Golfbaan Bentwoud

GEO Certified® 12/2016
Benthuizen,
Netherlands
Telephone: +31172583010
P1030303_club_image

Executive summary (English & local language)

Golfcourse Bentwoud only recently opened its doors. During my visit it became clear that Bentwoud is an open-minded modern golf facility, and non-playing visitors are just as welcome as golfers. For the neighbourhood they organize in close collaboration with local organisations excursions to the forests of Bentwoud. The course consists out of 3 nine hole loops each with its own charm and challenge. The management is keen on improving its sustainability performance. Not only with respect to course maintenance, also energy use is high on their priority list. This despite the fact that during construction of the clubhouse many energy-saving equipment was already installed. Bentwoud is therefore a perfect example on how to run a golf course economically viable with attention to sustainability issues.

Nature

Golfcourse Bentwoud consist out of three different 9-hole loops, each having its own character, i.e. woodland, parkland and a touch of inland links. In due time it is the wish of the management that the 27 holes course can be characterised as a woodland type of course. Around 130, mostly common, plant species have been monitored last year. Furthermore, during the period March-July 2016, breeding birds were monitored regularly. To comply with the Dutch Flora & Fauna act it is advised that plant species, birds and amphibians are monitored systematically once every three years from 2017 onwards. In the line of play, banks near surface waters are mown, outside the playing areas sufficient room is created for nature development. The course is situated on a clay soil. Despite this, a high percentage of Fescue grasses is present on both greens and fairways, minimizing their rate of irrigation.

Water

Golf course Bentwoud uses surface water for irrigating their greens, tees and fairways. The last three years, on average around 36000 m3 per annum were used for in total 32 ha playing area. In absolute terms this may seem a lot, however compared to the annual rainfall in The Netherlands, they only irrigate around 125 mm a year. The species composition largely consists out of Festuca rubra, further contributing to this relatively low annual irrigation. To further control their irrigation rate it is advised to analyse water use for greens, tees and fairways separately. The toilets, shower rooms and kitchen in the hypermodern club house are all provided with water-saving equipment.

Energy

All modern energy-saving equipment has been installed in the recently built clubhouse, and only renewable electricity is used. The management clearly indicated that savings on energy use are high on their priority list, both from an environmental point of view as from an economic point of view. E.g. they have plans to install LED lightning on the driving range, they will install charging stations for electric cars by next year, and it is their wish to install solar cells on the roof of the clubhouse. Motion sensors have been installed in most of the clubhouse areas and heating is separately controlled by thermostats. The management has planned an energy audit for next year.

Supply Chain

(Ecologically) certified products are being served in the restaurant as much as possible. The restaurant is out-sourced to a large caterer, allowing for efficient, environmentally friendly purchase of products. The restaurant also serves locally produced products. Frying oil from the kitchen is correctly stored in barrels and finally used as a raw material for biodiesel. Fertilizers and pesticides are only used on the playing areas. Rates of fertilization seem appropriate for the grasses being used. As the national authorities are planning to ban pesticides from sports fields in the nearby future, the management is now, in close collaboration with the maintenance contractor, analysing possibilities to further reduce pesticide use. All waste is collected and transported according to legislation.

Pollution Control

Almost all facilities on the course comply with legislation. Wastewater from the clubhouse is firstly sanitized by a constructed wetland consisting out of reed before it is discharged to the surface water. During my visit the management could not give any details on the chemical composition of the discharged and purified water. I advise to have it analysed regularly, and that the management regularly discusses the results with the responsible company and local authorities. Contrary to all the modern facilities on the course and in the clubhouse, the greenkeeping accommodation looked rather out-dated. Materials, were however stored according to legislation. The washing area should renovated as soon as possible, i.e. a new impervious floor should be installed. Risks on pollution seemed low however and an oil / grease separator is present for machinery wash water. The management is investigating possibilities to built a new maintenance shed on their own property, including a new impervious floor. If economically impossible they will restore the floor by 2017.

Community

Bentwoud is a very open-minded golf course and welcomes players and non-players in their clubhouse. The course is partially opened for the public, and Bentwoud organises walks and excursions on their terrain together with nature organisations and the caterar. When I arrived at the clubhouse a group of young mothers together with their children (dressed as goblins) were just starting their walk to the forests of Bentwoud. As for most golf clubs in The Netherlands, Bentwoud regularly meets with local authorities and discusses local problems. The management wishes to communicate more intensively on sustainability actions on and around the course.


Documentation Reviewed

Conclusion

The management of golf course Bentwoud clearly demonstrated to be active on many sustainability issues. They have a clear vision on the future with respect energy use, e.g. installation of solar cells and charging stations for electric cars. In this way they are an example for other golf courses. Based on all information obtained during my visit, I, Adrie van der Werf recommend Bentwoud to be certified with the GEO-label

Certification Highlights

- regularly improved sustainability performance and awareness
- open-minded club with good neighbour contacts