St Andrews Links

GEO Certified® 11/2011 GEO Re-Certified 12/2014
St Andrews,
Scotland, United Kingdom
Telephone: +44 (0)1334 466676

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 is a key area of…

Mike Wood, GEOSA, Accredited Verifier Read verifier 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
The Old Course (18 holes, 7100 yards, year opened 1750)
The New Course (18 holes, 6800 yards, year opened 1910)
The Jubilee Course (18 holes, 6700 yards, year opened 1912)
The Eden Course (18 holes, 6300 yards, year opened 1930)
The Balgove Course (9 holes, 2700 yards, year opened 1930)
The Stratyhtyrum Course (18 holes, 5905 yards, year opened 1930)
2 Clubhouse(s)
2 Maintenance Facility/Facilities
1 Pro Shop
1 Practice Facility/Facilities
1 Halfway House(s)
1 Other
1 Other


St Andrews Links is the home of golf, where the game was first played 600 years ago. Synonymous with both The Open Championship and The R&A, The Old Course is the most famous eighteen holes in world golf. Its landscape features have directly inspired virtually every golf course in the world today. It pioneered the early aesthetic of golf architecture and remains hugely influential.
Photographs and television pictures of the Swilcan bridge and the R & A Clubhouse with the St Andrews skyline of spires, Hamilton Hall (now St Andrews Grand) and Martyrs monument in the background is probably the most recognisable landscape in golf.

Of the six golf courses, The Jubilee is closest to the sea and features an extensive dune system. Indigenous links grasses flourish in these areas. A SSSI-designated primary dune system is growing at the northern tip of The Eden Peninsula. Gorse habitat and open grassland areas are extensive on The Links supporting brown hare, grey partridge, kestrel, various invertebrates and mammals.

St Andrews Links features rare and notable birdlife including swift, skylark, whitethroat, song thrush, yellowhammer, linnet, bullfinch and grey partridge, many in large numbers relative to the surrounding land. In total, the golf courses provides a stable, managed habitat for over 45 species of birds.

Stone dykes provide a habitat for Stoats and Weasels which use the gaps at ground level to nest. The grasslands have small tunnels created by mammals such as Field Mice, Voles and Shrews which take cover in the denser, tussocky patches of rough. Where gorse has been removed bare sand areas are being maintained to accelerate nutrient leaching and sustain niche habitats. These sandy areas are important for mining bees, wasps and basking amphibians.

On all courses great attention is given to cutting lines and how they look and fit in with the contours of the landscape. These contours are natural hazards which can aid or hamper the golfer. The buildings on the links have been designed for low impact and finished in colours which help them blend with the surroundings.

The Links are adjacent to the Eden Estuary which is a Natura 2000 site and also designated a SPA, SAC and SSSI, (as is the West Sands beach).

Consultation & Surveys

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

  • Historic Scotland
  • Fife Council

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

Title Author Date View document
Gorse Management Plan Mr Bob Taylor 2005/07/01
Eden estuary beach recharge study Posford/Duvivier/SNH 1999/10/01
Assessment of performance of gabion and sand recharge work at Outhead, St Andrews Links Dr Jack Jarvis 2003/03/01
Assessment of performance of gabion and sand recharge work at Outhead, St Andrews Links Dr Jack Jarvis 2004/03/01
Assessment of performance of gabion and sand recharge work at Outhead, St Andrews Links Dr Jack Jarvis 2005/03/01
Assessment of performance of gabion and sand recharge work at Outhead, St Andrews Links Dr Jack Jarvis 2006/07/01
Coastal flooding and storm surges Dr Jack Jarvis 2008/03/01
EIA for proposed beach nourishment of Outhead, St Andrews Links Les Hatton, Eden Ecology Ltd 2008/05/01
EIA Exec Summary for proposed beach nourishment of Outhead, St Andrews Links Les Hatton, Eden Ecology Ltd 2008/05/01
Annual Ecological Assessment of the Old Course Bob Taylor - STRI 2011/06/07
Investigating the impacts of recharging the coastline at Outhead, West Sands, St Andrews Dr Emma Defew, Sediment Ecology Research Group 2008/01/20
Saltmarsh restoration on the Eden estuary Clare Maynaqrd St Andrews Uni. Sediment ecology group 2012/02/28 Download
Grazing at Outhead, Grassland survey Richard Pennington, volunteer 2014/08/08 Download

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

  • Sports Turf Research Institute (Ecology unit)
  • Fife Coast and Countryside Trust
  • Scottish Environmental Protection Agency
  • St Andrews University, Geology and Geosciences Group
  • Scottish Natural Heritage
  • David Bell, Ecologist
  • Les Hatton, Ecologist
  • Fife Council Coast and Countryside Trust

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

Title Author Date View document
Birdlife STRI 2007/08/01
Botanical - New & Jubilee Courses STRI 2007/08/01
Botanical - Eden, Strathtyrum & Balgove Courses David Bell 1994/08/08
Phase 1 Habitat Survey Kate Morrison
NVC Survey of Eden Course David Bell 2000/05/23
Open Championship 2010 - Ecological Survey & Assessment - Old Course STRI 2009/05/05
Bird Survey of the Old Course Graeme Walla & R Strachan 2010/08/01
Bat Survey Ranald Strachan 2011/03/10
Moth Survey of the Old Course Ranald Strachan 2011/03/10
Salt Marsh Grasses on Eden estuary Clare Maynard, St Andrews Uni 2011/03/11
Ecological report on the Old Course Bob Taylor, STRI 2011/06/07 Download
Ecological presentation to Local Golf Club members Bob Taylor, STRI 2011/11/29 Download
Ecological report on the Old Course Bob Taylor, STRI 2013/09/10 Download
Ecological report on the Old Course Bob Taylor, STRI 2012/04/03 Download
Operation Pollinator report for the Eden Course Bob Taylor STRI 2012/09/17 Download
Operation Pollinator report for the Eden Course Bob Taylor STRI 2013/08/27 Download

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

Local name Scientific name
Brown Hare Lepus europaeus
Skylark Alauda arvensis
Marsh orchids
Purple Milk vetch
Grey Partridge Perdix perdix
Maiden Pinks

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

Local name Scientific name
Grey Partridge Perdix perdix
Saltmarsh grass (Eden estuary) Puccinellia maritima
Sea Club Rush (Eden estuary) Bolboschoenus maritimus
Pipestrelle bats Pipistrellus pipistrellus

Habitats & Designations

This golf facility features the following landscape designations:

Description Designating Authority
Conservation Area around holes 1 & 18 of the Old Course Fife Council

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

Title Estimated Area (Hectares) Designation
Rough 'ecological' grassland 85 None
Scrub Vegetation 70 None
Native Woodland 4 None
Non Native Plantation Woodland None None
Wetlands 0.1 None
Open Water Features 0.3 None
Heather and other dwarf shrub communities 3.1 None


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

Estimated Area (Hectares) Turfgrass Species Sward Composition (%)
Greens 9.3 Hectares Festuca rubra 40%
Agrostis tenuis / capillaris 30%
Tees 8.0 Hectares Agrostis tenuis / capillaris 40%
Festuca rubra 40%
Fairways 66.0 Hectares Agrostis tenuis / capillaris 20%
Festuca rubra 70%

These turfgrasses are optimal for the circumstances at this club because:
St Andrews Links is steeped in tradition with the Old Course being credited as where golf began. Our aim therefore on the course is to retain those traditions and produce a high quality fescue and bent turf for golf where possible while keeping any impact on the environment to a minimum by using cultural methods where practical. We assess each area to determine what the best approach is to manage the problem. We have little disease or pest pressures. We spray fairways with a selective herbicide once/year if required.

This golf facility assesses mowing patterns every: 12 months

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

  • Spots Turf Research Institute including their ecology division
  • Scotia Seeds who produce native seed in Scotland

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 Our aim is to continue to present the courses at St Andrews in the manner they have tradionally been. That involves minimum inputs of water, fertiliser, grass types and carrying out traditional cultural maintenance practices following consultations.
Promoting the playing quality values of more naturalized turf, particularly fairways and semi-rough We continually highlight the manner in which we maintain the courses, either in publications or giving presentations to various groups both here or around the world. We have also used mediums such as television and radio to prmote our practices.
Promoting the financial benefits of presenting sustainable surfaces The finacial aspects are usually referred to in the material above
Improving customer understanding around greens maintenance We try and reach as diverse an audience as possible through different publications, golf magazines and our external and internal newletters not just industry press. TV/radio programmes have been general interest ones. Spoken at Rotary and similar organisations.

