Stichting Golf Duinzicht

GEO Certified® 08/2012 GEO Re-Certified 01/2016
Den Haag,
Netherlands
Telephone: +31(0) 70 3246598
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Executive summary (English & local language)

On Thursday 23th of December, I visited Golf Duizicht in order to execute the second audit for GEO. The 9-holes golf course is situated between The Hague and Wassenaar. I found the golf course, the small but cozy club house and brand new maintenance facility in good order. The enthusiastic GEO-commission has made a great deal of improvements to the golf course during the past three years. Together with some very involved club members, they have finished some major goals in order to improve sustainability in the daily management of the golf course.
Asides from the newly constructed maintenance facility and the renovation of grassland holes to a more inlands-links landscape, has increased the playing quality and sustainability. Remarkable is the number of volunteers that help around the golf course with sustainability and course maintenance. The good relations that the golf club has with the municipality, local nature working groups and neighbours is remarkable as well.

Since 2014, the golf club has been working with a contractor for the maintenance of the course. This way, the club now has direct access to the knowledge and experience about turf grass management. This can be noticed in the use and quality of energy and resources.
The golf club profiles itself as a committed and involved club that plays a 9-holes golf course with training facilities which is very attractive to the elderly golfer.

Op donderdag 23 december 2015 heb ik een auditbezoek uitgevoerd op Golf Duinzicht in Den Haag. Deze Golfclub is sinds 2012 GEO gecertificeerd. De 9 holes golfclub is gelegen op de grens van Den Haag en Wassenaar. De golfbaan, het kleine en sfeervolle clubhuis en de gloednieuwe greenkeepersfaciliteit heb ik in goede staat aangetroffen. De GEO-commissie is uiterst enthousiast en heeft in de afgelopen 3 jaar veel werk verricht. Samen met de betrekken clubleden hebben zij in de afgelopen periode verschillende zaken en doelstelling opgepakt ten behoeve van duurzaamheid.
Naast de aanleg van een nieuwe greenkeepers onderkomen en het omvormen van grasland holes naar een natuurlijk duinlandschap zijn er op meerdere vlakken van duurzaamheid en spelkwaliteit grote vooruitgangen geboekt. Noemenswaardig is zeker het grote aantal vrijwilligers van de club, welke zich inzetten voor duurzaamheid en baanbeheer, ook de goede samenwerking met gemeente, lokale natuurbeheer verenigingen en omwonenden is zeker bijzonder te noemen.

De club is sinds 2014 overgestapt van eigen greenkeepers personeel naar het uitbesteden van het onderhoudswerk aan een aannemer. Hierdoor is er volgens de club meer kennis in de organisatie gekomen over het beheer van natuur en turfgras. Dit is te merken in kwaliteit en gebruik van bronnen.
De golfclub profileert zichzelf als een hechte en betrokken golfclub, op een korte 9 holes golfbaan en oefenfaciliteiten, welke bijzonder aantrekkelijk is de wat oudere golfer.

Nature

The golf club has taken several measures to further develop the natural elements and landscape on the golf course. The ambition of the GEO-commission and club is to bring back the characteristic elements of a dune landscape to the golf course. During the past three years, preparations and a start have been made to renovating the holes in the ‘Paardenwei’ zone, together with golf course architect Alan Rijks. This developement has been communicated intensively with the municipality, local nature working groups and direct neighbours. At the end, everyone was content with the outcome.

The golf clubs has frequent surveys of the flora and fauna present, which is conducted by members of the club, somtimes with external expertise of local nature work groups that are specialised in certain species groups.

During the next years, the golf club wishes to renovate the other parts of the golf course. They will make a start with surveys and the gathering of sufficient fundings to make these developements.

The golf club has changed the maintenance team from a team of their own to a team of greenkeepers from a contractor. This has caused GEO to be implemented in the contractor agreement. They have improved the decision making on planning large maintenance and the use of chemical products and fertilizers. External advice is used and reviewed with the greenkeeping. As a result, the amount of fertilizers used has decreased and the quality of the greens has improved. By using and implementing the knowledge and experience of the contractor, the stimp value of the greens has gone from 6,5 to 9.

