/04/01
Fixed quadrat monitoring of roughs (ongoing) 2008/07/01 Download
Baseline surveys of flora, fauna and habitats 2004/04/01
National Vegetation Classification (NVC) 2004/04/01 Download
Fixed quadrat monitoring of fairways- (ongoing) 2007/07/01 Download
Inhouse- Recording of species sightings by staff and golfers, ongoing. Lizards, Otter,Roe Deer, Fox, Barn Owl and Heron so far. 2004/04/01
Description of habitats/vegetation types with plan- 2004 then updated for management plan in 2008. Calculation of natural/semi-natural areas. Natural - 62ha, Semi-natural - 7.5ha. 2004/04/01
Annotated list of key species found- 2004, then updated for management plan in 2008. Map populations of early marsh orchids, pyramidal orchids and small-fruited yellowsedge and annually monitor the orchids. 2008 and annually. 2004/04/01

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

  • Scottish Natural Heritage
  • Natural Resource Consultancy

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

Title Author Date View document
Fixed quadrant monitoring 2007-2011 Carol Crawford 2007/05/01 Download

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

Local name Scientific name
Pyramidal orchid Anacamptis
Frosted orache Atriplex lacinata
Sand couch Agropyron junceiforme
Sea rocket Cakile maritima
Small fruited yellow sedge Carex viridula spp. viridula.
Early marsh orchid (a), Dactylorhiza incarnata ssp. Coccinea. (b) D. incarnata ssp.
Lady’s bedstraw Galium verum
Wild thyme Thymus drucei
Frog Orchid Coeloglossum viride
Field Gentian Gentianella campestris
Bog Pimpernel Anagallis tenella
Ray’s knotgrass Polygonum raii
Moonwort Botrychium lunaria
Sand sedge Carex arenaria
False fox-sedge Carex otrubae
Common centaury Centaurium erythraea
Lesser meadow-rue Thalictrum minus
Wild pansy Viola tricolor
Skylark Alauda arvensis
Meadow pipit Anthus pratensis
Sand martin Riparia riparia
Wheatear Oenanthe oenanthe.
Peregrine Falco peregrinus
Short-eared owl Asio flammeus
Snow bunting Plectrophenax nivalis
Raven Corvus corvidae
Buzzard Buteo buteo
Otter Lutra lutra
Mink Mustela lutreola
Roe deer Capreolus capreolus
Six-spot burnet moth Zygaena filipendulae
Cinnabar moth caterpillars Tyria jacobaeae
Common blue butterfly Polyommatus icarus
Smooth- meadow grass
Lady’s bedstraw Galium verum
Bird’s-foot trefoil Lotus corniculatus
Self-heal Prunella vulgaris
Ribwort plantain Plantago lanceolata
Kidney vetch Anthyllis vulneraria
Yellow rattle Rhinanthus minor
Glaucous sedge Carex flacca
Meadowsweet Filipendula ulmaria
Lesser clubmoss Selaginella selaginoides
Moss Tortula ruraliformis ssp ruraliformis
Hen Harrier Circus cyaneu
Scotch Argus Erebia aethiops
Garden tiger moth Arctia caja
Emperor moth Saturnia pavonia

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

Local name Scientific name
Early marsh orchid (a), Dactylorhiza incarnata ssp. Coccinea. (b) D. incarnata ssp.
Pyramidal orchid Anacamptis

Habitats & Designations

This golf facility features the following landscape designations:

Description Designating Authority
Site of Special Scientific Interest Scottish Natural Heritage

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

Title Estimated Area (Hectares) Designation
Rough 'ecological' grassland 69.5 National Government
Wetlands 2 National Government


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

Estimated Area (Hectares) Turfgrass Species Sward Composition (%)
Greens 1.5 Hectares Festuca rubra 40%
Poa annua 60%
Tees 1.0 Hectares Festuca rubra 50%
Poa annua 50%
Fairways 20.0 Hectares Festuca rubra 70%
Poa annua 30%
Semi Rough 12.0 Hectares Festuca rubra 85%
Poa annua 15%

These turfgrasses are optimal for the circumstances at this club because:
In an environment where relatively inert, sandy rootzones combine with severely adverse weather and salt contamination, it is essential that we favour perennial fescues and bents over less resilient annual grasses. Perennial grasses that interact effectively with the biology of their rootzone require less input from irrigation, fertiliser and fungicides, reducing budgets while providing superior and significantly firmer year-round surfaces for our members and guests to play on.

