Golf Club Udine

GEO Certified® 11/2011 GEO Re-Certified 09/2015
Fagagna,
Italy
Telephone: +39 0432 800418
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Executive summary (English & local language)

The Golf Club Udine is located in Northeast Italy in the region Friuli Venezia Giulia at approximately 20 km from the city of Udine. It is part of the municipality of Fagagna, which has been included in the list of “The most beautiful villages in Italy” since 2006. The Golf Club covers a surface of about 58 hectares at an average altitude of 230 meters above see level and it has 18 holes (the first 9 holes were built in 1972 and the second 9 in 1996 displaying an amazing view of the Carnic Alps). The golf course is well integrated in the surrounding landscape thanks to its rich arboreal heritage and it is characterized by natural forest mantles, mixed trees with indigenous and invasive species supplied by the Forestry Department, springs and low-maintenance areas enabling an excellent landscape integration of golf in the territory. The surrounding environment is hilly in a mostly agricultural area: the natural vegetation is dominated by hardwood deciduous forests with oaks (mainly English oaks Quercus robur and Downy oaks Quercus pubescens) and hornbeams (common hornbeams Carpinus betulus), whereas maples, ash trees and lime trees are less present. In the wetland the stretches characterized by hygrophile forest include alders and willows. In many areas chestnut trees and agricultural crops replaced the natural vegetation. Nearby, there are two protected areas: at 2 km the “Oasi dei Quadris” (involved in a project aimed at reintroducing the White Storks Ciconia ciconia and the Northern Bald Ibis (Geronticus eremita) and at 10 km the Cornino Reserve (where a project concerning the Griffon Vulture Gyps fulvus is taking place). From an historical point of view, closed to the golf club there are the ruins of the Castle of Fagagna, the Castle of Villalta and Arcano. Several works are in progres and for the next future will allow the course to be always and always involved in an active ecological management (a new hotel with photovoltaic system giving autonomy in its consumptions). The GC UDINE was awarded the “Committed to Green” certificate in 2005, in 2011 has been awarded with GEO Certification and it was awarded in 2014 for the “Committed to Green” Energy Category.

Il Golf Club Udine è sito nel nord Italia in Friuli Venezia Giulia a circa 20 km da Udine, nel Comune di Fagagna che fin dal 2006 è inserito nella selezione dei più bei paesi italiani. Il Club copre un'area di 58 ettari ad una altitudine media di circa 230 m slm, e sviluppa 18 buche (le prime 9 costruite nel 1972 e le seconde nel 1996) dalle quali si può godere una bella vista delle Alpi Carniche. Il campo è ben integrato nel paesaggio circostante grazie anche alle alberature prestigiose ed è caratterizzato da presenza di foresta mista con specie autoctone e invasive fornite dal Dipartimento Forestale. Sorgenti ed aree incolte sono parte integrante di questo territorio. L'ambiente circostante è costituito da dolci colline con fiorente attività agricola. La vegetazione naturale è dominata da boschi cedui di querce (Quercus robur, Quercus pubescens) e carpini (Carpinus betulus) con presenze più occasionali di aceri, frassini e tigli. Nelle zone più umide la vegetazione igrofila include ontani e salici. In altre aree, castagni e colture da agricoltura biologica hanno sostituito l'originario incolto naturale. Vi sono due aree protette nelle vicinanze: a 2 km di distanza l'Oasi dei Quadris all'interno della quale viene portato avanti il progetto di reintrodurre le Cicogne (Ciconia ciconia) e l'Ibis eremita (Geronticus eremita) e a 10 km la Riserva Cornino (con un progetto di reinserimento del Grifone ( Gyps fulvus). Sotto il profilo storico vi è nei pressi del Golf Club la presenza delle rovine del Castello di Fagagna, nonché la presenza del Castello di Villalta e del Castello di Arcano. In conseguenza dei molti lavori in corso, il Golf Club Udine sarà sempre più coinvolto in una attiva gestione ambientalmente sostenibile (il nuovo hotel attualmente in costruzione sarà completamente autonomo sotto il profilo energetico). Il Golf Club Udine è stato certificato Impegnati nel Verde nel 2005 e nel 2011 ha ricevuto la certificazione GEO. Nel 2014 gli è stato assegnato il Premio Impegnati nel Verde per la categoria Energia.

