Naxhelet Golf Club

GEO Certified® 06/2016
Wanze,
Belgium
Telephone: +32(0)85826408
Naxhelet_image_club_image

Executive summary (English & local language)

Golf de Naxhelet is situated on a plateau near Liège (Belgium) and opened in april 2014. More than 18.500 trees, hedges and bushes were planted on the 18 holes course designed by the English architect Martin Hawtree. Besides the main course the club offers also a pitch & putt (9 holes, par 3) and 3 practice holes to enhance your game. The facility provides an excellent driving range which is such as the pitch & putt maintained automatically with robots. The energy needed for the electricity was produced onsite. For the irrigation of the course rainwater and water from the drains is reused within a loop. The embracement of new technology in combination with the consistent choice for ecological and sustainable management is first-class. The combination with a hotel, wellness and seminar facilities (which are also rewarded with the Green Key certificate) attracts many visitors (golfers and business). The local employment was boosted and the community embraces this business. This will be the new standard for other courses in Belgium.


Golf de Naxhelet est situé sur un plateau à 30 km de Liège (Belgique) et il a été ouvert en avril 2014. Plus de 18.500 arbres arbustes et pieds de haie ont éte plantés sur le course (18 trous) dessiné par l’architecte anglais Martin Hawtree. Les golfeurs peuvent aussi jouer les 9 trous pitch & putt (par 3) et les 3 trous d’entraînement. La facilité est aussi equipé d’un driving range qui est entretenu, comme le pitch& putt par les tondeuses robotiques. L’énergie nécessaire est produit local. L’eau de pluie et l’eau rassemblé par les tuyaus de drainages est utilisé pour arroser le terrain. L’enthousiasme et l’embracement des nouvelles technologies combiné avec l’entretien du site de manière durable et écologique est qualifié fin. Sur le même site il y a aussi un hôtel, un centre wellness et les facilités pour organisé les séminaires. Le label Clé Verte (Green key) est obtenu en mars 2016. Le golf de Naxhelet a déjà affecté son rôle pour les membres et les visiteurs. Le recrutement local et les facilités sont bien embrassés par la société. Une norme nouvelle pour les clubs de golf en Belgique.

Nature

The golf course is still very open but some old hedges are crossing the course. More than 18.500 trees, bushes and hedges were planted on bio fields. The golf is surrounded by organic farming. Excellent evidence of biological and ecological maintenance of the course and surrounding plantations. Bees will find a new home on Golf de Naxhelet with the placing of beehives.

The management of golf de Naxhelet pays attention to the specific opportunities of the landscape and the occurring species. The management is advised by experts on ecosystem protection and enhancement ( le DNF – Eaux et Forêts). As a result they made the decision to plant only local species (Charte Nature). A detailed listing of the appearing birds is available.During the audit 2 couples of swans were seen on the ponds.

The golf course is situated in an agrarian area surrounded with organical agriculture. This year the greenkeeping team will install beehives on 4 selected spots on the course to produce local honey. The bees could become the ambassadors of a healthy golf course.

The pitch and putt area suffered from disease this winter and the greenkeeping team kept this area closed for 1,5 month so the greens could recover. Golf de Naxhelet has young greens (open since 2014) but they are only treated with natural, organic products like Compost Tea, sugar, salicylic acid, ...The cook of the restaurant has already his own kitchen garden with herbs and this year the new kitchen garden with conservatory providing will provide vegetables.The bushes and borders surrounding the clubhouse and the hotel are only manually weeded.

With the laying-out of the course some remarkable trees were preserved (chestnut) and the hedges near the old farm were also kept.
The letter of the greenkeeper pays attention to the maintenance of the course, golfers are well informed about the work and effort that has been done. The GEO-theme is an important aspect.The installation of the beehives will be very attractive.

Water

The use of water is of special concern for the management of golf de Naxhelet. The rainwater and water from the drains is collected on the lowest point where it is pumped to the highest pounds on the course. The irrigation system is a closed loop and water is only used when needed.Irrigation of the turfgrass is locally monitored and the irrigation system is well maintained. The hotel and club facility received the Green Key (international ecolabel for tourism establishments) for their excellent performances on water saving.