This golf facility assesses mowing patterns every: Mowing patterns are mobile and are assessed constantly. We feel that assessing the frequency of cuts is as important as monitoring the overall area of managed grass. Leaving an area uncut for even one or two weeks can provide considerable savings. months

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

  • DMK Golf Design
  • Scottish Natural Heritage
  • Southworth Development

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 A management plan has been agreed with SNH which is strictly adhered to by greens staff. This agreement enables us to control irrigation and fertility levels in order to give fescues and bents the best chance of success, utilizing sensible heights of cut while still offering acceptable green speeds.
Promoting the playing quality values of more naturalized turf, particularly fairways and semi-rough The course has been cleverly marketed from day one by the owners as a bastion of ecological virtue. This allows us to work with our partners from SNH to provide a more natural playing environment than most golfers are used to without attracting criticism. Many visitors enjoy the refreshing change.
Promoting the financial benefits of presenting sustainable surfaces We find it easy to explain to our members that intensively managing golf surfaces is prohibitively expensive. Most golfers are behind our positive efforts to manage our fine turf areas in a more natural way, so long as the playing quality of the course is not compromised and their fees do not rise.
Improving customer understanding around greens maintenance We compose weekly reports for staff to ensure they know what work is being undertaken and why. We also produce monthly newsletters for members explaining our short and long term goals and we have found that they are proud to be involved in this process. We also publish photos on our facebook page.
Demonstrating the direct relationship between environmental best practice and year round high quality playing surfaces Our reports are consistent and leave the golfer in doubt about the sustainable direction we are heading in. It is not enough just to tell them though- we need to implement our reported improvements succesfully. Only then will our golfers enjoy an enhanced experience and champion our efforts.

Conservation & Enhancement

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

Activity Description
Allowing seasonal variation of course coloration and texture Our rough is full of heather and colourful flowers that change constantly throughout the seasons, so anything we can do to blend the managed areas of the course into the landscape helps to showcase the beauty of the site.We avoid striping fairways and fervently control irrigation and nutrient inputs.
Appropriately matching mowing lines to contours Topography as undulating as ours does not need blanket cutting, as natural contours will feed balls into certain areas. It makes sense to follow these slopes when mowing, not only to avoid catching and offending the eye, but also because it saves fuel and reduces tyre damage.
Protection and restoration of historic features The course contains standing stones that may date back to the Bronze Age, 2000 BC. These are listed as a scheduled ancient monument, the standing stones of Clochkeil. Situated in a sheltered circular hollow on the links, are three stones, two of which are erect.
Discreet on-course signage and furniture Long views created with seating areas enabling a real connection to the surrounding landscape, contoured cutting lines on mown areas to fit with landscape, attention to colours, styles, equipment, paths/roads, advertising, signage, furniture and materials used; e.g. for building
Conservation of specimen trees none
Screening and softening unsightly man-made features Practices include: screening of generator and caddie area with mounded landforms and planting, visual Impact Assessments carried out for all construction changes from buildings and bunkers to litter bins and avoidance of light pollution around buildings with low level motion sensor and timed systems

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 We view all rough areas not as amenity grass but as an ecological carpet. We stick rigidly to the management plan to cut these areas only when it improves the balance of nature - this fits the course`s original ethos. We restrict mowing between greens and tees and tees and fairways to one path width.
Increasing the size of habitat patches Allow rough vegetation to wrap around the back of tees and greens, new seasonal wetland areas created, reduced mowing areas and frequency to increase biodiversity. Creation of ecological corridors between habitat patches. Micro-habitat construction using deadwood, brush piles, stone piles. Holes 9, 18. Retained areas of untouched rough grassland as undisturbed breeding and foraging habitat for small rodents. Marram planting to stabalise tee banks, bunkers and definition of golf paths.Reinstatement of old tee positions to natural topography and vegetation cover. 2nd Hole Jan 2010.
Connection of internal habitat patches Reduced mowing areas and frequency to increase biodiversity. Reinstatement of bunkers within natural topography and vegetation cover.
Connection of patches with external habitats Marram planting to stabalise tee banks, bunkers and definition of golf paths
Creation of habitat corridors We stick to agreed maintenance tracks, which are designed to avoid breaks in habitat corridors. Animal/rodent populations can move around these areas unharmed and species diversity is not affected.
Avoidance of habitat fragmentation Avoiding total linear breaks ensures that animals can move around without being affected by the developement and coming into contact with golfers and maintenance staff. The dune slacks are fiercely protected as agreed in the management plan, to protect this particularly fragile environment.
Improving and diversifying habitat edges Improving the quality of golf paths has channelled golfers away from areas that would impact on flora and fauna. We constantly monitor mowing patterns to ensure that diversity is maintained and no individual species are impacted on.

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 Originally sheep were to be used to maintain the rough, but through data collection these areas were losing diversity. Trial plots through mechanical mowing and collection started in 2009, this was agreed to be the way forward and diversity through managing the rough properly has been restored.
Ecologically informed management of scrub vegetation Ragwort is hand picked during the season a percentage is left to encourage the population of the cinnabar moth. Thistles are also managed through weed wiping.
Promoting species and structurally diverse woodlands None within the site.
Establishment of littoral shelves and marginal vegetation in wetland areas Wetland areas are mown prior to the winter to maintain diversity, these areas tend to be out of play for golfers. These are monitored yearly for such plants as the Early Marsh Orchid.
Maintenance of an appropriate balance of open water and aquatic vegetation Wetland areas are not in play but are monitored annually with our partners at SNH, to ensure that species diversity is maintainedand that these species are given the opportunity to flourish. We have regularly mown and collected clippings in these areas to discourage ingress of agricultural grasses.
Naturalization of linear habitats The course was routed away from the ditches on the site which lead to the dune slacks, which ensures that they can be left unmaintained unless maintenance is requested by SNH. This ensures that small animals and rodents can continue to populate these areas.