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 fertiliser and irrigation polocies blend perfectly with the turf showing its seasonal variations of colour and texture. We do not carry out any practice which would prevent this.
Appropriately matching mowing lines to contours Our mowing lines follow the contours of slopes where it is deemed appropriate for areas to be left as fairway or semi rough. We avoid any striping of fairways and semi rough
Protection and restoration of historic features The March stones define the original boundry of what was the Old Course and as things have evolved over the years, some of them are now on areas of what is now the New and Eden Courses. These have been mapped to ensure they are not lost through time.
A fountain installed for Quenn Victoria's Jubilee is maintained although not as a drinking fountain.
The Swilcan Bridge is an iconic landmark and one of the most photographed items in the world of golf.
Discreet on-course signage and furniture It is our policy to keep signage to a minimum and if possible have it mounted on the tee boxes. Any furniture on the courses is made of either wood or recycled material and painted in a manner it fits with the surroundings.Replacement furniture is made from reclaimed hardwood.
Conservation of specimen trees There are only a handful of trees on the golf courses and they are maintained as they are strategic. None of them are unusual or irreplacable. The trees around the Eden Clubhouse are protected by TPO and are checked on a regular basis. If one of these is damaged or blown over then we replace it with at least one other, usually a variety such as Scots Pine.
Screening and softening unsightly man-made features We have used soil and sand to replicate dunes to help screen buildings as well as planting gorse to do similar.
Bruce Embankment In 2004, we were equal partners with the R & A golf club, Fife Council and Scottish Enterprise Fife in the renovation of the Bruce Embankment which runs alongside the 1st hole of the Old Course. This was a £1.6milion project where the embankment walls were repaired and refurnished and the road widened slightly to better accomodate tourist buses and heavy vehicles delivering materials for future Open Championships.
West sands improvement, phase 2 As an extension of the Bruce embankment project, in 2009 we again partenered the R & A golf club and Fife Council in the improvement of the adjoining section of West sands road. The project, which cost £1.2 million improved the road to a standard where it could be adopted and maintained by Fife Councils transportation dept and improved the car parking facilities. The project also included the reinstatement of a sand dune at the begining of the west sands which was earlier lost to erosion by the seas and which we planted in seas lyme and marram grasses.

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 Fairway widths and sizes remain constant over time. We are currently selecting some areas of rough where we plan to introduce native wild flowers.
Increasing the size of habitat patches By removing gorse from areas which was begiing to dominate the site we are increasing the amount of dune grassland which was precviously being lost. We have also recently transpanted heather from one area to try and reintroduce it in other places. This belt also screens the cycle track from the main road.

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 Rough grassland areas are mapped and cut back on a 3 year cycle with the clippings removed to produce a thinner sward to the benefit of ground nesting birds. These areas are also scarified on occasion to thin them out further. This has had the effect of wild flowers coming into these areas and in 2011 we have held with Scotia seeds to a view of introducing a greater variety of wild flowers.
Ecologically informed management of scrub vegetation Within our gorse management plan it is our intention to remove the gorse and bracken from the major dunes on the Jubilee course and return them to natural grasslands with marram, sea lyme grasses and fescues.
Promoting species and structurally diverse woodlands The native tree belt and hedgerow planted alongside the A91 in the mid 1980's provide a strong linear and edge habitat structure.
Maintenance of an appropriate balance of open water and aquatic vegetation Management of reeds is ongoing to keep a balance between these and open water.
Naturalization of linear habitats Native trees and a hedgerow have been planted between the course and the main trunk road into St Andrews. This has created a natural habitat for wildlife as well as reduce the visual impact of traffic coming and leaving town and the associated noise.
Grassland Management Rough grassland areas are mapped and cut back on a 3 year cycle with the clippings removed to produce a thinner sward to the benefit of ground nesting birds. These areas are also scarified on occasion to thin them out further.

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 In 2011 we became involved in Operation Pollinator, setting aside a couple of small out of play areas where we cut, scarified and collected the grass which was mostly cocksfoot, ryegrass and other coarse varieties. This was then sprayed with a graminicide, scarified further to produce a tilth and sown with wild flower mix of indigenous species. Since then we have extended these areas, often without using the graminicide and now have over 6 Ha of wild flower areas.
Installation of nest boxes Bat, bird and owl boxes have been fixed to trees in the grounds of Pilmour House to encourage nesting. Some of the owl boxes were made by a local charity which supports disabled people.
Provision of feeding tables Nuts are placed in feeder tubes at a couple of locations by some of the office staff to encourage smaller birds.
Control / management of alien species Sycamores are removed from the golf courses as they appear because they are considered out of place in the landscape and ecosystem.
Staff from the Links Trust have helped the Coast and Countryside Ranger from Fife Council remove scrub and trees such as willow from the dunes system on the West sands beach.
Creation of micro-habitats (eg log and stone piles) When cutting gorse in areas well out of play the odd pile of the larger stems are left.
gorse management We try to manage the gorse in a manner that leaves it in various different stages of its growth cycle across the courses. We work to a plan managing different areas dependent on what we want to acheive taking care to avoid the bird nesting season.
curved sedge Historical records show that in the 1970's curved sedge ( a nationally rare and declining species), was a feature on areas of the Links. In 2011 we are working with an ecologist to try and re introduce this plant to an area of the Jubilee course.
gorse planting In the 1990's, once the course was opened for a few years, gorse was planted in some areas of the rough of the Strathtyrum course to seperate some holes and give greater definition, habitat and landscape value.
Beach recharge In 2001 and in 2009, sand recharges of a stretch of the Eden estuary adjacent the 8th hole of the Jubilee course was undertaken to prevent erosion. Marram and sea lyme grasses were planted to prevent/ reduce wind blow.
Dune establishment In 2010, along with Fife Council and the R & A Golf Club, the Links Trust were partners in rebuilding a dune at the east end of the West sands, taking the sand from a developing spit at the mouth of the Eden estuary and planting the new dune with marram and sea lyme grasses before fencing the area off to prevent erosion from foot traffic
Gabion baskets A section of the coastline along the Eden estuary was protected by gabions baskets in the 1970's (replacing a wooden railway sleeper style wall) to prevent parts of the courses being washed away. Ongoing work takes places to repair and sections following consultation with SNH and Fife Council.
sand martin habitat Every year around February/March we prepare a banking in our composting area suitable for sand martins to nest.


All irrigation water used on the golf courses at St Andrews Links comes from a series of boreholes. It is measured by meter upon entering the storage tank, and also on electricity charges. The irrigation season runs from April until September/October. All water used in the clubhouses, offices, greenkeeping centres, practice centre, on-course toilets and drinking fountains is mains water. Regular borehole checks are made by either the University of St Andrews or Scotts UK and monitored against recommended parameters.

Annual rainfall records are compiled from our own on-course weather station and from measuring jugs. Average annual rainfall in the area is historicaly in the region of 685 mm. Course managers all use moisture metres to monitor moisture levels on greens x3/week in summer.

We have a state of the art irrigation system, with the capability of providing irrigation water to greens, surrounds, tees and fairways. We, however try and minimise it's use and promote, dry firm links conditions. We supplement any irrigation applied by handwatering dry spots, and the use of wetting agents.

Irrigation water is passed through a sulphur burner and ph monitored in the tank, ph is also monitored at sprinkler heads by the Course Manager. Drainage water can be monitored at various outlets around the course. There are no spray zones around the different water courses on the Links in compliance with current legislation.

At the moment we are looking at collecting rainwater from our largest maintenance building at the Jubilee sheds which we could feed into our irrigation storage tank nearby. (Completed in 2013)
We are also carrying out an audit of our irrigation system to see if there are sprinklers where we can either remove or reduce the arc of throw to save irrigating areas of gorse or rough grasslands. Any sprinklers removed will be recycled and used as spares to replace worn or damaged ones elsewhere on the courses. (Completed in 2013 and scheduled to be repeated in 2015).
We have 10 large buildings across the site which house over 200 staff and have a throughput of probably over 1 million customers/year. We also have numerous satellite buildings, (on course toilets for example). All use mains water which comes onto the site from different places and although it is all metered we don't have the ability to determine exactly how much water each building uses.

