Golf & Country Club Lauswolt
Executive summary (English & local language)
The 18 holes course Lauswolt opened its doors in 1964 and is situated on a 100 ha estate, and combines the typical characteristics of woodland, parkland and heathland golf courses. Due to a variety of habitats, the biodiversity of golf course is high and not surprisingly many rare and protected species are observed on this 100 ha large golf course. Recently a brand new clubhouse was built with all modern energy saving equipment, resulting amongst others in a very low annual electricity use. During the audit, I spoke with several committees, and all showed passion and knowledge with respect to nature development and sustainability. New ideas for e.g. renovation, maintenance of the course, are always discussed in relation to the sustainability issues addressed in the GEO program. I was (and am) convinced that future projects will always be carried with respect for nature and the environment. I was truly impressed by all the very stimulating discussions and actions taken, and therefore rate golfclub Lauswolt among the better performing ones with respect to sustainability.
In 1964 the first 9 holes were introduced to the public and members. Thirty years later another 9 holes were added on a total surface area of approx. 100 ha. Part of the course is situated on a historical estate with characteristic beech and oak lanes and are maintained and restored by the club. Their forest revitalisation program resulted in a more gradual transition from playing area to woodland, in a spontaneous establishment of heather vegetation and in a more natural look and feel on and near the course. Another part of the course is situated in the so-called brook valley “het Koningsdiep”, and consists of more wet vegetation types. Natural corridors for species migration are present in and near the course. Given the wide range of habitats, the golf course hosts many plant and animal species, as described in their 2013 flora & fauna report. A new monitoring of flora & fauna is foreseen by 2018. The greenkeep team is well aware of this great variety of species and knows how to act in the case of rare and or protected species. The grass species present on the course are suitable for the environmental conditions. The highly skilled headgreenkeeper Richard Ferdinands shared his thoughts on golf course maintenance and the use of fertilizers, irrigation water and pesticides. Thanks to his maintenance program, greens contain hardly any annual blue grass, and pesticide use is restricted to a minimum.
Water use at Lauswolt is kept at a minimum. Groundwater is used for irrigating the playing area. Fairways are only irrigated when really necessary, tees ones a week and greens 2-3 times a week depending on weather conditions. This strategy resulted a fairly low irrigation rate of only 5000-6000 m3 per annum the last three years, and partly explains the good condition of the course and the very low abundance of annual bluegrass. When the new clubhouse was built several years ago, extra attention was paid to water saving measures and therefore the annual potable water use is relatively low for an 18 hole course.
When the new clubhouse was built many energy-saving measures were taken: LED lighting, proper insulation, motion sensors, new low-energy kitchen equipment, finally resulting in a relatively low electricity use of only 125.000 kWh in 2016 of which around 30.000 kWhs are used by fuelling the electric buggies. The club considers placing separate electricity consumption meters for the kitchen and the rest of the clubhouse. The driving range will be renovated and LED lightning will installed to be able to practice also during evening hours, and solar cells will installed on the roof of the new driving range. Therefore some improvements in the coming years with respect to energy use can be expected as it is their intention to charge the buggies partly by solar energy.
All waste at Lauswolt is separated according to local rules, both at the greenkeep location and at the clubhouse, and local products are being served as much as possible (even though a traditional Indonesian meal was prepared during my visit). Fertilization rates on greens, fairways and tees are very moderate of the years, and in combination with very modest irrigation rate and proper standard management procedures the greens hardly contain any annual blue grass. The last three years, N-fertilization rates averaged 66, 37 and 76 kg/ha per annum for greens, fairways and tees, respectively, with an average N:P:K of 1:0,15:0,75.
All activities on and near the course with respect to environmental pollution comply with Dutch legislation, and all actions to be taken are properly addressed in their environmental care plan (2014). Spray-free zones have been designated, all chemicals are stored according to law and machines are cleaned on impervious floors, and the waste water from cleaning these machines is first polished via an oil/grease separator before it is discharged to the main sewer.
Footpaths are present on the course and open for the public, and are maintained by the club. Last years several old footpaths were restored, i.e. non-native trees were removed and replaced by native ones. The public is informed on the biodiversity of the golf course via boards along the footpaths. Internal communication between the board, several committees and members regarding sustainability issues is managed and organized by Dick Koorn. Thanks to his enthusiasm and specific knowledge, Lauswolt can be rated amongst the better performing GEO-clubs in The Netherlands.
- Action Plans and Project Proposals
- Awareness Raising Materials
- Certification Report
- EIA Statement
- Environmental Data
- Environmental Management Plan
- External Surveys and Reports
- Internal Reports
- Minutes of Meetings
During the audit we had many stimulating discussions on sustainability issues. With recent and upcoming sustainable renovation projects, the club clearly demonstrated that sustainability is simply part of their golf philosophy, and therefore I, Adrie van der Werf, recommend golf club Lauswolt to rewarded with GEO sustainability certificate.
Large multi-habitat green space with high biodiversity value
Organised and progressive management committees with clear sustainability plans
Energy and water efficient modern clubhouse
Low irrigation a result of key management decisions and clear objectives for course appearance and playability
Footpath restoration for public use
Non-native species replacement programme