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 15% of ragwort retained to ensure continued population of cinnabar moth
Installation of nest boxes Nesting boxes for wheatears situated at rocks near 18th fairway. Local schools helped in construction and monitored these.
Provision of feeding tables None
Control / management of alien species We avoid grass management which will alter the species composition of the site, and avoid bringing any non-indigenous seed onto the site. We carefully monitor levels of ragwort, thistles, etc. We leave most of our grass clippings in designated bays to be collected, so as not to encourage nettles.
Provision of hibernation areas The golf course was cleverly routed around existing ditches so that they could be left unmaintained to preserve the year-round habitat of smaller animals and rodents.
Creation of micro-habitats (eg log and stone piles) The sand bank adjacent to the path leading to the 15th tee is populated by sand martins and routing has been kept away from this. Stone piles have been situated near wheatear boxes at the 18th to encourage them further.


Machrihanish Dunes follows an environmentally responsible management approach to our water resources with the aim of minimising water use and protecting and enhancing water quality both on and off our golf course. Irrigation water from 19 well points is pumped a short distance to the course. This groundwater source is also used in the Golfhouse. Impoundment & Abstraction Licenses are obtained annually from SEPA. A modern and fully automatic irrigation system only operates at night. We only irrigate greens and tees when needed. Handwatering is carried out to optimise water efficiency in high winds. All waste water and runoff is directed to the catchment and treatment areas contained at MOD Machrihanish after leaving the property. We annually review Water Resource issues in conjunction with our environmental policy.

Sources & Consumption

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

Title Author Date View document
Water quality Greentech 2010/08/01 Download
Water Quality Sepa 2011/03/07

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

2013 Source(s) % of supply Total Consumption
Clubhouse(s) Public / Potable 100% 270,000 Litres
Golf Course Groundwater 100% 800,000 Litres
Maintenance Facility/Facilities Public / Potable 100% 162,000 Litres
2012 Source(s) % of supply Total Consumption
Clubhouse(s) Public / Potable 100% 240,000 Litres
Golf Course Groundwater 1,300,000 Litres
Maintenance Facility/Facilities Public / Potable 100% 160,000 Litres
2011 Source(s) % of supply Total Consumption
Clubhouse(s) Public / Potable 100% 220,000 Litres
Golf Course Public / Potable 100% 1,400,000 Litres
Maintenance Facility/Facilities Public / Potable 100% 160,000 Litres

Irrigation & Efficiency

The following areas receive irrigation at this golf facility:

Greens Weekly
Tees Weekly

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 3 years

Re-calibrated and checked for efficient application every 12 months

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

Activity Description
Selection of grass species Fescue and bent are specifically favoured in principle for their reduced need for water input. Our limited water resource demands continued use of fescues and bents,so we have introduced hard fescues into our tees mixture as it is even more drought tolerant than creeping red and chewings varieties.
Soil decompaction and thatch management Thatch buildup is currently minimal due to the sandy nature of the soil, if anything we try to bulk up organic matter in the rootzone to retain water. We use wetting agents and penetrants to ensure the rootzone does not go hydrophobic, as re-wetting soil can use a lot of water.
Timing and dose of water application Water at night whenever possible to maximise plants' use of water when their stress is lowered, this also minimises evaporation of water before the plant can use it. Water usage is monitored on specific greens,less is applied to some than to others. Hand hosing is favoured over automatic irrigation.
Analysis of soil moisture We have trialed a Steven`s Pogo and are considering this purchase to enable us to monitor soil moisture and e.c levels. Moisture analysis is currently done by eye,but historically water has only been applied when absolutely necessary as this favours the fescues and bents and disadvantages poa annua.
Incorporation of evapotranspiration rates and weather data Weather is studied daily and up to a week in advance. Water is not applied if rain is definitely due within 4-5 days. Evapotranspiration rates are monitored by eye and experience, and are offset against overnight temperatures and the projected speed and ferocity of drying winds.
Use of wetting agents We regularly use penetrants to ensure that soil does not become hydrophobic; this is our biggest potential waste of water. Retaining agents are not currently used, as this adds to the potential for salt contamination and compaction in the rootzone.
Overall reduction in irrigated area We have only a limited storage capacity for irrigation,so we always favour greens. Tees are irrigated occasionally, but our reliance on creeping red and hard fescues in over seeding mixes and the relatively high cut ensures that tees rarely need watered. Fairways and roughs receive no water.
Targeting of sprinkler heads Each sprinkler is checked for targeting regularly - most are adjusted to work with the prevailing wind but this is altered if an unusual wind is forecast for several days. Green sprinklers have 360 capability but very few spin further than 150 degrees.
Optimizing system pressure System pressure is pre-set, so water volumes are adjusted purely by timing. Some greens sit higher than others, these receive more water from a program to make up for reduced pressure, while sprinklers at lower sites which run with more pressure have their run times reduced accordingly.
Adoption of cutting edge nozzle technology Our Toro 360 degree sprinklers incorporate all the latest technology, the nozzles are adjustable for height and can be redistributed in the head for maximum efficiency in their specific site.