Sources & Consumption

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

Title Author Date View document
Irrigation System Audit Gordon McKie, Course Manager, Old Course 2011/12/02
Irrigation System Audit Graeme Taylor, Course Manager, New Course 2011/08/26
Irrigation System Audit Graeme Taylor, Course Manager, Jubilee Course 2012/06/27
Irrigation System Audit Kevin Muir, Course Manager, Eden Course 2012/06/27

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% 3,465,410 Litres
Golf Course Groundwater 95% 125,682,496 Litres
Surface 5%
Maintenance Facility/Facilities Public / Potable 100% 1,439,040 Litres
Other Public / Potable 100% 2,491,650 Litres
2012 Source(s) % of supply Total Consumption
Clubhouse(s) Public / Potable 100% 3,169,810 Litres
Golf Course Groundwater 98% 41,060,300 Litres
Surface 2%
Maintenance Facility/Facilities Public / Potable 100% 1,591,240 Litres
Other Public / Potable 100% 2,592,950 Litres
2011 Source(s) % of supply Total Consumption
Clubhouse(s) Public / Potable 100% 3,088,810 Litres
Golf Course Groundwater 100% 71,137,000 Litres
Maintenance Facility/Facilities Public / Potable 100% 936,240 Litres
Other Public / Potable 100% 2,225,950 Litres

Irrigation & Efficiency

The following areas receive irrigation at this golf facility:

Greens Weekly
Tees Weekly
Fairways Weekly
Semi-Rough Weekly
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 Any seed used in repair work or on overseeding programmes are either a Fescue/Bent mix or a pure Fescue, both species are drought tolerant. We consistently choose the varieties near the top of the STRI trials for drought and disease tolerance.
Soil decompaction and thatch management Aeration is one of our main cultural programmes using a mixture of deep tine, shallow solid tine, slitting or water injection throughout the course of the year depending on ground conditions and the season. We aim to aerate a minimum of 8 times/year.
Timing and dose of water application We base our irrigation prog on weather forecasts, transevaporation figures and experience. 90% of our irrigation is applied at night to reduce evaporation and when it is affected less by wind. Sometimes the application is split to prevent run off.
Analysis of soil moisture We use a moisture meter and through dry spell will check the greens a minimum of twice/week. This is also used in determining water timings & applications (see above). We try to maintain moisture levels at between 10 & 15% for optimum performance.
Incorporation of evapotranspiration rates and weather data A weather station on site gives us evapotranpiration figures and the irrigation computer is based on an average figure of 3% loss/day during the summer months (taken from historical records)
we use a number of varoius websites for weather forecasts.
Use of wetting agents All greens are on a wetting agent programme through summer and on the Old Course this spreads onto surrounds.
We have trialled various products and feel our current one is as good as ther eis available based on indepentend research by STRI.
Overall reduction in irrigated area Following an internal irrigation audit in 2013 we removed numerous sprinklers which were watering areas of rough and reduced the arcs of many others which again were watering areas that did not necessarily require irrigated.
Targeting of sprinkler heads The current system was designed and installed in 2000. It was state of the art and in 2011 we are surveying with a plan to make adjustments to arcs to prevent unneccesary watering of gorse or rough grasslands as well as removing sprinkers no longer deemed to be required.
Optimizing system pressure Because we have such a large system, covering 99 holes, this is difficult to acheive. However, as well as the 4 main pumps we have a jockey pump which kicksin and out to regulate the pressure to give optimum performance at the sprinkler. we replaced our pumo set in the spring of 2014 with new pumps which are more efficient.
Adoption of cutting edge nozzle technology Nozzles are checked during annual review and replaced if damaged. the system was installed in 2000 so they are still relatively new considering we only irrigate during 6 months of the year
Audit of irrigation system In 2011 we are undertaking an audit of our system and removing sprinklers which we feel are unneccesary or in places retrofitting the nozzles to replace full circle ones with ones that throw 180% or have adjustable arcs to reduce our water comsumption.

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

Activity Description
Low-flow urinals and toilets We tried waterless urinals for a 3 year period in 2005 - 2008 but they proved to be unsuccessful.
Newer cisterns are dual flush.
Use of water efficient appliances We have a number of push concussive taps in the Clubhouses and also the in the on course toilets to prevent taps being left on.
Use of efficient shower technology The heads on the showers in the LCH are water saving as are the control valves
Repairing leaks We have our own plumber and leaks are repaired as detected.
On the irrigation system, the water flow is monitored and any leak is quickly detected as water can been seen to be leaving the system.
Audit of irrigation system In 2011 we are undertaking an audit of our system and removing sprinklers which we feel are unneccesary or in places retrofitting the nozzles to replace full circle ones with ones that throw 180% or have adjustable arcs to reduce our water comsumption. Completed 2013.
New Buildings - The Old Pavilion and The Caddie Pavilion In our two latest buildings (opened April 2014), we have introduced Passive Infra Red (PIR) controlled taps and urinal flushing so that they only flush when used as opposed when a cistern fills up and automatically flushes.
Links Clubhouse Showers In 2013 we successfully fitted shower restrictors to reduce the cold water usage at LCH with no difference to the ‘feel’ of the shower.
Better recording In 2013 we began adding additional water meters at various points where possible to monitor individual component usage from an energy efficiency and legionella point of view.- A long term project.
Repairing leaks Through the defect reporting procedure that the Technical Services Manager introduced in 2013, leaks are repaired immediately to prevent water wastage
Sedum Roof on The Morris building The irrigation on the TMB roof (which is Sedum), is controlled by a timer and is a ‘weep’ based system designed to use less water. This building opened in April 2013 and is where we store all the merchandise for our retail operations along with goods/consumables for other departments and is also home to our Media and Marketing departments.
new irrigation pump set In the spring of 2014 we replaced all our pumps for the irrigation system that services all the courses on the Links. the existing pump set was 14 years old and although still reliable there was no longer a distributor in the UK which was causing concern in the event there might be a problem cropped up in the future with regards spare parts and repairs. the new pump set is much more energy efficient.
Collecting rainwater In 2013 we installed a method of collecting rainwater from 75% of the roof of the Jubilee maintenane facility, an area of approx 150m2. the water is diverted into the irrigation tank. we did look at using the water to flush toilets etc within the building but to fit this retrospectively into an old building was problematic


The policy for energy consumption is to efficiently control electricity use and strive to reduce fuel consumption wherever possible. Electric vehicles are used where possible and diesel fuel rather than petrol.

All petrol consumption is strictly monitored and recorded as required under current legislation. Light sensors have been used as much as practically possible in non-public areas such as Staff Canteen with energy saving light bulbs installed throughout the building to conserve as much energy as possible.

We have taken certain energy and carbon reducing steps in the Links Clubhouse (which was built in 1995), such as fitting both Ecoflow magnets (10) and Savastat Controls to gas heating boilers. Where possible, energy saving lightbulbs have replaced existing bulbs. Furthermore, to reduce water usage, we have installed dual flush units in toilets.
All buildings are double glazed and the insulation is what was required when the buildings were built (the oldest substantial buildingwas built in 1995)
In the kitchen an additional kitchen waste tank has been installed to contain and manage liquid kitchen waste prior to pumping to main sewer; this reduces total pump usage.

In 2010, after a trial period, we installed a voltage optimization unit in the Links Clubhouse which will reduce carbon emissions and is projected to save £3000.00 per year on electricity. This will be assessed to determine if it would benefit our our two clubhouses.

Policy for dealing with grass clippings. Clipping of greens/tees and aprons are collected at all times. Fairways clippings are collected 95% of the time. All clippings are deposited in paved areas, generally at each green/tee complex and collected from there on a weekly basis (or more/less frequently depending on growth /amount). They are then transported to storage areas and mixed with sand, soil and other materials, old bunker faces etc. and composted to be used again later in things such as divot mix, packing behind bunker faces, topdressings and in construction work.
In April 2011 we took ownership of the Tom Morris golf shop (dating back to the 1880's) and after refurbishment the new lighting is all LED.

Sources & Consumption

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

Title Author Date View document
Energy efficiency audit J D Wightman 2002/01/17

This golf facility does not consume any renewable energy or resources.

