Golfbaan Het Rijk Van Nunspeet

GEO Certified® 08/2017
Nunspeet,
Netherlands
Telephone: +31 541 255 255
Rvnunspeet0811-265_club_image

Executive summary (English & local language)

One of the key-features of the Het Rijk van Nunspeet golf course is the combination of a high level of course maintenance with a keen eye on a natural development of the surrounding nature areas and landscape. Drifting sand dunes, once a typical characteristic of this area, have been brought back on this course and heather vegetation is now being restored such that a more gradual and natural transition from playing area to the surrounding woodlands is achieved. Apart from that, the management demonstrated that sustainability is part of their management philosophy and prerequisite for a healthy commercial exploitation of golf courses. It is their intention to become a front-runner in the Netherlands with respect to minimal and or pesticide-free maintenance of their courses. Clearly with respect to sustainable course maintenance and sustainable management, the Nunspeetse is one of those courses that will function as an example for other courses in the Netherlands.

Nature

Het Rijk van Nunspeet opened its door in 1987 and consist out of 27 competition holes. The course is situated on sandy soil and before the agro-revolution in the beginning of the 20th century the main vegetation consisted out heather combined with pine trees. A characteristic feature of that time were the so-called drifting sand dunes. Trees were planted to avoid complete destruction of villages by piles of sand. In recent years these characteristics, like drifting sand and heather vegetation, have been brought back and are now an integral part of the playing area, without becoming a nuisance for the golfers. More and more heather vegetation and nutrient-poor grasslands starting to dominate now, which gives the course, combined with a undulating landscape a very natural look and feel. Several nature management plans have been made last few years in order to create a well balanced mix between playing quality of the course, nature development and look and feel. Rare and protected species have been described such that greenkeepers can take this into account with their course management strategy. It is advised that a full survey of least plants is performed by 2019/2020. Greens are dominated by a mixure of Agrostis species and Poa annua. During my discussion with the greenkeep team it became clear that reducing the amount of Poa annua is high on their priority list and that they will continue to experiment with technical measures in the future.

Water

Het Rijk van Nunspeet uses groundwater for irrigating greens, tees and fairways, and a certain discoloration is allowed on the fairways as long as the game itself is not influenced by it. This strategy generally comes at a cost: a relatively high annual irrigation rate. Indeed, several years ago water usage was high, but in recent years they started to experiment with lower irrigation rates without having an effect on the playing quality of the course. Given these prerequisites, the greenkeep team managed to bring down their rate of irrigation by 40% over the last years. To further optimize water usage it is advised to analyze water use for greens, tees and fairways the coming years.

Energy

The clubhouse is well insulated and during the last renovation conventional lightning was replaced by LED lightning. Furthermore, several high energy consuming equipment has been replaced by more energy efficient ones. Despite these measures electricity use is still relatively high. In order to reduce energy use, an energy audit, including a cost-benefit analysis, will be performed by 2018. Het Rijk van Nunspeet will switch from non-renewable to renewable energy once the contract with the present supplier has ended.

Supply Chain

Het Rijk van Nunspeet has recently started with an overview of local certified suppliers and produce. By the end of 2018 it should clear which suppliers will be selected and which local products will be on the menu. In parallel visitors will occasionally be requested to comment on this new strategy. Residual waste, paper and glass are separated according to legislation and collected by a certified company. To further reduce the presence of Poa annua in their greens (from 80% several years ago to 50% by 2016) the greenkeep team is experimenting with a further reduction in the rate of fertilization, in combination with a reduced irrigation rate and re-seeding with appropriate varieties of desired grass species.

Pollution Control

All chemical products used for maintenance of the course and storage of it comply with legislation, and maintenance of machinery and use of specific products is performed on impervious floors. As the use of pesticides on sports fields may be abandoned in the Netherlands within the next decade, the club wants to become a front-runner and an example for other courses. To this end, the organization now together with specialist in the field, experiment with several technical measures. Further, their tree management plan 2016-2028, may also contribute to a further reduction of chemical use. Maintenance of the woodlands surrounding the playing areas will be such that not only a more natural look and feel will emerge, but also will allow a higher penetrations of wind and sun on these playing areas.

Community

One of the key-features of this course is the combination of a high level of course maintenance with a keen eye on a natural development of the surrounding nature areas and landscape. Drifting sand dunes, once a typical characteristic of this area, have been brought back on this course and heather vegetation is now being restored such that a more gradual and natural transition from playing area to the surrounding woodlands is achieved. Using the standard communications techniques, the management wishes to further promote these key-features not only to the golfing community but also to local (non) governmental organizations. Personnel is properly trained and the management is now investigating possibilities to employ disabled people in their organization.

Documentation Reviewed

Conclusion

The management of the Het Rijk van Nunspeet demonstrated to become one of the front-runners with respect to sustainable management. I, Adrie van der Werf, therefore recommend golf club be awarded with the GEO-certificate.

Certification Highlights

Restoration of wind-blown sand dune habitat and heathland for key landscape and biodiversity value
40% reduction in irrigation following management focus
Energy efficient equipment replacement programme and plan to switch to renewable grid supply