Concerning research and surveys, the golf club has taken several actions. Animal species groups and have been surveyed by volunteers, local nature working groups and external advisors. This gives a complete image of the flora and fauna present. Protected species have been included in these surveys, and the club has looked into the influence of the maintenance on the complience to the Dutch Flora and Fauna Act. The policy to work according to this law has been included in their maintenance plan.
An important action for the next years will be to conduct new surveys to the development of the flora and fauna and the implementation of the Flora and Fauna Act in working protocols.

Water

The golf course uses three types of water: potable water for the club house and surface and ground water for the irrigation of the golf course. The past years, the golf club has taken measures to decrease the use of potable water.
They have a clear vision on irrigation: coloration of the turf grass is allowed, as long as the plants stay healthy.

From the usage numbers can be seen that the use of potable water has halved. This, however, is not all thanks to the actions the club has taken. The golf club has no clear idea on where this decrease might have come from, but after several researches it can not be put on leakages that have been repaired. They suspect the water indicators to have been interpreted the wrong way, not those of the golf club, but those of the neighbouring sports accommodations, which share the same indicators.

For the next period of time, it is wise to monitor the chemical composition of the surface and ground water. It may be usefull to know, since some parts of the golf course are irrigated with solely surface water, while other parts receive water from both sources. Should a difference in quality show, the greenkeeping may alter the fertilization plan.

Concerning the use of water on the golf course, the irrigation system has been renovated and several sprinklers have been replaced.
Also, the area irrigated has been reviewed. In order to keep the dune vegetation rough and oligotrophic, part of the sprinklers has been replaced for targeted sprinkler heads. This way, the fairways are only irrigated when needed.

The past years, several instalments have been made in the club house. For example, new and water saving taps have been installed in the restrooms.

Energy

The use of energy has been audited during the past years in order to get more insight on this subject. The commission concerned with the audit, has gone over the measurements that can be taken in order to further decrease the use of energy.

The greenkeeping uses diesel and petrol als sources of fuel. The usage numbers have been decreasing over the years, and the greenkeeping tries to use their equipment as efficient as possible by bringing all tools needed with them at once during maintenance.
Despite the expansion of the course with the Amonsvlakte holes, the use of fuel and electricity has not increased.
The next years, monitoring the usage numers will be a point of interest.

The golf club has changed their energy supplier to that of ‘Greenchoice’, a green energy supplier of the Netherlands. They also use hybrid triple mowers to decrease the use of fuel, this is already made visible in their usage numbers.

Based on the energy audit the club has undertaken, several actions have been taken to further decrease the use of energy. For example, a new high output boiler has been installed, the roof has been insulated and energy saving lamps have been installed.

Supply Chain

Despite the small restaurant, that runs on the efforts of the volunteers, the waste management and purchasing of materials is done very professionaly. The separation and collecting of waste is done in cooperation with the other sports accommodations, a wonderful example of civil participation.
Also, there have been big changes in the way the maintenance is planned and executed. By using specifically adjusted maintenance, the turf grass is kept healthy with a minimal of inputs.

The restaurant purchases their products once a week in large volume packaging to keep the transport efficient. When hardware needs to be replaced, the impact on the enviroment of the new hardware is taken into serious consideration. Of course the price and quality ratio is important, but an efficient purchasing policy is always considered.

The golf club uses only two suppliers for their products in the club house. These suppliers are located 20 kilometres from the golf course. Because no ellaborate meals are served in the club house, the amount of purchases needed is fairly low. When looking at sustainability, this is not a subject that can be gained on much. Small purchases are already done at small and local stores. The golf club combines their purchases with the purchases of the greenkeeping, causing less transport to the golf course.

The greenkeeping uses several measures to keep the turf grass as healthy as possible. They use a specific maintenance plan that is written for the situation on the golf course and which is adjusted annualy. By monitoring the health of the grass closely, additional actions can be taken. At the moment, the agronomist of the contractor is conducting a survey to the quality and health of the greens.
The golf club states that the use of chemical products is only done when no other maintenance or actions seem to work. They also have the ambition to lower the amount of fertilizer to work towards turf grass that needs a minimal of inputs to stay healthy.

With the management of waste streams, the golf club wishes to be sustainable and pro-active. Because of it’s location the golf club can work together with other sports accommodation in their waste management. In consultation with the hockey club, the golf club has decided to come to a joined waste collection agreement in 2015. The waste is being separated and then collected.