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

2013 2012 2011
Diesel (Litres) 86000 88500 76500
Heating Oil (Litres) 1000 1000 1000
Hydraulic Oil (Litres) 1000 1000 1800
Non-renewable Grid (kWh) 1654012 1654012 1654012
Petrol (Litres) 9000 9000 11000

Energy Efficiency

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

Activity Description
Installation of photovoltaic and / or solar panels In 2013 we installed solar panels on the roofs of 1 of our maintenance facilities. We have restricted this to the 1 site for fear of damage by errant golf balls and from an asthetic point of view as well as suitable sites. The work was too late to get a meaningful figure for 2013 but we will be able to record this going forward. The energy produced goes straight to the National grid for which we receive a payment.
Use of electric hybrid vehicles we have a number of electric vehicles on the groundstaff and most of the small buggy fleet we have are electric.
Kerosene We use 1,000 litres of Kerosene each year to power the steam cleaners at the Jubilee and Eden maintenance facility and to operate the space heater in the Jubilee maintenance facility in the wintertime.

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

Activity Description
Optimizing thermostat levels for heating and refrigeration Savaastats fitted to all gas heating boilers at both the Links Clunhouse and Eden Clubhouse.
Enhancement of natural ventilation opportunities this was built into the Links clubhouse at the time of construction in 1994
Upgrading of building insulation Plantroom in the Links Clubhouse was completed in 2010/2011.
partialy done in Eden clubhouse.
Use of natural light (e.g. sunlight pipes) Extra windows fitted to the workshop at the Jubilee sheds in 2009.
most buildings have good natural light, particularly the Clubhouses and the Golf Practice centre.
Installation of low-energy lighting The Caddie Pavilion and a number of other buildings have fitted with energy saving lighting over the past 4 years.
Golf Practice Centre external 1000 watt sodium lamps replaced with more efficient 400 watt lamps, internally 500 watt halogen lamps replaced with low energy lamps.
Tom Morris Golf Shop, the new lighting installed in 2011 is LED.
Use of motion sensor lighting these have been fitted to many non public area, greenkeeping sheds mess rooms etc over the past 4 years. Still areas, foyers etc to be fitted.
our neweast shop, Tom Morris, is fitted out with low energy L E D lighting.
Transition to energy efficient appliances When replacing new equipment such as fridges the energy efficient models are considered. Over the past few years, all appliances have been replaced to 'A' rated ones.
Use of timers with appliances, heating and lighting Many of the outside lights in particulatr are on timers. heating systems including hot water are on timers.
Educating staff and customers The energy saving trust came and gave a presentation to the staff from various departments in 2010 when 30+ people attended.
IT servers In 2010, we introduced a technique called \"virtualisation\" to our IT systems. This has reduced the physical number of servers we use from 20 to 13 saving us electricity in running & cooling costs. We reckon we can reduce this to only 8 or 9 physical servers in the next 12-18 months reducing our carbon costs yet further.

Vehicles & Transport

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

Ride-on Mowers Walking Mowers Utility Vehicles
Petrol 100% 13%
Diesel 100% 67%
Grid Electric 20%

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

Golf Carts Cars Buses
Petrol 12% 13%
Diesel 87%
Grid Electric 88%

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

Activity Description
Car sharing incentives There is no car sharing incentive although some staff do share lifts.
Group transportation (e.g. buses) We contract a company to shuttle our customers by minibus from one part of the complex (Links Clubhouse) round past the 1st tee of the Old Course and to the Golf Practice Centre and back through the high season which takes in most of the nearby B & B's and Hotels.
Secure cycle parking There are cycle racks at both clubhouses, the golf practice centre and the maintenance facilitys.
Promoting public transport routes and timetables We are not on or particularly near any public transport routes and many staff begin their shift before public transport runs in high season. in saying that there are some staff who use public transport to get to work if it is suitable.
Increasing equipment storage (e.g. lockers) All greenkeeping staff have their own locker for personal belongings and changes of clothes. Lockers for spray equipment/PPE are seperate to these.
Staff showers Both maintenance facilities have good quality showers and changing rooms for the staff. Clubhouse staff can use the customer facilities.
Tax breaking incentives for cycling A number of the staff have taken advantage of the government scheme to purchase bicycles at a reduced price.
Promotion of walk to work campaigns A number of staff who stay in town will walk to work but generally speaking most employees stay too far away.
golf shops traffic survey At the moment our warehouse for our golf shop supplies it rented accommodation within the town but we are currently applying for planning permission to build our own warehouse on a corner of the golf courses just outside town. Part of the process is monitoering the traffic movement of our staff as they supply our various golf shops as well as that of deliveries from our suppliers. This should show that we can substantially reduce the number of traffic movement through the cntre of town as wll as decreasing on mileage
Golf shops merchandise warehouse In 2013 we opened the Morris Building which houses our golf shop operations and is the warehouse for all our merchandise. Being at the entrance of the main route into town and within our land, it has reduced travel distances for our external deliveries as well as deliveries to our own retail outlets

Supply Chain

Being a world famous venue with high customer expectations we try to source high quality products for use across the board. Course furniture is minimal and litter bins are from a Scottish supplier.
Fertiliser and pesticide usage is minimal and deliveries are requested to be made in bulk if possible when the carrier is going to be in the area. Empty containers are stored for uplift rather than go to landfill while fertiliser bags are collected by the company who handles our waste for recycling. Sand for topdressing has to be bought in and is from the closest location available that meets the particle size and shape specification. it is bought in bulk rather than bags so there are no polythene bags to dispose of.
The best cultivars of seed are used to withstand the harsh climate the course is subject to and are suited to our management programme of minimal inputs.

Food is supplied mostly from the local market and is fresh. Where possible, packaging is kept to a minimum. Cardboard boxes and bubble wrap are reused to transport goods around our sites or to post online orders from our golf shops out to customers if fit for purpose. Excess cardboard from the 2 largest departments are baled and sold while the remainder is recycled.
Glass is recycled separately and we compost our food waste ourselves. Everything else is uplifted by our waste management company and recycled in some form or another. A small amount, (approx .5%) is classed as "residual waste" which is dealt with separately although it is still recycled.
Metals are stored and sent to scrap merchants while used wood is stored and made available for staff to use or is chipped and composted.
Our new website shop has allowed us to reduce our paper and printing usage by over 6000 sheets/year.
Printers are set by default to print black and white and staff are encouraged to print all internal documents in B/W and double sided.

Carpets in the clubhouses are hard wearing and made to withstand heavy traffic from golf shoes so they are expected to last longer.

Purchasing Policies

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

Activity Description
Measures to avoid waste at source Generally, our suppliers are asked to reduce packaging.
We tend not to carry too big a stock of perishable goods to prevent them going off. In 2008 we reduced the size of our yearbook as well as reducing the numbers printed as we were previously left with excess books. Our monthly newsletter is now mostly sent out electroniclly.
In 2013 we reduced the number of issues/year of our newsletter and also the amount of paper copies we produced and now have a much greater focus on our website and using social media
Use of local suppliers We use mostly local firms to carry out either repair work, contracts, or to order goods from.
Use of local products Fresh food in particular is sourced from local producers. We have our own herb garden.
We have our own greenhouses and grow many of the plants/flowers on display in and around our clubhouses. This includes gorse for planting on the courses if required.
Selection of certified products We are members of the scotch beef club and all beef we buy is accredited by them which is kept in a log book.
Tea, coffee, a range of wines and galaxy choclate bars are all fair trade products.
Use of recycled and recyclable products Much of our literature is printed on recycled paper.
Old envelopes are used to post letters/ papers across our internal departments.
Selection of products that feature minimal packaging The golf shops reuse all the cardboard which goods come in to send out orders in and this prevents us buying any cardboard. These goods are mostly packed in shredded papers from other departments. Any bubble wrap that comes in is recycled in this manner.
Use of accredited suppliers (e.g. ISO 14001) We are a member of the Scotch beef club which means we use Scotch beef exclusively in our food outlets, and we only use fish that is registered as sustainable with the MSC and our coffee is a fair trade product.
memorial benches We are often asked by people if they can site a commemorative bench somewhere on one of the courses. if we can agrre on a suitable site then St Andrews Links buy the bench so we can retain consistency. Over the past number of years we have been buying teak benches for this which require no ongoing maintenance.
bulk carriers If suitable we will look to use 1000litre IBC's when taking delivery of liquid fertilisers, seaweed based products or wetting agents.