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

Activity Description
Low-flow urinals and toilets Currently negotiating revised lease with building owners, who also own all the fittings. We would hope to have this work undertaken once the lease is agreed, or if it is not agreed then our alternative plan for a new building (currently at the design stage) will contain these facilities.
Use of water efficient appliances Our new powerwasher has a very efficient on-off flow. We do not have any other appliances, apart from a kettle which is only used occasionally.
Use of efficient shower technology Shower facilities are available for staff to use if required, but this occurs very rarely. This shower is part of the fixtures and fittings as controlled by the owners under our lease agreement, and cannot be upgraded by our company. The golf house does not currently have shower facilities.
Repairing leaks The irrigation system indicates when leaks occur as the pump remains primed and gives a m3 reading of water being lost per minute. Sections of the system can then be isolated and the leak then identified. Water lost is kept to a minimum, and is strictly monitored and serviced.
Water awareness signage Staff are made aware of water conservation through their induction training and located signage. Signs are located at any point where water is extracted to remind staff of their responsibility to conserve water.


Machrihanish Dunes Golf Club is committed to carrying out an energy efficiency programme.The main objectives are as follows: to establish how much energy is being used;to compare externally to similar golf clubs and internally between departments and over time periods. Lead by example in awareness and energy efficiency.
Set performance targets and monitor success. Help place the golf sector in the forefront of the sustainability agenda by demonstrating environmentally responsible management.

Sources & Consumption

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

Title Author Date View document
Internal company wide audit Southworth Development 2012/08/01 Download

Consumption of renewable energy and resources at this golf facility:

2013 2012 2011
Wood from sustainable sources 0.5 0.5 0.5

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

2013 2012 2011
Diesel (Litres) 4500 4500
Natural Gas (Litres) 3972 3800 3650
Non-renewable Grid (kWh) 70000 34000 34000

Energy Efficiency

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

Activity Description
Adoption of green tariff grid supply N/A - always looking at other options
Installation of small scale wind turbine Potential pricing out.
Installation of photovoltaic and / or solar panels N/A at this moment
Use of geothermal and / or ground sources Have been approached on occasion - may look into it in the future.
Use of Liquified Petroleum Gas (LPG) In use at the Ugadale Hotel as a trial.
Use of biodiesel and /or ethanol Looking into options for golf maintenance.
Use of electric hybrid vehicles Currently due to severe nature of the undulations within the golf course - we are looking into different hybrids but currently, suitable options within the market are limited.
Use of recycled oils Course Manager is looking into this for 2015.

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

Activity Description
Investment in low-energy heating and air conditioning systems Shed upgrade is planned and numerous plans will be put in place to lower consumption. Current leased facility has problems and the lease program we have is uncertain for now. It's not an option for now to invest. The use of peat within the Golf House.
Optimizing thermostat levels for heating and refrigeration N/A
Enhancement of natural ventilation opportunities New ventilation in the Golf House is planned for winter 2014 with a natural inlet point.
Upgrading of building insulation The upgrading of Maintenance Facility or new construction to take place when current lease problem is sorted.
Use of natural light (e.g. sunlight pipes) N/A
Installation of low-energy lighting Low energy bulbs used throughout.
Use of motion sensor lighting Low energy timed/motion sensor lighting systems.
Transition to energy efficient appliances Insulation and steps to improve insulation and heating efficiency.
Use of timers with appliances, heating and lighting All heating systems within resort are timed apart from Golf House/Maintenance.
Educating staff and customers • Energy saving policies during induction.
• Company Background and aims.
Appropriate signage when needed.
Guest guide information.

Vehicles & Transport

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

Ride-on Mowers Walking Mowers Utility Vehicles
Petrol 100%
Diesel 100% 100%

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

Golf Carts Cars Buses
Diesel 100% 100%

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

Activity Description
Car sharing incentives Staff car-share system.
Use of shuttle bus if needed.
Group transportation (e.g. buses) Machrihanish Dunes shuttle bar transports golfers to and from the Dunes course and to and from our sister hotels. Encourage guests to stay at hotels and arrive via ferry/plane.
Secure cycle parking Available covered and secure bicycle storage at Royal Hotel and Golf House.
Promoting public transport routes and timetables All of the hotel and bar establishments contain bus timetables and taxi car numbers in order to promote public transport and to travel together.
Increasing equipment storage (e.g. lockers) Lockers are present though out our establishment for equipment storage purposes and personal items.
Staff showers N/A
Tax breaking incentives for cycling N/A
Promotion of walk to work campaigns N/A

Supply Chain

Machrihanish Dunes Golf Club informs suppliers of its environmental preferences.
We communicate to our supply chain all of our Green purchasing policies - to reduce consumption and resultant waste, with the aim of motivating our suppliers to do likewise.
Source locally from local producers and manufacturers. Restrict regular suppliers to fixed days to reduce transport miles. Ask our supplier to send goods in returnable containers where possible and to take empty packaging back when they deliver new stock.