Nature

The location of the GC Udine and the environmental diversification in the territory confer a considerable natural value to the club. In its approximately 59 hectares there are forest mantles, two lakes, (one of which with water that comes from a spring) low maintenance areas with bushes and grass growing spontaneously, ditches bordered with trees, 53 tree species, 8 mammal species, 45 bird species, 6 reptile and amphibian species recorded with certainty. Many of these species are protected being included in international conventions (Bern and Bonn), in the Birds Directive 79/409, in the Italian Red List, in the SPEC and in the IUCN categories. Club’s fairways are often frequented by White Storks that nest in the area thanks to a project supervised by a neighboring reserve aimed at reintroducing the species. Storks stay in the area all year long, thus attracting other migrating birds in hopes that the latter will nest, too. The birds have become confident and are not frightened by players remaining close to them along the holes.
The club plays an important protectionist role for the species frequenting the area as opposed to the neighboring zones, where hunting activity is performed especially on wild boars and roe deers.
The correct landscape integration of the golf club confer value and importance to the course thanks to its natural arboreal heritage, the integration carried out over the years with indigenous and invasive plants, the view of the Carnic Alps and the disposition of the holes in accordance with the natural slopes frequented by White Storks present in the areas all year long.

Surveys on fauna and tree species have been done in the past and the course has a complete list of their presence (with reference to the trees: quantity and location along the course have been marked on a list; with reference to the fauna the level of protection and inclusion in the EC directives have been evaluated) - (Marta Visentin 2005, 2011, several of these data confirmed on 27 May 2015, date of visit); moreover the club has been included in a IGF research on birds conservation which took place in spring 2011. A survey on course trees took place in 2013 to secure 100 English Oaks Quercus robur. Moreover along the course 450 new plants (trees, shrubs and bushes) have been planted and most of them are native. Some artificial aquatic birds feeders have been placed close to the lakes but are used by other species too.

The course is not inside a protected area and there are not habitats of interest. Nearby, there are two protected areas: at 2 km the “Oasi dei Quadris” and at 10 km the Cornino Reserve.

The turfgrass is composed by the traditional mix present on the golf courses of the Po Valley and in the neighboring areas. The Agrostis stolonifera, a very demanding species from a water consumption point of view, is restricted to greens (about 1,2 ha) and partly tee areas (about 0,8 ha) in total, approximately 2 hectares. The rest (fairways, semirough and rough for a total of about 30 ha) is constituted by an original mix of Lolium perenne, Poa pratensis, Festuca rubra, which was quickly infected by Poa annua and Cynodon dactylon. Fairways surface is about 15 ha while semirough and rough are about 15 ha. Maintenance is very careful, the Superintendent graduated from the National Golf School and the staff is skilled and qualified. The monitoring of biotic and abiotic adversities takes place on a regular basis.

It's worth to be quoted a new created wetland as a water hazard before a Green consisting in a kind of stream with fresh running and calm water already colonized by water insects and amphibians (toes and frogs).

Water

The irrigation coverage is of approximately 16 hectares, which amount only to 27.0% of the total surface. A further coverage reduction is therefore not feasible. The club records the irrigation water consumption on a yearly basis. The water consumption for turfgrass maintenance is variable and depends on atmospheric precipitations, but it is one of the minimum quantity used in Italy for a 18 holes golf course with coolseason turf.

The source of water supply is a well that feeds a small lake of about 4,000 m³, in which the pumping station is located. Over the last three years (2012/2014) the average use amounted to a little more than 42,000 m³. This volume equals about half (711 m³/ha) of the amount of water used on average in the golf courses of the Po Valley (1,340 m³/ha). The irrigation programming is conceived in such a way to minimize waste and excessive consumption (syringing, irrigation early in the morning and so on) and a structural improvement of the irrigation system is the main objective in the years to come. In any case, further reductions in water use are not conceivable being at the lowest possible levels for the turfgrass species established and considering the climate conditions of the area. The consumption of the Club House is supplied by the drinking water of the public system, whereas in the Maintenance Facility a small part (5%) is provided by the well. In the last three years (2012/2014) the average use amounted to 1,918 m³ with a decrease of 9 % from 2012 to 2014. In order to save drinking water, a new area, where golf cars are cleaned using compressed air, has been built.

The irrigation system is fully PC controlled, serviced every 4 months, upgraded every year.

The maintenance staff is able to have a full control of water in terms of irrigation in order to be able to reduce water consumption (syringing, soil decompaction operations, use of wetting agents, reduction of irrigated areas, use of drought resistent cultivars). As far as the Club House is concerned, the club has joined a project named “Doccia Light” with the installation of 11 showers with low water consumption. Some low flow toilets have been installed in recent years.