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 28 5 22
Catering Supplies 2 2
Retail 95 6 25
Trade & Contractors 17 5 10
Maintenance Equipment 72 34 27
Course Supplies 90 28 47

Turfgrass Inputs

This golf facility undertakes the following IPM activities:

Activity Description
Encouraging drought and disease tolerant grasses Our management programme is set up to favour drought and disease tolerant grasses. When over seeding, these are the types of grasses that are selected, usually choosing the ones from the top performers from the STRI trials
Managing stress and wear The use of turf rollers allow us to keep the height of cut higher while maintaining good green speeds. We monitor soil moisture to help determine irrigation needs, hand watering slopes/high spots to prevent overwatering of low areas. Posts and cord or metal hoops are used to direct traffic if required.
Enhancement of soil structure Seaweed in liquid form is used in the fertiliser programme. Greens tees and fairways are all topdressed on a regular basis with a sandy material and sand slittlng of wet areas is ongoing to help keep them dry. Regular and various different methods of aeration to keep soil profiles healthy is undertaken on all cut areas and traffic routes.
Optimization of the growing environment We work closely with the Sports Turf Research Institute who are our agromomists. They visit al least x2/year and carry out performance management testing. This includes measuring selected greens for organic matter content and if required selected soil analysis tests are carried out. We will send samples or pictures off for disease identification if required.
Managing thatch levels Greens are tested for organic matter content anually and topdressed to suit. Clippings are collected from most in play areas and composted
Managing surface moisture Soil moisture readings are taken at least weekly on greens from March until October and occasionally tees.
Since we have been collecting these figures since 2009 we have a good understanding of how greens perform at low moisture levels. We have a full wetting agent programme in place for all greens from Feb/March until October.
Establishing thresholds for pests and disease Decisions to treat the turf for pests or disease is based on a visual inspection. The theshold for pest and disease problems are not a set formula. These problems are rare occurences and experience is used to determiine whether any action requires to be taken. For instance, we know that if there is an outbreak of fusariam and the weather forecast is to be dry then the disease will decrease on it's own accord and will not require treatment.
Scouting for pests and diseases Visual checks from staff while going about their daily tasks, cutting greens, moving holes, raking bunkers, setting up the golf course.
Monitoring / improvement of plant health Higher heights of cut, checking fertility levels, using wetting agents, growth regulators, seaweed and winter hardening products such as iron sulphate.
At least twice yearly inspections from a recognised agronomist
in relation to the figures below Please note these points in relation to the fertiliser figures below. These records are for 5 different golf courses therefore i have taken the total kg/ha each CM has applied and divided by 5. In the case of fairways and semi rough, perhaps only 1 or 2 of the courses applied any fertiliser to these areas therefore these figures will appear small and this is the reason. There is no column in the table for greens surrounds. We treat these areas similar to greens therefore the figures for them would be consistent or slightly less than the greens figures
pesticide figures below Each of the 3 course managers decide on what product they use on their respective courses therefore the figures in the turfgrass table below represent THE TOTAL AMOUNT (weight in kg) OF ACTIVE INGREDIENT applied to all 5 and a half courses throughout the year. it is impossible to get to an average as they use different products at different and each time they spray (herbicide for example) they may only spray a small area on that occasion. each product will have a different application rate and water volume/ha.
growth regulators We have begun using the growth regulator Primo Maxx on greens more frequently over the past few years and becuase this has an active ingredient you will notice an increase in herbicide use in greens in the table below as we have classed it as a herbicide although technically it is a graminicide

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

2013 2012 2011
Fairways - K - Inorganic 0 0 6
Fairways - K - Organic 0 0 0
Fairways - N - Inorganic 0 0 2.2
Fairways - N - Organic 0 0 0
Fairways - P - Inorganic 0 0 3
Fairways - P - Organic 0 0 0
Greens - K - Inorganic 28 38 38.6
Greens - K - Organic 4 4 0
Greens - N - Inorganic 23 37 38.6
Greens - N - Organic 4 3 3
Greens - P - Inorganic 4 6 0
Greens - P - Organic 1 2 1
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 6
Semi-Rough - K - Organic 0 0 0
Semi-Rough - N - Inorganic 0 0 2
Semi-Rough - N - Organic 0 0 0
Semi-Rough - P - Inorganic 0 0 3
Semi-Rough - P - Organic 0 0 0
Tees - K - Inorganic 38 38 22.8
Tees - K - Organic 0 0 0
Tees - N - Inorganic 33 36 35.4
Tees - N - Organic 0 0 0
Tees - P - Inorganic 14 15 1
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 0.390 0.350 0.336
Fairways - Herbicide - Total Weight 52.582 79.058 77.060
Fairways - Herbicide - Number of applications per year 1 1 1
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 0.434 0.433 0.433
Greens - Fungicide - Total Weight 8.430 2.061 2.061
Greens - Fungicide - Number of applications per year 1 1 1
Greens - Herbicide - Active Ingredient 0.136 0.202 0.121
Greens - Herbicide - Total Weight 17.566 18.673 1.40
Greens - Herbicide - Number of applications per year 1 1 1
Greens - Insecticide - Active Ingredient 0 0 0
Greens - Insecticide - Total Weight 0 0 0
Greens - Insecticide - Number of applications per year 0 0 0
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 0.294 0.513 0.5
Rough - Herbicide - Total Weight 18.297 2.360 13.100
Rough - Herbicide - Number of applications per year 1 1 1
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 0.294 0.350 0.390
Semi-Rough - Herbicide - Total Weight 15.558 18.300 10.530
Semi-Rough - Herbicide - Number of applications per year 1 1 1
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 0.229 0.315 0.270
Tees - Herbicide - Total Weight 5.893 8.307 4.250
Tees - Herbicide - Number of applications per year 1 1 1
Tees - Insecticide - Active Ingredient 0 0 0
Tees - Insecticide - Total Weight 0 0 0
Tees - Insecticide - Number of applications per year 0 0 0

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

Activity Description
Selection on the least toxic and lest persistent products We always study the pesticides we purchase to look for the least toxic product.
Selection of appropriate products for specific pests and diseases We would only use products on pests or diseases as recommended by the label and at the recommended amounts and water volume.
Spot-treatment with handheld sprayers and wipers Handheld applicators are used in roughs to control plants such as ragwort or docken. They are also used on bankings too steep for boom sprayers if appropriate and occasionally on greens, tees and fairways to reduce the amount of pesticide required if the pest or weed is at a relatively low level.
Calibration and testing of sprayers All sprayers are serviced and MOT'd annually amd calibrated at least annually, more often if required or appropriate.
Use of shrouded sprayer and anti-drip nozzles Boom sprayers are fitted with anti drip and bubble jet nozzles to reduce drift. Most spraying is done early in the morning before any wind gets up or golfers are on the course.
Close to waterways, knapsack sprayers have the nozzle covered to allow closer operations if necessary
Non-chemical weed control Broad leaved weeds such as dasiy or plantain are hand picked from greens. Some ragwort is pulled from the roughs.
disease management Following research from the sports turf research institute we have in more recent years paying more attention to weather websites and predictions and if we think necessary spraying preventative fungicides on greens known be attacked traditionally by disease.
sprayer training All spray operators undertake a refresher training course on an annual basis which covers basic H & S items, sprayer controls and a multiple choice questionaire

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 true false false
Plastic false true false false
Aluminium false true false false
Metal false true false false
Paper & Cardboard false true false false
Grass Clippings false true false false
Cores & Turf false true false false
Sand false true false false
Wood / Timber false true false false