Purchasing Policies

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

Activity Description
Measures to avoid waste at source All vendors are vetted and references required. All must have required licences and trading standards certificates. When possible we only use local distributors to reduce travel costs and impacts. When possible we recycle and/or make our own (ie benches/tee markers)
Use of local suppliers Machrihanish Dunes prides itself in sourcing products from local suppliers in and around Argyll and Bute. This helps reduce delivery costs, pollution and helps support local business' due to increased trade.
Use of local products Machrihanish Dunes prides itself in sourcing food from local suppliers. Use of natural items, e.g. Natural stone tee furnishings selected from local quarry, Driftwood directional markers sourced from adjacent shoreline. (ii) Green purchasing policies, communicated through our supply chain.
Selection of certified products Only use certified products through our Resort. Early vetting establishes this.
Use of recycled and recyclable products Emissions are reduced by purchasing recycled products, ranging from drink packaging and glass bottles to kegs and food packaging and paper and printer and toner cartridges. Packaging is re-used wherever possible.There are on site recycling stations at the golf house and maintenance.
Selection of products that feature minimal packaging Machrihanish Dunes aims to order products in bulk to reduce the packaging required to deliver these. Where appropriate this packaging is recycled. Many low volume fungicides and herbicides are now available which we favour wherever possible to reduce waste and pollution.
Use of accredited suppliers (e.g. ISO 14001) Only use suppliers with correct licences/permits.

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 6 4 2
Catering Supplies 2 1 1
Retail 3 3
Trade & Contractors 4 4
Maintenance Equipment 2 1 1
Course Supplies 2 1 1

Turfgrass Inputs

This golf facility undertakes the following IPM activities:

Activity Description
Encouraging drought and disease tolerant grasses Fescues and bents that minimise the use of irrigation water and nitrogenous fertilisers are encouraged. Hard fescues that thrive in a lean environment have been introduced into seed mixtures. Compost teas have been used to encourage soil bacteria to break down compounds into plant food sources.
Managing stress and wear Drought stress is controlled using wetting agents and watering is done at nights whenever possible. Insecticides are used in Autumn and Spring to control leatherjackets, which negatively impact on root developement. Organic products are used wherever possible as their softer action limits stress.
Enhancement of soil structure Aeration is undertaken regularly to reduce compaction and maximise airflow. Seaweed extracts, organic fertilisers and products conatining humic acid are used to naturally enrichen rootzones. Regular applications of a sandy topdressing are applied to the surface to build up a superior soil structure.
Optimization of the growing environment Regular soil samples are taken to analyse deficiencies, ensuring that applications are limited to those deemed absolutely necessary. Use of compost teas, humic acid based products and additives which augment the photosynthetic process reduce stress and therefore the plant`s need for excessive inputs.
Managing thatch levels Thatch levels are constantly monitored, but are currently considered manageable in almost all areas. Too little organic matter can be as destructive as too much, so we are wary to follow our own research and analysis results when planning works. Most of our aeration work is done with solid tines.
Managing surface moisture Morning dew is switched or brushed, breaking up water droplets where it can be collected into the rootzone before the sun rises and evaporation occurs. Removing dew from leaves also reduces the chance diease pathogens have of colonising these areas of the plant, reducing fungicide applications.
Establishing thresholds for pests and disease Wormcasts are tolerated until they become an issue for golfers. Diseases are allowed to survive until a problematic loss of coverage occurs, this not only reduces inputs but helps grasses build up tolerances and antibodies.
Scouting for pests and diseases All staff recieve training to enable them to identify damage from turf disease and from leatherjackets. This ensures that diagnosis of issues is instant and remedies can be applied using a minimum level of inputs.
Monitoring / improvement of plant health Use of compost teas, carbohydrate and amino acid based products, humic acids and organic topdressings ensure plants can be kept at optimum health without excessive use of nitrogenous fertilisers. Use of organic fertilisers where required reduce scorch and damage to delicate soil bacteria.