Energy

Compared to the past, a new investment on saving energy consumption and energy production with renewable resources has been done. In 2013 on the maintenance facility building a photovoltaic roof of 120 KW has been placed followed by another one of 42 KW. An electric car, for internal use, has been purchased and this can be recharged outside in the parking area in front the course entrance; privates can eventually recharge their cars paying a fee to the course.
The Club House was built exploiting all the opportunities of natural ventilation in the summer, whereas the selection of casing, the thermal insulation of the roof and the optimization of energy consumption (thermostats and timers) ensure the heat retention during the winter. There is no air conditioning with the sole exception of the secretary’s office.
Between 2013 and 2014 clubhouse was restored following passive design enhancing natural illumination using wide windows. A timer manages all the internal lighting as far as locker rooms, warehouses, toilets. Moreover as heating system for the clubhouse a steel boiler condensation system (Buderus Logano SB325) connected to the photovoltaic roof.

The production of renewable energy has been of 4,124 Kwh in 2013. After the installation of the photovoltaic roof the total production has increased to 135,084 Kwh in 2014. In the same year the totale energy consumption (Club House plus Golf Course) has been of 123,157 Kwh. This means the Golf Club is totally self sufficient, and it has a positive balance of energy producted/consumed with an energetic surplus of 11,927 Kwh. This is particularly significativo because the photovoltaic panels could not work at full capacity due to the meteo conditions in the year (over 140 days of rain). Furthermore the new steel boiler condensation system for the heating system of the Club House has reduced the fuels consumptions for heating of about 47%. At the end of 2014 100 % of energy is coming from renewable sources. See above. As regard as the consumption in the Golf Course, Diesel has been reduced of 31% from 2012 to 2014 (33,039 liters in 2012 and 22,787 liters in 2014) and Hydraulic oil of 14% (220 liters in 2012 and 190 liters in 2014).

See above.

All the course, maintenace building, clubhouse and other course facilities are supplyed with renewable energy.

Supply Chain

Periodically, the club fills out a logbook (Quaderno di campagna), on which the use of pesticides and fertilizers is recorded. Pesticides are never used on a preventive basis, but only after the appearance of the first symptoms. The objective is to limit the use of these products and for the most they achieved this aim. The club adopts a waste sorting policy implemented by the Municipality as regards the majority of waste produced (glass, plastic, aluminum, metal, paper and cardboard) through the public waste disposal service. On the contrary, other materials are recycled directly on the golf course (grass clipping, cores, sand of the bunkers, timber).

The Club policy is to privilege the local supply of products and to incentivize authochtonous products of the area. Furthermore the Club is trying to incentivize the selection of certified products (D.O.C. and D.O.C.G., controlled origin denomination) particularly for food and wines. For the most the Club would like to privilege the use of recycled or recyclable products and products with minimal packaging.

There are 39 suppliers of the Golf Club (20 for food and beverage and 19 for turf maintenance). Fourteen of them are located in a ray of 10 km from the Golf Club, and twentyfive within 100 km.

The Golf Course has been redesigned in the years 2013 and 2014 with new holes and new turfgrass surfaces. So it is not possible compared the current total inputs with the three years of the last GEO certification. Anyway in 2014 the nutriens applied, in terms of N, P, K, is perfectly in line with the average rate of the golf courses in the Po Valley (Golf Courses and Traditional Crops: a Comparison of Inputs - P. Croce1, A. De Luca2 and M. Mocioni2 – European Turgrass Society Conference – Pisa 2008) for Nitrogen and Potassium (N = 31.1 kg/ha against 39.8; K = 31.8 kg/ha against 33.3). About Phosphorous the value is higher, but this is due to the fertilisations to establish new turf which required a quite high ammount of P traditionally (P = 17.6 kg/ha against 6.0). As regard as the diseases, insects and weeds control, the 2014 data record are even more significant in terms of reduction of inputs quantities. Comparing with the average rate of the golf courses in the Po Valley we have: fungicides 2.09 kg/ha against 3.05 on average, herbicides 0.01 kg/ha against 1.7 and insecticides 0.00 kg/ha against 1,9.

The disposal of special waste such as mineral oils and electric batteries shall be subject to the legal provisions in force and to the insertion in the appropriate register (SISTRI). The storage of pesticides takes place in compliance with the law. The monitoring of wastewaters occurs on a yearly basis by means of chemical analysis, and daily through the visual observation. The Club House wastewaters are now sent to the district depuration plant realised by the Municipality. An autonomous device filters the waste of the Maintenance Facility and of the wash pad. A new washing pad for machinery has been realized inside the maintenance facility connected with a phytodepuration system. According with the regional law the Club has adopted a system of differentiated garbage collection called door by door. All the staff has been educated to respect the rules in terms of recyclable materials and differentiated collection.