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

Activity Description
Separation of recyclable materials Prior to January 2014, plastic and glass bottles and cans are seperated when emptying litter bins on the course. In the maintainance facilities there are containers for same for the staff to use. Cardboard from deliveries is stored for uplift. Chemical containers, plastic bags, are stored for uplift by suppliers.
Since Jan 2014 we have a contract with a waste management company we seperates most of our everyday waste for us. some items are still kept seperate and recycled by other methodes.
Establishment of recycling centers We have skips located at each of our larger bases for most of our waste. Glass is uplifted separately. IT collect print cartridges when replacing these are recycled and money raised goes to the charity CHAS. Scrap metel is stored at maintenace facility for sale. Wood is stored for staff's personal use if required or chipped and composted.
All food waste from clubhouse, satff facilities and the course is composted by SALT and the compost used by our gardeners in our greenhouses.
Returning clipping to fairways and walkways Clippings are seldom returned to fairways etc as we collect them for composting and we try to keep organic matter low to reduce worm casting.
Only under drought conditions do we occasionally leave clippings to be returned and only on fairways/walkways.
Education of staff and customer education Staff are made aware of our recycling policies at departmental briefings and staff inductions.
All our external bins are recycling bins so we try to get our customers to recycle at source.
Waste awareness campaigns Periodically, emails are sent out to staff about saving energy and recycling products.
We have a big explanation drive on this at the end of 2013 prior to our new procedures coming in and a list of what can be recycled, where and how is available to view on our Intranet as well as the occasional notices in mess rooms.
Practice range balls When replacing the balls on our practice range, the old golf balls are boxed and donated through a scheme with the R & A Golf Club to developing coutries in Africa or such like.
Hire trollies In summer 2014 we replaced a lot of our trolly hire fleet. the old trollies which were still in good condition were donated to the Fife Golf Trust which manages the 7 public golf courses in Fife.Those unfit for use were dismantled and the various components recycled.
Bunker rakes In 2013 we standardised the type of rake we left on the courses for golfers to use when raking bunkers. We donated over 100 rakes to neighbouring small clubs such Cupar GC, St Michaels GC, Fife Golf Trust etc.
Golf course signs In summer 2012 we went through a rebranding process and all signs, (GUR, This Way, etc) where replaced with standard branded ones.
All old signs in reasonable condition were donated to the small neighbouring golf clubs such as St Michaels GC, Piperdam GC, Cupar GC, Scotscraig GC, Leven Links, etc.
using old Astroturf to build bunkers In July 2011 we worked with a company called Envirosports to rebuild the face of a bunker on the Jubilee practice area using recycled Astroturf obtained FOC from St Andrews Uni when they were replacing their soccer pitches. This was instead of using turf which would typically only last 1 year in that type of location. Since then we have rebuilt another 8 bunkers using the same method on our Golf Academy. 3 years on the original bunker still looks same as the day it was built other than there has been a build up of sand on the front face which will need removed
internal waste audit With the change in legislation in Scotland taking effect from January 2014, we looked at how we managed our waste in Sept 2013and what we were going to do moving forward. This involved site visits and talking to other organisations as well as government agengies for advice. We now have an external company dealing with our wastewhich has reduced our costs and we believe we now have 0% waste going to landfill as even the small amout of residual waste we produce is recycled in some form or other.
Food waste Prior to January 2014 we purchased our own food composter to allow us to comply with the new regulations. We now collect all food waste from our clubhouses, staff canteens etc daily and put them through our own composter. The compost is then used by our gardeners in our flowerbeds, nurseries etc.
Compost We mix all the grass clippings we collect with the gorse which we cut back and shred to make a compost. theis compost is left at the roadside for people of the town to take and use as they wish.
reduced aerosol cannisters We have changed our Washroom Services provider from PHS to Grahams’ Environmental Services. Because of this decision, one of the benefits has been the removal of 41 aerosol air-freshener units. These have now been replaced with fan assisted gel units so have a positive impact on the environment.
used cardboard Rather than send all our old cardboard to our normal recycling partners, we bale what is produced at our two largest outlets and sell the bales.
IT equipment All of our old IT equipment is recycled including used ink cartridges

Pollution Control

All legislation and regulations on the use of pesticides are strictly adhered to. We review our choice of all pesticides purchased annually to select the least hazardous product if suitable. Herbicide usage is minimal with only selected areas sprayed after assessment by the Course Manager and his Deputy. It is not our policy to blanket spray a golf course although it is usual to spray a complete fairway. Spot treatment of greens is recommended if weeds are unsuitable to be hand picked or plugged out. Spot treatment of tees is recommended rather than a blanket spray.

Disease tolerance thresholds are defined through experience and assessments are made prior to any action being taken by the Director of Greenkeeping and Course Manager. With our lean fertiliser and irrigation programme, diseases are uncommon with occasionally only fusarium being an issue. Experience at St Andrews shows that quite often this disease will go of its own accord if the weather conditions turn cooler. Pest threshold tolerances are defined through experience and assessments are made prior to any action being taken by the Director of Greenkeeping and Course Manager.

Unleaded petrol is stored in locked below-ground, double lined tanks which are pressure-tested every five years. Records are completed to ensure accurate quantities of petrol can be compared with ‘dipping’ records which would highlight any shortfalls. The tanks are fitted with an electronic leak detector.
Interceptor tanks are built into the yard to collect run off from any small fuel or chemical spillages
Boilers in the Clubhouses are serviced annually by a qualified contractor.
Our energy efficiency measures undertaken over the past few years will have lowered our emmisions.

At the Golf Practice system when extending the car park in 2005, a SUDS system was installed to remove the water quickly from the surface but to slow it down enough to give it time to drain away naturally into the ground.

Water Analysis

This golf facility monitors water quality with the following frequency:

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

Waste Water

Waste water from this golf facility is managed as follows:

Discharges to Formal Discharge Agreement
Golf Course Ditch N/A
Clubhouse Mains Sewer N/A
Maintenance Facility Septic Tank N/A
Wash Pad Reed Bed 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 true true
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 There is no equipment or hazardous products stored outside on sealed impervious areas. Items are stored in locked buildings and there are interceptor tanks to deal with any spillages which may occur
Maintenance of equipment on covered, sealed impervious areas Any spillage from eqipment being maintained would be contained within the area or the workshop.
Mixing of pesticides and fertilizers in covered areas If mixing of pesticides and fertilisers take place withing the maintenance facility area then they are done over an interceptor tank.
Mixing of pesticides and fertilizers over impervious surfaces As above, these products would not be mixed on an impervious surface other than where there in an interceptor tank
Installation of above-ground fuel tanks Diesel tanks are stored inside and bunded as per the regulations
Installation of sufficient secondary containment for fuel The tanks are double skinned and they are within a bund large enough to contain all the fuel stored if there was to be a problem, burst or leak.
Provision of containment booms and absorbent materials We keep a supply of materials to mop up any spillage if required
Grease traps Grease traps are fitted to the kitchens in both Clubhouses to prevent excessive amounts of fat and grease entering the main sewer system.

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 Only a small percentage of the golf course is highly maintained and fertiliser and pesticide inputs are minimal even to these areas.
We do not apply products when the ground is saturated or when the plant is unable to absorb it.
Establishment of vegetative buffer strips around water bodies We only have 2 water bodies, a burn and a pond, (other than the Eden estuary) and have a no spray buffer strip around these which varies in distance from 1m to 5m depending on the physical controls we use on the spraying equipment.
Establishment of emergency spillage response plan All spray operators are certificated and also go through refresher training annually. Spillages are covered in the pesticide code of practice, the section covering spillages is posted on notice boards. There is also an emergency action plan sheet where all the relevant phone numbers can be added. Fire, doctors, SEPA, HSE etc.
Establishment of pesticide-free zones Long roughs are practically chemical free zones with only the occasional spot spraying taking place to control invasive plants such as ragwort, thistle and docks.


Although arguably recognised as the most famous golfing venue in the world, the local community are our everyday customers throughout the year and historicaly the golf courses belong to the people of the town. There are 9 golf clubs in town whose members use the facilities. We directly employ over 300 staff during high season. With over 200,000 rounds/year, the success of golf in St Andrews brings much employment and investment to the town and surrounding areas in the tourist industry. The staging of large international competitions on the world famous Old Course helps to promote the game of golf and Scotland worldwide, drawing people to come to Scotland to visit and play.

Because of our facilities and resources, we are often able to help out some of the smaller clubs or associations in the town, from loaning equipment to help maintain football pitches or neighbouring golf courses to providing soil or compost to local schools or charitable organistaions.

In the greenkeeping department we get huge interest from people around the world wanting to know what methods we use to maintain the courses, grass types, fertiliser quantities etc and often have groups or individuals visiting to see our facilities and practices. We also give presentations to turfgrass groups around the world at trade shows/exhibitions. there is a large interest in turf students from around the world wanting to come and work here for a season to learn our methods.