Pollution Control

During my visit, I concluded that all facilities are in complience with the Dutch Environmental Protection Act. The new maintenance facility and washing pad are build according to the lawful requirements. There is abundant knowledge on how to work with hazardous products. The golf club and greenkeeping does everything they can to prevent polution of the environment.

Maintaining a good water quality is very important to the golf course maintenance. This can be seen in the ellaborate texts of the GEO-management plan that has been reviewed for this audit. The reason is that the club uses water not only to irrigate the holes, but also wishes to increase the natural value of the water features for flora and fauna.

Ever since the maintenance facility has been renewed, water that comes from the washing pads is first collected in an oil separator. This is a major improvement since the last audit.
With this, the golf club shows responsibility for the environment.

Not only the greenkeeping, but also the course commissioner knows how to work with hazardous products. These products are stored carefully in both the new maintenance facility, and partially in a special bunker just outside the maintenance facility. The head greenkeeper states that everyone is involved in keeping the environment clean and healthy. This is why avoiding accidents that involve hazardous materials is a recurring subject during work meetings.

From the past audit information, it became clear that the facilities that the greenkeeping uses, were no longer complient to the Dutch legal requirements. Because of this, the golf club has build a braqnd new facility on a new patch of land, that is leased from the municipality. This building meets al legal requirements. The washing pad has an impervious floor, cupboards have leak collectors so that oils and plant protection product scan be stored correctly.

During working hours, the greenkeeping is focussed on avoiding polution on the golf course. Machines are serviced frequently to keep them safe.

Community

The enthusiastic GEO-commission has made it possible for the golf club to have their second GEO sustainability audit. They have an active volunteer network of 45 club memebers that provide a wide involvement for sutainability.
The ambition to let club members have acces to the plans for reducing costs and environmental care, shows the dedication of the golf club and their wish for a responsible management.

The maintenance of the golf course is done by a contractor. From the meetings and the GEO-maintenance plan it shows that the club works with educated personeel and offers additional trainings for in-house safety and management of water and energy. For them, this is a normal part of golf course management.

The golf club has a steady commission with very involved members that implement sustainable working in the daily golf course management. They have collected all information necessary for the GEO program and the further executing of the sustainable goals.

When reviewing the plans and the online GEO form, it became clear quickly that Golf Duinzicht has an extensive network with the community. Local nature working groups are informed on the ecologie of the golfcourse, and sometimes used for external expertise. High schools can take clinics on the golf course. This made it clear that this golf club is a part of the local community.

The area of the golf course is too small to facilitate other recreational groups. The club does cooperate with the other sports clubs to join the collection of waste.
The new maintenance facility is used by the contractor to temporary store their machines when they are needed on golf courses nearby. This reduces the transport of these machines.

Internal communication is done by the clubmagazine ‘the Duinpieper’ that is published four times a year. Articles on nature and environmental care appear aswell.
Members are kept informed during information evenings and course walks that are very popular.
In the club house are picture frames with a variable content of the different club activities. There are 45 active volunteers involved and the number does not seem to decrease. There is a waiting list for volunteers whenever activities for nature maintenance take place.

The golf club has the ambition to broaden their communication. The website already has a page about GEO that is also visible for non-golfers. Also, there are joined projects with the other sports accommodations.

Documentation Reviewed

Conclusion

Golf Duinzicht has spent a great deal of time and funds in the renovation of the holes to make these more sustainable. The next years wil be focussed on the monitoring of the changes they have made and the preparations for new renovations in the future.

By having a more professional greenkeeping team, the club now has acces to knowledge and expertise. This is already visible in the health and quality of the turf grass. The ambition to work towards a golf course that needs no chemical products and fertilization, can only be praised.

It is always very inspiring to see the involvement of club members with their golf course. The fact that there is a waiting list to become a volunteer emphasises the way that the members are engaged in the course maintenance and management. The involvement with natural developement and environmental care is also very visible.

I therefor will highly recommend the recertification of Golf Duinzicht for the next three years.

Certification Highlights

Professional greenkeeping team with all modern facilities needed

An ambitious and involved GEO-commission, assisted by 45 volunteers

Big plans for future renovations towards a modern and sustainable golf course