Pollution Control

The club adopts a waste sorting policy implemented by the Municipality as regards the majority of waste produced (glass, plastic, aluminum, metal, paper and cardboard) through the public waste disposal service. On the contrary, other materials are recycled directly on the golf course (grass clipping, cores, sand of the bunkers, timber). A new washing pad for machinery has been realized inside the maintenance facility connected with a phytodepuration system. This is one of the first plan realised in an Italian Golf Course.

On site chemical and biological water analysis are made every two years.

Direct Connection to the sewage system realised by the Municipality, a part from the maintenance building with washing pad with filters and phytodepuration system

Attention is paid to the hazardous materials (lubrificants, cooking oils, pesticides packages, fertiliser bags, oil filter, batteries) . All them are stored in secure storage and their removal from the Golf Club area is made according to the National and Regional rules.

All the materials used on Club House & Maintenance facility area are selected among the less toxic and less persistent products. The Club has recently installed an above ground fuel tanks (13,000 l) with crush protection.

Monitoring for pests and diseases is costantly made by the course staff. Verticuttings, topdressings and aerification operations are operated on regular basis. The use of pesticides is reduced to the minimum. The total quantity of them is probably one of the smallest of all the Golf Clubs located in the Po Valley area. The most of chemical treatments are carried out using handheld sprayers for localized areas. Sprayers are calibrated and tested every four months. Buffer zones are located all around the water bodies and lakes.

Community

The club was awarded the “Committed to Green” certificate. The plaque was displayed at the entrance of the Club House and specific information regarding the award has been included in the web site. Awareness was raised among its members concerning the fact that golf carts should not be used and that players should instead walk the entire golf course.

Employees at this golf facility receive the following formal and informal environmental education on: storage, application and disposal of pesticides; Efficient water management; Management of accidents and emergencies; waste minimization, separation and recycling; health and safety.

The Udine GC was awarded the “Committed to Green” certificate in 2005, in 2011 has been awarded with GEO Certification and it was awarded in 2014 for the “Committed to Green” Energy Category.

The GC contribution to the local community consists in the maintenance of non polluted green area, which is also the dwelling of some species of animals (squirrels, storks and others), that here find a protected and safe environment. A new hiking trail network around the course is building and it will be opened in the next months. These trail paths will be open also to non-golfers in the next future.

Historical or archaeological valuable sites are not present within the golf club, whereas in the surrounding areas the ruins of the Castle of Fagagna, the Castle of Villalta and Arcano have been discovered.

The Golf Club undertakes the following internal environmental communications: newletters, notice boards, poster displays. There are on-site interpretation panels and course signs at any hole and on all the access paths to the facility and the course.

The Club has edited both course guides and brochures. The web site is well organised and press releases at special occasions. For years the Club has organized stages for school teachers and courses for the students of the elementary, junior and secondary schools of the area.

Documentation Reviewed

Conclusion

The commitment and the awareness-raising effort demonstrated by the staff is proof of the excellent work being carried out over the years also as a result of the “Committed to Green” project and GEO Certification in 2011. The landscape integration, water consumption below the average in comparison to other golf courses located in similar environmental context, a turfgrass maintenance in accordance with the agronomic methods and with the use of pesticides only in case of visible signs of disease and not in a preemptive way, the protection of arboreal heritage, the insulation of the Club House to reduce winter energy consumption and the absence of air conditioning to reduce summer consumption (an appropriate air circulation and ventilation system in the rooms were studied to this end) describe the commitment of the club in achieving real results related to the environmental field. All this added to the recent investment in producing energy usin a renewable energy source as the sun realizing a photovoltaic roff which guarantees the autonomy in energy consumptions. The presence of animal species of community interest represent an added value for this course that creates a protected natural environment and a useful ecological corridor in the surrounding agricultural areas characterized by a significant hunting activity.

Certification Highlights

The GC UDINE was awarded the “Committed to Green” certificate in 2005, in 2011 has been awarded with GEO Certification and it was awarded in 2014 for the “Committed to Green” Energy Category.
Photovoltaic roof and consequent total autonomy in energy consumptions
Phytodepuration system
Planting 450 new plants (trees, shrubs, bushes)
Wider fruiction of the course playing footgolf and walking trails
New about 20 hectares purchased, will allow the course to have wild areas with natural vegetation
Pesticides use very reduced