We continually promote best environmental practice to our staff, both full time and seasonal with on going reminders of recyclying as many things as we can, from food waste and paper to oils and soils. Notices encouage staff to turn electrical equipment off when not in use while bins and boxes areprovided for bottles, cans, and paper. Full time staff have the opportunity to attend seminars where it is common to find at least one speaker presenting on an environmental matter while we have regular inhouse presentations to staff which would include best practices.
On a number of occasions we have taken part in the BIGGA environmental competition in 2003 we won the Regional award for Scotland and in 2009 (when the STRI took over the running of the event), we were fortunate to win the overall achievement award.
in 2004 we gained accreditation from the Scottish Golf Environment Group and successfully retained this in 2008.

Employment & Education

Typical staffing levels at this golf facility are:

Full Time Part Time Seasonal
Club Management 6 1
Course Management 49 1 27
Food & Beverage 26 3 31
Golf Coaching 15 1 2
Retail & Leisure 22 2 18
Caddies 30 20 120
Other 78 3 35

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

  • Course Manager
  • Technical Specialist
  • Other Depatrmental Managers
  • Environmental Officer
  • Chef
  • Technical Services Manager
  • Facilities Manager
  • Warehouse Manager

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

Activity Description
Storage, application and disposal of pesticides Only certificated employees are allowed to use pesticides. Training includes application and disposal of both the product containers. They attend an annual review with our H & S consultant. Magazines containing articles are available in mess rooms.
Efficient water management Course managers or their deputies are responsible for irrigation inputs. Staff are trained and help out with system checks on an ongoing basis through the summer. Training on system repairs is provided to full time staff.
Management of accidents and emergencies All staff are trained in fire awareness and how to react in the event of a fire. Individual staff are trained in managing fires.
Rangers and a number of greenkeepers carry radios to request assistance a short notice.
Management of habitats and vegetation We have regular staff training events delivered by the STRI Ecology Team, and also with the Scottish Golf Environment Group. Staff have also received presentations from the local college and countryside ranger service.
Waste minimization, separation and recycling We try to seperate items such as plastic bottles, cans and glass bottles as much as we can when collecting litter from the courses. In buildings, bins are provided for same. IT collect print cartridges etc. Photocopiers are set to double side copy in black/white as default.
Health & Safety All greenstaff attend a H & S review annually, inc seasonal staff. Specific courses are held for things such as first aid, manual handling etc. All greenstaff are trained and signed off to say they are competent on equipment before left on their own.
Energy Saving Notices ask staff to turn of lights/equipment when not in use.
Understanding of landscape and cultural heritage We have regular staff training events delivered by the STRI Ecology Team, and also with the Scottish Golf Environment Group. Staff have also received presentations from the local college and countryside ranger service.
Environmental management planning We have regular staff training events delivered by the STRI Ecology Team, and also with the Scottish Golf Environment Group. Staff have also received presentations from the local college and countryside ranger service.
staff environmental awareness Greenstaff are provided with our environment progammes at their induction. Environmental issues are a point on meeting agendas with the greenkeeping department.
Environmental Officer In 2014 we created the role of Environmental Officer and James Hutchinson started on 4 August in that position. Part of his role will be to educate staff on environmental matters and best practice in a practical and educational manner.
waste management With the new wastle regulations which came into force in Scotland in January 2014 there was a big drive to educate all staff on waste management and how we were changing our procedures and habits. This involved visiting departments to explain in person to staff and having the information on our Intranet of what was recyclable and where items had to go, who to contact.

Community Relations

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

Activity Description
Neighbours We have very few near neighbours, most of which are local golf clubs and a couple of hotels. We hold regular meetings with all the golf clubs in town and also the local Hotel and Guest Houses Association where we explain to them how we manage the golf courses and provide information on plaqnned alterations.
Local Government The St Andrews Links Trust is a charitable trust set up by an Act of Parliament in 1974n to maintain and preserve the courses for residents of the town and others resorting thereto. From the act Fife Council and the R & A golf Club have a strong influence over management decisions affecting the courses and have handed some of their responsabilities over to other local clubs
Local Environmental Groups We are represented on the west sands liason committee, the eden estuary advisory group and reguraly talk with the local Fife Coast and Countryside Trust. We are also members of the green belt forum.
Local Community Groups We are members of the St Andrews Partnership. We have helped with local football teams, the tennis club, the university and local schools with regards their pitches or with soil/compost.
Media Various interviews given to radio/television stations particularly around the Open Championships in 2005 and 2010.
Also the Director of Greenkeeping has featured on BBC Coast (July 2005) and BBC Countryfile (April 2011) regarding environmental and historic matters.
Golfing (and non golfing) publications likewise frequently run articles on the St Andrews golf courses.
Local Businesses Occasional presentations given to groups such as Rotary, Round Table, etc.
We are members of the St Andrews Partnership which is a group set up to bring improvements to St Andrews, both the physical infrastructure and through standards of service in tourist attractions, restaurants, shops etc by improved training. As a partner in the Golf Development Group we try to encourage golfers to spend more time in St Andrews.
Schools & Colleges Regular work placements given to 4th and 5th year students, particularly on the golf course. Primary and secondary schoolchildren down to help in things such as litter picks and seaside grass planting. Very regular visits from students at Elmwood college, either greenkeeping or emvironmental studies.
regular requests asked from students doing disertations
St Andrews Links Junior Golf Association Since 2001 the Links Trust have administered a junior golf programme for the town where all children between the ages of 5 and 18 who stay in town, attend school in town or are members of any of the local golf clubs can receive coaching and particiate in organised competitions for a fee of £25/year. In that time over 1,300 children have been introduced to the game, coaching is suitable for all levels and carried out by over 40 volunteers or recognised Professionals. The initial funding was provided by the public auction of the Old Course starters box. Approx 65% of the chilren are boys and 35%
R & A best course for golf We participate in collecting and forwarding data for the R & A golf course committee website 'best course for golf' with regards maintenance practices, fertiliser and pesticide usage.
Local Government/Community Council 19 September 2011 In 2011 greenstaff helped the St Andrews Community Council by cutting and collecting all the rough grasses and removing a number of willow trees on a piece of land neighbouring the Western Cemetary which Fife Council had given to the Community Council to plant a Jubilee wood to commemorate the Queens Diamond Jubilee.
Friends of Craigtoun Park, May 2013 In May 2013, Greenstaff volunteered to help renovate an old bowling green into a putting green for the Friends of Craigtoun who had taken over the running of Craigtoun Park from the Local Authority. This involved, fertilising, scarifying to remove moss/thatch, weedkilling and cutting 3 x per week for a period to get it into reasonable shape.
Kingarrock Golf Course 2011-2013 We assist Kingarrock Golf Course, (a 9 hole course maintained using methods as if it were 1924) by loaning equipment and giving advice FOC.
The Director of Greenkeeping sits on an advisory panel which meets 3 times/year to monitor the work undertaken on the course.
Powerpoint presentations, 2011 -2013 Greenstaff give presentations to various groups througout the year. Many of these are to representatives of Local Golf Clubs and always include alterations planned or completed to the courses and environmental work carried out. Presentations on our Environmental work have also been given to different organisations such as Rotary etc. Bob Taylor of STRI gave a presentation on gorse and grassland management which was open to all season ticket holders in November 2011
St Andrews University, Dept of Geography & Sustainable Development March 2011 In March 2013 the Director of Greenkeeping gave a presentation on the environmental work carried out on The Links to a class of around 60 students who were on this course. The following week it was enhanced by 3 study tours (with 20 -25 students in each group) around The Links showing examples and giving explanations on the different aspects of our management for different areas.
Sheep grazing at Outhead Dec 2013 - Feb 2014 In September 2013 we partnered with FCCT to erected fencing on the area known as Outhead adjacent to the 9th/10th holes of the Jubilee course to allow for sheep grazing of this rough grassland area. FCCT provided the funding for the fence and Links staff erected it. A local farmer then had his Hebrifdean sheep graze the area from December until February. it is planned to continue this from September 2014 - Jan 2015
Rough Grassland management at Outhead 2011 -2012 Prior too sheep grazing this area (see above), the Local authority used to cut the grass there x16/year. they ceased doing this in 2011 and the Links Trust agreed to manage the area by cutting once/year and collecting the clippings. We did this in 2011 and 2012 and either composted the clippings, arranged for a local farmer to remove thenm and use them for mixing with his horse manure or burnt them on site
Providing free compost to the community 2010 -2014 All our grass clippings from greens, tees and fairways are mixed with our gorse cuttings from the winter and made into compost. This compost is left at the edge of the Jubilee course for members of the public to take as the wish. The local group to organise the Britain in Bloom/ Beautiful Fife flower displays in the town make great use of this throughout the spring and summer.
Britain in Bloom/Beautiful Fife 2011-2014 The Director of Greenkeeping or a Course Manager always give a 10 minute presentation to the Judges of these competitions on behalf of the St Andrews in Bloom organisation where we speak about our environmental work and how we try to integrate the golf courses and the town.
Sr Andrews Community Trust As a result of a commercial relationship in 2011 SALL (a wholly owned subsidiary of SALT) jointly set up the St Andrews Community Trust with St Andrews Community Council and each year they donate a sum of money from their Licensing and Partner deals into a fund which is then distributed to good causes in and around St Andrews. for more info Organisations and individuals are asked to send in their requests with a brief description of the project, the reasoning, times and amount of money they requirw for the project.
Martyrs monument restoration We made a substantial donation to help with the restoration of Martyrs monument, an iconic statue which sits off our land but is clearly visible in the background in most photographs golfers take on the Swilcan bridge looking towards the R & A Clubhouse