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

2013 2012 2011
Fairways - K - Inorganic 0 0 0
Fairways - K - Organic 0 0 0
Fairways - N - Inorganic 0 0 0
Fairways - N - Organic 0 0 0
Fairways - P - Inorganic 0 0 0
Fairways - P - Organic 0 0 0
Greens - K - Inorganic 0 0 0
Greens - K - Organic 85 50 50
Greens - N - Inorganic 0 0 0
Greens - N - Organic 85 100 100
Greens - P - Inorganic 5 0 0
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 0
Semi-Rough - P - Inorganic 0 0 0
Semi-Rough - P - Organic 0 0 0
Tees - K - Inorganic 0 0 0
Tees - K - Organic 32.5 30 30
Tees - N - Inorganic 0 0 0
Tees - N - Organic 55 50 50
Tees - P - Inorganic 4.5 0 0
Tees - P - Organic 0 0 0

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

2013 2012 2011
Fairways - Fungicide - Active Ingredient 0 0 0
Fairways - Fungicide - Total Weight 0 0 0
Fairways - Fungicide - Number of applications per year 0 0 0
Fairways - Herbicide - Active Ingredient 17 17 17
Fairways - Herbicide - Total Weight 40 40 40
Fairways - Herbicide - Number of applications per year 2 2 2
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 4.8 7 7
Greens - Fungicide - Total Weight 12 24 24
Greens - Fungicide - Number of applications per year 5 5 5
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 1.4 1.4 1.4
Greens - Insecticide - Total Weight 3 3 3
Greens - Insecticide - Number of applications per year 2 2 2
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 0 0 0
Tees - Fungicide - Total Weight 0 0 0
Tees - Fungicide - Number of applications per year 0 0 0
Tees - Herbicide - Active Ingredient 1.4 1.4 1.4
Tees - Herbicide - Total Weight 3.2 3.2 3.2
Tees - Herbicide - Number of applications per year 1 1 1
Tees - Insecticide - Active Ingredient 1.4 1.4 1.4
Tees - Insecticide - Total Weight 3 3 3
Tees - Insecticide - Number of applications per year 2 2 2

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

Activity Description
Selection on the least toxic and lest persistent products Wherever possible we try to use organic based fungicides like strobilurin that reduce residual damage in the rootzone and also reduce packaging waste. We avoid using herbicides wherever possible, hand weeding greens. The herbicides we do use have very simple and effective ingredients.
Selection of appropriate products for specific pests and diseases All staff can identify specific pests and diseases, and a simple Google search these days can isolate the correct product to treat that particular problem. We have our favourites, like chlorpyrifos for leatherjackets and strobilurin for fusarium, but we also monitor new advances in the marketplace.
Spot-treatment with handheld sprayers and wipers Thistles and other tall weeds in the rough areas are treated by wiping rather than direct spraying. This is done very rarely though - almost all thistles, ragwort etc will be pulled by hand for aesthetic as well as environmental reasons. After all, what golfer wants to look at a dying brown thistle!!
Calibration and testing of sprayers Regular servicing, calibration and upgrading of irrigation system. Knapsack and crop sprayers get regular replacement nozzles and are recalibrated every time this service gets done.
Use of shrouded sprayer and anti-drip nozzles Low/adjustable trajectory nozzles reducing wind effects. Use of shrouded Hardi push sprayer on days when wind is too high to control drift.
Non-chemical weed control Greens and tees are hand weeded on a regular basis for daisies etc. We avoid spraying herbicide on fine-turf areas whenever possible; history shows us it`s asking for trouble. Weeds can easily be controlled by hand if diligence is shown. The same applies to ragwort and thistle control in roughs.
Use of organic and biological products to improve plant health and resistance. Use of organic fertilizers on greens and tees only - no other fertilizer permitted on site. As course continues to matured and grow in we are reducing steadily the fertilizer input to continue to promote finer grasses.

Waste Management

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

Title Author Date View document
Waste Management Award STRI 2010/06/01

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 false false false
Metal false true false false
Paper & Cardboard false true false 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 Waste prevention via assessment of materials consumed and purchasing policies. Recycling and reuse through seperation and storage.
Establishment of recycling centers Recycling centres are present in our establishments. These are separated depending upon the material i.e. glass, cardboard, plastic.
Returning clipping to fairways and walkways Walkways have historically been weak and prone to damage from human and buggy traffic. Returning clippings to these areas has enriched the rootzone and biomass of these areas just enough to maintain the health and integrity of the turf, without encouraging the ingress of agricultural grasses.
Education of staff and customer education Education of staff in company waste procedures. Signage located in appropriate areas to prompt waste and water saving measures. Staff advised to limit individual Christmas cards to colleagues. Footer message on email to discourage unnecessary printing. Staff routing slips rather than several copies.
Waste awareness campaigns Cross-pollination of initiatives and waste philosophies across departments, facilities and interpretation within the global company structure. Obvious siting of colourful recycling bins that encourage staff and guests to use them.

Pollution Control

Machrihanish Dunes Golf Club aims to minimise its resource inputs and reduce pollution risks through environmentally sound management of turf achieving high quality playing surfaces.
Eighteen greens, practice putting green, pitching green, four tees per hole and driving range tee have established from 2008. Three greens have been turfed with all others grown in with fescue suitable for local soils and climate. All are constructed by shaping the existing pure sand. These greens consists primarily of fescue (Chewings and slender creeping red), brown top bent and annual meadow grass. Tees have the same composition as greens. Fairways are naturally occurring varieties. We sow greens and tees only, with fescue and brown top bent several times each year to reduce consumption of water, fertilisers and pesticides.
Results monitored constantly and annually reviewed in conjunction with our environmental policy.