The use of water is of special concern for the management of golf de Naxhelet. The use of irrigation water within a closed loop of rainwater (also collected from the roofs) and water from the drains is rather unique in Belgium. Only greens and tees are irrigated. The use of water is monitored and depends on the local climate.
For the irrigation of the course they use only water which is available in the ponds (rainwater (also collected from the roofs) and drainage water) which follows the natural loop from higher to lower areas and which is pumped back to the higher ponds. All irrigation water is from drains on the course and rainwater collected from the buildings. There are 3 tanks (10 m³ each) to collect this water on the lowest point. The pumps used, to bring the water back to the higher ponds give 9 m³/h.
Drinking water is only used for the clubhouse, hotel and wellness. Thanks to the installation of top water saving equipment the yearly amount of water needed is small in comparison with other hotels and wellness facilities. The use of drinking water in the maintenance area is comparable with other clubs.

The irrigation system is toptechnology with nozzles to reduce the water use. They use the Rainbird system and the POGO hygrometer which informs the greenkeeper by GPS about the moisture in the ground (with registration) and allows him to steer.

However there is a restaurant, hotel and wellness the total amount of drinking water in 2015 was only 1400 m³ which is not much in comparison with others. The hotel and wellness department received the Green Key for their accomplishments on sustainability.
Between hole 5 and the tee of hole 4 the greenkeeping will install an impermeable foil into 2 water areas which are mostly dried out. This investment will keep the water in those water hazards and if necessary the preserved water can be used for irrigation (these 2 ponds are not part of the present irrigation system).

Energy

With the renovation of the old farm into a new clubhouse with hotel and wellness the best available techniques to prevent energy consumption are installed: high standards for isolation, ventilation and optimal climatisation. The main energy source is electricity but a big part is produced onsite with solar panels. The automatic robot mowers and ball picking devices are charged by the solar panel system. Natural gas is used for heating.

The total amount of onsite produced electricity (solar energy installation after 1 year) was already 90.000 kWh. The electricity company for the main electricity supply is Bee. The renovation of the old farm into a club house with hotel and wellness center was implemented with the latest standards of isolation, ventilation and climatisation for efficient energy use.

There is a solar panel installation (PV), solar boiler (warm water), they use natural gas and electricity from an external electricity supplier (Bee).

The transformation of the old farm into a clubhouse with hotel and wellness center is carried out with the best available techniques to reduce energy consumption and to be efficient. For instance this means there are automatic light switches in the trolley area, dressing rooms and lavatories.

Supply Chain

The main products being bought on our facilities are sand, fertilizers, fuel, retail products for the golfshop, seeds, products for the office and cleaning products and cosmetics for the hotel and wellness center. The purchasing policy is based on legal, economical, ecological and qualitative criteria. Products with an ecolabel or services which show excellent ecological management skills are preferenced. Other important criteria in the purchasing decision is the quality of service provided by the supplier (speed, security, after sales service, etc...).

The club encourages purchasers to seek out, inquire and review their consumption of goods and services in order to reduce usage where possible (reusable packaging for food and beverages, sand in bulk, fertilizers in big bag, …) . They give preference to products and services that can be manufactured, used, and disposed of in an environmentally and socially responsible way (certificates likes ecolabel, Fair Trade (Max Havelaar), attention for allergens).

Thirty percent of products and services used in Food and Beverage, Catering, Proshop, Maintenance Equipment and other supplies are within 10 kilometers of Naxhelet and 43% are within 100 kilometers. Some specific product are not locally available but the club is making an effort to identify local vendors as much as possible. On the other hand they always use local and seasonal foods which from this season will be cultivated at the new kitchen garden with conservatory (25 ares). The creative chef together with his local butcher won in 2015 the silver medal for their “Naxhelet sausage” in an international gastronomic contest.

All IPM activities are undertaken: seeding with Agrostis stolonifera and Agrostis tenuis on the greens, and Lolium perenne on tees, management program according to the number of tournaments, players and season (various heights of cut, detailed and implemented work planning at the greenkeepers office), enhancement soil structure, organic fertilizers, use of biostimulant, detailed program of mechanical operations, managing surface moisture: eliminating dew on fairways, semi-roughs and greens; locally pestwarning and forecasting (greens can recover natural and become stronger), monitoring/improvement of plant health with the elicitation; only organic and biological treatment. No fungicides are used on the greens. To control the parasites products with bacteria and nematodes are used.
For the course and IPM management the club embraces the expertise from Martin Hawtree (architect) and Ian Mac Millan (consultant).