Land Use & Cultural Heritage

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

Activity Description
Maintenance of existing public paths There are a number of public paths which dissect the golf courses, some of which are legal rights of way. These are maintained as a matter of course. The Old Course itself is closed every Sunday (other than x 4/year) and is open for the public to walk over.
Creation of new paths and nature trails In the 1990's we gave up some land along our boundary to assist Fife Council in creating a cycle path. Also, since then we have created a number of internal roads to assist staff in moving around the courses and all these are available for the public to walk, jog or cycle.
Installation of effective and welcoming signage Most signage on the courses is discreet and kept to a minimum.
Large directional signs, including brown tourist signs assist peole in finding the courses and our facilities.
Providing opportunities for other recreation (e.g. fishing) Peole are allowed and encouraged to walk the Old Course on a Sunday. During the summer we have organised walks where people can hear of the history of the Links. On weekdays they are restricted to the pathways but ge on the course on Sundays.
Partnership conservation and access projects (e.g. community woodland) In 2010 we were partners with Fife council and the R & A in rebuilding a dune at the begining of the west sands which was subsequently planted in marram and sea lyme grasses by us and a number of other volunteer groups, (St Andrews Uni, Elmwood college, BT) There is a large interpretation board explaining the project at the start of the new dune.
Continuation of traditional agricultural activities In 2013 we fenced an area of land approx (3.5Ha) adjacent to theJubilee course and allowed a local farmer to graze it with Hebridean sheep. this was done in partnership with Fife Coast and Countryside Trust and the farmer.
Fife cycle path In the late 1990's we gave over part of our land to Fife Council for them to build a cycle path as part of the Millenium Cycle path project. This allows cyclists to get from St Andrews out beyond the golf courses without having to cycle on a main road.
open accesss The public can use any of the many internal pathways which dissect the golf courses to walk, jog or cycle.
Students We have allowed a number of students to use the Links as part of their dissertation. Students have been carrying out research on plants, insects and light pollution to name but 3.
St Andrews West Sands beach and dunes throughout 2011- 2014 we have worked alongside Fife Coast and Countryside Trust to protect and resore the dunes which run along the 3kn stretch of the west sands beach. SALT installed all the fencing (which was paid for by Fife Council) to prevent erosion by foot traffic. This has assisted in help the dunes develope by trapping sand while we have also assisted in replacing sand removed by storms and high tides, transplanting sea grasses for stabilisation and removing invasive species and litter

No archaeological or heritage surveys have been undertaken at this golf facility.

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

  • Historic Scotland
  • Scottish Natural Heritage
  • Fife Council

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

Activity Description
Buildings (Listed Buildings / Ancient Monuments etc) The Swilcan Bridge which crosses the burn of the same name on the 18th hole of the Old Course is maintained in keeping with best practice, as the the Jubilee fountain at the start of the Jubilee course.
The Caddy Pavilion and the shop behind the 18th green are both in a conservation area.
Historic Features (Hedgerows / Dykes / Moats / Cairns etc) There are a number of March stones on the site which define the area that was once set aside for golf. These are mapped and most are covered to protect them from damage from equipment.
A number of stone walls and pillars are maintained in good condition. The fencing around the 1st and 18th of the Old Course is very distinct and associated with the site.
Tom Morris Golf Shop In 2010 the Links Trust purchased the Tom Morris Golf Shop adjacent the 18th green of the Old Course which had been operating from this location since 1866. Before reopening for business in April 2011 the shop was refurbished and articles such as Old Tom’s locker and workbench were found and these are now on display within the shop. The 'logo' Old Tom used on his goods has also been resurrected and is incorporated in the articles on sale today.


This golf facility undertakes the following internal environmental communications:

Activity Description
Provision of newsletters, notice boards & poster display We have a monthly newletter and a yearbook of which the staff get copies. Information of environmental points are posted on noticeboards including a recording sheet for unusual flora or fauna.
The plaques showing our environmental awards and acheivements are displayed in a public area of the Links Chubhouse for staff and golfers to see.
Members evenings and course walks We present to representatives of the Local Golf Clubs and other invited guests a couple of times/year. although mostly focusing on course alterations, the director of greenkeeping usually fts in some environmental aspects. In 2009 and 2010, R Taylor and R Windows of STRI gave talks to these groups respectively.
Course guides / brochures Our course guides only feature how to play the golf courses but for the 2000, 2005 and 2010 Open Championships we produced an environmental boolet in association with the R & A and the Scottish Golf Environment Group on the habitat, management and unusual features of the Old Course.
Interpretation panels & course signage We try to keep signage on the golf courses to a minimum.
Solial Media St Andrews Links has developed a strong Scocial Media presence with our own Facebook and Twitter accounts. Regular comments appear which refer to environmental matters that are happening at SALT Our website has a section on the Living Landscape and there is a regular Blog which is often about environmental points. The blog is advertised when refreshed using our facebook and twitter account

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

Activity Description
Website, press releases & brochures Our website has a section on the Living Landscape and there is a regular Blog which is often about environmental points. The blog is advertised when refreshed using our facebook and twitter account.which also regularly feature environmental things happening on the courses.
Supporting campaigns We participate in the Game Conservation National Partridge survey by recording and passing them information on how many aprtridges are on site in Spring and Autumn.
Course walks / open days We hold our own course walks on the Old Course during the summer months (or by arragement outwith summer) These are restricted to the paths other than on a Sunday when groups can walk the fairways. Fife Coast and Countryside Trust held an environmental walk for their open day in a Sunday in August 2010.
Walk various student groups or foreign greenkeeping groups around on a regular basis
Attending community meetings The director of greenkeeping attends the west sands liason group meetings and sits on the management group for the west sands and the Eden estuary advisory panel.
Joint practical projects with community 2004 we were one of 4 partners who improved the Bruce Embankment as it comes around behind the Golf Museum to the entrance to the Links Clubhouse( Total cost £1.6million)
2009 we were one of 3 partners who extended the previous work to the entrance to the Jubilee sheds, upgrading the road and replenishing a dune on the west sands (total cost (£1.2million)
public presentation Prior to obtaining planning permission for our new warehouse facility, we ran a video loop presentation of the plans with a £D flyover, artists impressions and information in the entrance foyer of the Eden Clubhouse for a number of weeks through the spring and early summer of 2010.
public presentation In July 2014, the Eden Course celebrated its centenary and we ran a loop presentation on a large screen television in the reception area of the Eden Clubhouse from June through until after the Eden Golf Tournamnet in the middle of August
information evening We hold an information evening each year to which we invite representatives of Local Golf Clubs, Buisness's, and organisations, Golf Tourism representatives, Local Government etc where we outline many of our plans for the business in the coming yearas well as a look back on things we have a acheived.
Local Business Clubs We are represented in a number of Local organisations/Business clubs. Most prominent is the St Andrews Partnership where we have a representative on the Board.
We are also represented on the West Sands committee which concerns itself with the management of the west sands beach
Presentations to external groups/organisations Regurarly give powerpoint presentations to groups. Other Greenkeeping Associations, Rotary Clubs, University.
Sustainable Development class , St Andrews University Gave a presentation in March 2014 to 60 students taking the above course. This was followed up by 3 course walks with approx 20 students and lecturers in each walk looking at the envronmental work we undertake and explaining why we do such things.