Water Analysis

This golf facility monitors water quality with the following frequency:

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

Waste Water

Waste water from this golf facility is managed as follows:

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

Hazardous Materials

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

Secure Storage Registered Uplift
Detergents false true
Cooking Oils false true
Lubricants false true
Pesticide Containers true false
Fertiliser Bags false true
Oil Filters false true
Batteries false 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 Diesel is stored in an over ground tank on a concrete base with a bunded spill basin.
Petrol storage is in sealed containers in a separate room with catch basins.
Chemical storage is in a separate room in a secure chemical safe also with required bunded protection. All machines stored on hard stands
Maintenance of equipment on covered, sealed impervious areas Our workshop has a concrete floor and machines are stored on a concrete base when not in use. No machines are greased or have maintenance work carried out on them unless on concrete or tarmac, minimising the risk of pollution.
Mixing of pesticides and fertilizers in covered areas No pesticicides are mixed inside the shed, everything is done outside but under cover in the car-port area. No fertilisers are mixed on-site.
Mixing of pesticides and fertilizers over impervious surfaces Our sprayer is filled outside the main shed under a solid, drive-through, carport style roof. Any spillage can be contained on the concrete stand. No fertilisers are mixed on site, they are all spread straight from the bag.
Installation of above-ground fuel tanks Our diesel tank is relatively small and is a bunded unit situated on a concrete stand. We do not store any fuel or materials underground.
Installation of sufficient secondary containment for fuel Our diesel tank and chemical store are relatively new and are bunded in line with regulations.
Provision of containment booms and absorbent materials Detergents are available to clean up spills and sand is on site to soak up spilled liquids. This can then be disposed of by our preferred waste management company.

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 Using an integrated feeding policy that combines foliar as well as granular feeds ensures maximum utilisation of nutrients and reduces the amount of product leaching into the substrate. Careful application of granular feeds ensures that they can be watered in acceptably but remain in the rootzone.
Establishment of vegetative buffer strips around water bodies Not applicable, no water bodies on course.
Establishment of emergency spillage response plan All staff are trained to react to hydraulic oil spills, by moving to the rough using the most direct route and switching off the machine. Biodegradeable oil is used wherever possible. Our diesel tank and chemical store are bunded to contain spills. Staff are trained to clear up fuel spills.
Controlling erosion and sediment discharge Marram planting has always been undertaken at the course, and we have used this technique with great success on sea walls, bunker banks and teebanks. We are continually turfing rabbit scrapes and areas worn out by traffic to ensure that erosion does not get a grip.
Establishment of pesticide-free zones We have an agreed management plan with SNH, which includes strict guidelines for where we can and cannot apply pesticides.
Use of swales and bio-filters to slow and treat surface run-off The greens have been designed to reduce surface run-off, and our use of wetting agents aids this process further. We have no major water bodies on the course, so we have no need to introduce filtration equipment.


Our resort, including the golf course, cottages and two historic hotels that we restored in 2011-12, has created more than 110 new high-quality jobs for Kintyre and specifically Campbeltown, an area with a high rate of under-employment. We have directly supported many local charities and also resurrected The Kintyre Club, a charity fund-raising organisation which has itself raised more than £30,000 for local charities. Our international marketing has helped increase visitation to this remote part of Scotland dramatically, which has led to the creation of many other new private-sector jobs in the area. We have also lobbied for and won the introduction of additional transportation options to the area, including additional flights to Campbeltown Airport and direct CalMac ferry service to/from Ardrossan. These improvements have proved to be a boon for all area residents and businesses. Through our public relations efforts, we have brought media (writers, photographers, videographers, etc.) from all over the world to see this part of Scotland, including an August 2014 visit from the U.S. Golf Channel which will provide video coverage of Campbeltown in more than 60 million U.S. households during 2014 Ryder Cup coverage. The commitment to restoring the Ugadale and Royal Hotels, century-old icons in the community, was not taken without much consideration. The decision to keep these beloved old buildings and restore them -- at great cost -- was the right one, as they have played important roles in the lives of four generations of area residents. Today, they have regained their former glory and stand as testament to the area's rich history and future promise. Machrihanish Dunes has also been a key player in the effort to improve the Campbeltown Harbour facilities, an effort which is now being undertaken. This will provide yet another draw for visitors to the area, with subsequent economic benefits. We take great pride in being a good neighbour, now and always.

