Kennemer Golf & Country Club

GEO Certified® 05/2013 GEO Re-Certified 01/2017
Zandvoort,
Netherlands
Telephone: +31 23 5712836
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Executive summary (English & local language)

De Kennemer golf club has over the years shown that they endorse sustainability and act accordingly to it. With respect to nature management they renovated their course along the lines of the first golf course architect Henry Colt. Water usage for irrigation purposes decreased towards the targets set 4 years ago, and now the club house is being renovated such that it fulfils modern-day expectations with respect to energy use. During my discussions with the sustainability committee it became clear that De Kennemer is taking care of its historical grounds and buildings, furthermore knowledge within the team is such that all themes of GEO can be covered properly. Without any hesitation I can say that their management with respect to sustainability and love for their unique golf course is an example for other golf clubs in The Netherlands.

Nature

Golf course “De Kennemer” was designed by Henry Colt and opened its doors around 1928. Beautifully situated in the dune landscape nearby the city of Zandvoort, the course naturally follows the contours of the landscape. Besides dunes, the landscape over the past centuries consisted partially out of small scale agricultural plots for growing various food crops. Several of these small plots are still present in the course and preserved. After the second world war, the course was renovated and in the eighties of the last century extended with another 9 holes. Now, De Kennemer consist out of 27 holes and only recently hosted the Dutch KLM Open successfully for three consecutive years. As with many older courses, even on nutrient-poor soils trees may finally dominate the landscape. Based on several management plans, the club decided to partially restore the original design resulting now in an magnificent open golf landscape where shrubs, trees, species-rich grassland and some drifting dunes surround the playing areas. The club used many management practises, like e.g. sheep grazing and top soil removal, to remove non-native invasive tree and shrub species. Despite all these efforts still re-sprouting and seedling invasion remains a problem. During my discussions with the highly skilled second head greenkeeper, it became clear that elimination of non-native species remains a top priority the next coming years. The 80 ha terrain was and remains a perfect habitat for animals and plants. In 2010 an extensive analysis was made of species occuring on De Kennemer. Compared to 2010, two red list plant species were not present anymore in 2016, whereas 3 three new ones were discovered. Coming years De Kennemer will implement their new nature management plan (2017-2021). As discussed, they will also perform a detailed analysis of plant and animal species in the nearby future. During my visit end of November the greens, fairways and tees were in a good shape with little visual signs of fungi. Despite the variety in the construction of the soil of the greens, the greenkeepers are able to keep the amount of Poa annua as low as possible.

Water

De Kennemer uses groundwater for irrigating the playing areas. Until 2010 water usage was relatively high, even for a 27 holes course (over 50.000 m3 per annum). Partly due to the implementation of a new irrigation system in combination with a weather station and sustainability awareness the greenkeep team managed to reduce their irrigation rate down to 35.000 m3 by 2015 (target as set in 2012 achieved). The greenkeep team will continue to further reduce water use, however during our discussion it was mentioned that the lower limit may have been reached especially for this sandy course nearby the sea. Watersaving showerheads were installed recently. Total water use in the clubhouse is not extremely high and because of other priorities (see energy section) any further investment in reducing potable water use is not foreseen the coming years.

Energy

Recently, a detailed analyses of existing heating and kitchen equipment was made, including a complete picture of insulation capacity of the clubhouse. Based on these analyses, De Kennemer now works with a detailed schedule with respect to energy saving for the renovation of their building(s). Several freezing units have been replaced by more energy saving ones, old fashioned lightning has largely been replaced by LEDs, and at the time of my visit part of the clubhouse was already newly insulated. De Kennemer makes use of renewable electricity and will continue to further reduce their energy use as much possible.

Supply Chain

In general, in The Netherlands materials are bought in bulk to reduce negative effect on the environment as much as possible and to reduce costs of processing this waste. Also De Kennemer makes use of large bulk packaging as much as possible for both the restaurant and materials for maintenance of the course. Waste is separated according to legislation and recently large containers were installed to collect e.g iron, plastics, papers etc separately. Already for several years fertilizers are applied via their irrigation system and the rates are based expert knowledge in combination with chemical soil and plant analysis and are appropriate for the grass species used. Their rate of phosphorous application was relatively high over the years, also in 2013-2014, but has been reduced greatly by 2015. They will continue to analyse the effect of this reduction on plant health and plant performance.

Pollution Control

All waste water from both the clubhouse and greenkeeping location is discharged via an oil/grease separator to the main sewer. Maintenance of machinery is done on impervious floors and all chemicals and fertilizers are stored appropriately according to legislation. Noteworthy was the immaculate state of the greenkeep location. Clearly De Kennemer has a highly skilled greenkeeping team that knows how to maintain the course and to minimize pollution as much as possible. This is partly due to the responsible greenkeeper who showed a lot knowledge not only on e.g. grass species, maintenance and fertilization but also on sustainability issues, and who is willing and capable to exchange this with his the team.

Community

De Kennemer communicates on sustainability and nature issues internally and externally via standard channels, i.e. newsletters, website and brochures. The sustainability committee clearly demonstrated and discussed that sustainable golf course management is part of their genes and that De Kennemer should take lead in this, being one of the more prominent courses of mainland Europe. They are in good contact with local authorities and other (nature) organizations, and the club regularly organises charity meetings for local (health care) organizations. Personnel gets all possibilities to further develop themselves with respect to course management and safety issues in and around the clubhouse.

Documentation Reviewed

Conclusion

De Kennemer golf club has over the years shown that they endorse sustainability and act accordingly to it. With respect to nature management they renovated their course along the lines of the first golf course architect Henry Colt. Water usage for irrigation purposes decreased towards the targets set 4 years ago, and now the club house is being renovated such that it fulfils modern-day expectations with respect to energy use. During my discussions with the sustainability committee it became clear that De Kennemer is taking care of its historical grounds and buildings, furthermore knowledge within the team is such that all themes of GEO can be covered properly. Without any hesitation I can say that their management with respect to sustainability and love for their unique golf course is an example for other golf clubs in The Netherlands. I, Adrie van der Werf, therefore recommend De Kennemer golf club with the sustainability GEO certificate

Certification Highlights

3 new 'Red List' plant species discovered during biodiversity surveying
Creation of 4/5 acres of drifting dune habitat and ongoing development of wet dune slacks
New energy and water efficient showers installed
New insulation materials, insulating glass and radiator foils installed to improve energy efficiency
New sprayers purchased to reduce drift by 40%