The waste collection at the club is in accordance of legislation and standards, recyclable materials are separated, specialized companies take care of the waste disposal. With the use of reusable containments for the restaurant, big bags for fertilizers, methanisation of grass clippers etc a lot of waste is avoided.
The club contracted the waste collector SITA for their refused oil, oilfilters etc. The waste sorting on the course is implemented but not easy: the greenkeeping team still needs to sort different types of waste manually.

Pollution Control

The Club has no inputs of turfgrass pesticides and use only organic fertilizers. They follow standard practices of Integrated Pest Management and have coupled this with the implementation of Best Management Practices. The result is minimal inputs and protection of natural resources. The Club has instituted programs and processes to prevent pollution of resources. The maintenance facility has protective measures for the fuel island, spent oil and oil filters, mixing and loading of fertilizers and safe storage of petrol and fertilizers .

The latest water analysis was dated 31/1/2015. The analysis for 2016 was not available yet.

The washing area which is legally permitted is connected with municipal sewage collector. A more efficient washing station (with recycling of the water) will be placed in the next few years .
The waste water of the clubhouse is purified in an onsite water purification plant before discharge.

The storage of dangerous products like petrol is situated in a chemical storage container with all the necessary precaution materials. The storage is safe and the instructions for use and storage are clear.
The greenkeepers have a spacious, orderly, safe and hygienic workplace.
There is a register of hazardous products and all the necessary safety data sheets concerning the dangerous products are available.

For the safe storage of hazardous materials enough containment is available. The club has ordered a safety closet for the storage of the inflammable products (petrol-gasoline) which will be delivered within a few weeks. There is an impermeable concrete floor in the maintenance building (former garage). The tank for petrol has his own containment.

There is no use of fungicides or insecticides. Only Bofix was found: the club will use this herbicide only once a year.
A registration sheet with the consumption of all the products like fertilizers etc is available.
Dustbins are widely spread over the area to prevent waste on the course.

Community

The club has very strong and intimate links with the village and the local community (employment, purchasing policy, biological agriculture). This tradition is being actively maintained and enhanced, and the club additionally is being increasingly recognised for its leadership in sustainable management within the industry. Multiple actions evidenced in the OnCourse Report and planned show the potential for other clubs to follow. Externally the greenkeeper fulfills an active role with FADEM, giving lecture on sustainable and ecological course management. Also particularly impressive is the affectation of workers with special needs.

Almost 30 employees keep the club in excellent performance. Responsibilities for hotel, golf, restaurant, wellness, meetings and events are transparent and also externally communicated. There is a full listing of the attended lectures and education programm of the head greenkeeper. All the greenkeepers followed the Rain Bird training program. Most of the employees got a first aid training which is repeated every year.

The sustainability working group coincides with the management team of the club with completion of experts (Ian Mac Millan) and volunteers from the local community (beekeeper) for some specific actions. The contacts and projects with “green” organizations is in line with the GEO On Course program.

The local community is very welcome. At the start of the development project several meetings were held to inform and communicate with the neighbours and other inhabitants of Wanze. The initiators visited the local residents personally to explain the project and inform them about their intention. Everyone could give their considerations and objections so the project initiator benefits a broad social basis. The local government participated in the new entrance road.

Created within the confines of an old farm, renovated with meticulous concern for authenticity and respect for nature, the 33 rooms and 2 suites bask in an exceptional landscape with a view of the golf course, practice area, and the charming village of Moha (Wanze).
At the new entrance road a new district of 20 houses will be developed within a few years.
The owners of the club are also the owners of the surrounding agrarian acres which are cultivated organically and biologically. This strengthens the choice for ecological management of the golf course.

The club has e legal permit for all the activities and installations.

The members are informed by the letter of the greenkeeper (newsletters during visitf.e. december 2014; 15/4/2015; 25/1/2016) about the actions that are taken by the club concerning environment, maintenance etc. An sustainability and environmental policy was formulated for the whole area of golf, hotel and wellness center.

The Green Key label informs visitors about the ecological and sustainable management of the club, an independent audit was executed.
The website and the Facebook page of the clubs informs (potential) visitors about the life on the club, evidence of birds and other species were shown.

Documentation Reviewed

Conclusion

Golf Naxhelet earns this certification because of the excellent performance in course management, nature and habitat creation and professional management.

Certification Highlights

No use of synthetic chemical insecticides; biological treatment of pests
Use of solar energy and solar boiler to reduce energy consumption of non-renewable sources
Green Key label for clubhouse, hotel and wellness center
Local employment, local products in the restaurant
Very clean greenkeeping area.