Employment & Education

Typical staffing levels at this golf facility are:

Full Time Part Time Seasonal
Club Management 2
Course Management 6 1 1
Food & Beverage 4 2
Retail & Leisure 1 1
Caddies 20

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

  • Owner
  • General Manager
  • Course Manager
  • Technical Specialist
  • Local Government
  • scottish natural heritage

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

Activity Description
Storage, application and disposal of pesticides All staff must have PA1/PA2 if involved with chemicals. Company puts all appropriate employees through required training.
Efficient water management Staff Induction, ongoing training and signage encourage this.
Management of accidents and emergencies Accident book in all departments / full time H&S officer / trained 1st Aiders in all Departments and a list of emergency numbers ready and available.
Management of habitats and vegetation Ecological induction to all new staff.
Waste minimization, separation and recycling Induction and training encourage this.
Health & Safety H&S induction to all new starts and a refresher every year.
Office monitors all departments constantly.
Energy Saving Signage/training and induction to make aware of policy.
Understanding of landscape and cultural heritage To all new starts during induction.
Environmental management planning 5-year management plan / close relationship with Scottish Natural Heritage and Local Council - all new/current employees are aware of these relationships and how they work.

Community Relations

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

Activity Description
Neighbours We have a good relationship with the surrounding farmers and quarry owner, helping to maintain access routes and sharing machinery. The whole community is very tight-knit, and we work with our neighbours to build up the whole community for the benefit of all.
Local Government Meet every September with officials from local government and SNH to discuss changes and procedures in relation to the agreed land management plan, which was drawn up during the planning application process.
Local Environmental Groups Meet regularly with members of GRAB trust (group for recycling in Argyll and Bute) to help with beach cleaning and marram planting projects. Meet on a regular basis with SNH to discuss changing environmental issues on the course and in the local area.
Local Community Groups Funds are constantly raised through the Kintyre Club, which are channeled into hosting and promoting local events and worthy causes within the community.
Media We are constantly in touch with media from around the world. Mach Dunes has hosted numerous media FAM visits from journalists from not just the UK and US but Canada, Sweden, Germany, Japan, Austria, Australia, China and other countries. They have heard and passed on our "green" golf message.
Local Businesses We support local businesses whenever possible. South Kintyre is a fairly isolated community and because of this it is very self-sustainable, with many useful businesses thriving in the area. We reduce transport costs by using these companies and build good working relationships into the bargain.
Schools & Colleges We have had many school visits, and our team of greenkeepers have held marram planting workshops which have taught local children the value of protecting the dune structure. Many 3rd year pupils have done their week of work experience at the golf course, and we continue to encourage this.

Land Use & Cultural Heritage

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

Activity Description
Maintenance of existing public paths Look after the public access to the beach - meet every quarter with the local residents association.
Creation of new paths and nature trails The beach access we maintain is the preferred access as noted by SNH. We try to actively discourage access from other points of the site to minimise erosion through non-golf areas. This is done in a positive way by making access from our preferred point as easy and attractive as possible.
Installation of effective and welcoming signage Installed signage for public access and notice board. Welcome all visitors to the Golf House for refreshments.
Providing opportunities for other recreation (e.g. fishing) Access to beach for surfers/walkers and bird watchers.
Partnership conservation and access projects (e.g. community woodland) Work with the GRAB trust beach renovation project / local Scottish Natural Heritage with some marram planting projects
Continuation of traditional agricultural activities Sheep grazing to maintain rough.

The following archaeological and heritage surveys have been carried out at this golf facility:

Title Author Date View document
Golf House Constuction GAURD 2008/12/06

This golf facility consults the following organizations regarding the conservation of cultural heritage:

  • Scottish Natural Heritage

This golf facility undertakes the following activities to conserve cultural heritage features:

Activity Description
Buildings (Listed Buildings / Ancient Monuments etc) Standing stones area is protected, any new builds within 2000 yards of these have to conduct an archaeological dig beforehand. (i.e golf house)
Archaeology (Settlements / Agricultural System etc) Standing Stones.
Historic Features (Hedgerows / Dykes / Moats / Cairns etc) N/A


This golf facility undertakes the following internal environmental communications:

Activity Description
Provision of newsletters, notice boards & poster display Notice boards at the Golf Course for visitors/members, members news letter monthly, Kintyre Club members news letter monthly and a staff news letter monthly along with eblasts with updates and offers to our email data base. PR releases when needed.
Members evenings and course walks Numerous Schools have taken part in tours/walks and projects.
Course guides / brochures Course guide provided along with information on the ecology side of the golf course.
Interpretation panels & course signage Looking into course signage close to areas of significance.
Establishment of a nature trail N/A - Not allowed through SSSI

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

Activity Description
Website, press releases & brochures We maintain a robust website that includes in-depth material on the significance of the golf course's site and its place in today's global effort toward sustainable golf practices. This information is included in almost everything we do -- we see it as our most positive point-of-difference.
Supporting campaigns Beach clean and public access
Course walks / open days Schools send students on ecological field trips - help with everything from marrum planting / installing wheater boxes / monitoring and site cleans.
Attending community meetings Local Residents meeting / protecting the beaches in south Kintyre group
Joint practical projects with community Beach cleans / marram planting projects on the dune system