Elmwood Golf Course

GEO Certified® 01/2013 GEO Re-Certified 01/2016
Scotland, United Kingdom
Telephone: +44 1334 658914

Elmwood Golf Course is an 18 hole course, opened in 1997 and modified to incorporate additional land in 2008. It is a multi-purpose golf facility in a very particular sense, in that it is operated both as a daily-play green fee course, and as a key teaching resource for its parent organisation SRUC , which includes a wide range of well-respected greenkeeping and golf course management courses on its curriculum.

Consolidation within SRUC since 2012 has brought sustainability issues within a more extensive overarching policy framework: the IS…

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GEO Certified® Report

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Click below to read about the activities undertaken by this golf facility to operate sustainably.

Facility details

Golf Courses
Elmwood Golf Course (18 holes, 6176 yards, year opened 1997)
1 Clubhouse(s)
1 Maintenance Facility/Facilities
1 Practice Facility/Facilities
1 Other
1 Other
1 Other
1 Other


The last three years have seen many positives changes in the management, enhancement and protection of nature and landscape at the Golf Course.
Key areas of achievement include the development of hibernacula, wildlife corridors and areas of naturalised meadow.
The course opened in 1997 and was designed to reflect the original character of the landscape. As such it comprises wide open expanses framed by woodland strips and stane dykes. The course design was based on a strong framework of semi-native woodland blocks and extensive compartments of ecological rough which have been shaped and reshaped to enhance the overall appearance and play of the course and provide habitat for insects, birds and small mammals. The course continues to mature in appearance and value as a rich natural habitat. Created in 2008, the course extension to the north east of the property is playing a key role in encouraging biodiversity and in improving water quality at the course through natural reed filtration. The pond complex consists of 3 ponds, a student-developed and constructed sand martin nesting wall and several willow bridges. A diverse variety of species inhabit the pond, including smooth newts and moorhens. Also located in the area is a bug hotel to encourage pollinators, especially solitary bees. As part of our ISO 14001 environmental objectives, a swan/duck island has also been created, with further plans to develop the area as a natural haven for a wide variety of plant and animal life underway.
In 2015 a Phase 1 Habitat and Species Survey was carried out giving us our first full survey of the course since 2003. Data from the survey will be used as a baseline for the site and will allow us to monitor the impact of our management practices on the course's biodiversity in the longer term.

Consultation & Surveys

This golf facility consults the following organizations regarding landscape heritage conservation:

  • Elmwood College Conservation Department (Stuart Mcdonald, John Salter)
  • GreenProgress (Elspeth Coutts, GEOSA)
  • Scottish Golf Environment Group
  • Central Scotland Woodlands Trust
  • SAC Consultancy

The following landscape assessments and surveys have been undertaken at this golf facility:

Title Author Date View document
Course map - new layout and driving range 2012/11/28 Download
Aerial picture of course (during reconstuction & extension) 2008/07/04 Download
Golf Course Map - Old layout Download

This golf facility consults the following organizations regarding ecosystem protection and enhancement:

  • GreenProgress (Elspeth Coutts, GEOSA)
  • Elmwood College Conservation Department (Stuart Mcdonald)
  • Scottish Golf Environment Group
  • Fife Coast and Countryside Trust
  • Friends of Angus Herptofauna
  • Krista Nevis Conservation
  • Sand Martin Trust (Edward Cowley)
  • The Living Lomonds Project
  • SAC Consultancy

The following ecological surveys have been undertaken at this golf facility:

Title Author Date View document
Plant Species Survey 2002/05/29 Download
Integrated Management Plan Appendices - Species Inventories of Birds & Mammals Elmwood College Conservation Department 2002/04/02 Download
The Business and Biodiversity External Assessment Report Wildlife Trusts (James Calow) 2003/09/08 Download
Elmwood 2003-2004 Biodiversity Field Study NRC NRC, Carol Crawford Download
SRUC Environment Policy SRUC 2014/09/01 Download
Moth Survey 2014 Brian Innes 2014/07/01 Download
Bug Count Cupar Scouts 2015/09/08 Download
Habitat and Species Survey 2015 Paul Chapman 2015/11/11 Download

Rare, protected and notable species occurring at this golf facility:

Local name Scientific name
Common restharrow Ononis repens
Field scabious Knautia arvensis
Hop trefoil Trifolium campestre
Hybrid campion Silene dioica x Silene latifolia
Northern marsh orchid Dactylorhiza purpurella
Red Squirrels Sciurus vulgaris
Otter - unconfirmed sighting 2010 Lutra lutra
Skylark Alauda arvensis
Soprano pipistrelle bat Pipistrellus pygmaeus

This golf facility regularly monitors the following species as indicators of environmental quality:

Local name Scientific name
Frog Rana temporaria
Toad Bufo bufo
Newt - smooth Triturus vulgaris
Sand martins Riparia riparia
Red squirrel Sciurus vulgaris

Habitats & Designations

This golf facility does not feature any landscape designations.

Area of habitats / vegetation types, and associated designations at this golf facility:

Title Estimated Area (Hectares) Designation
Rough 'ecological' grassland 16.2 None
Open Water Features 0.28 ha None
Semi-native plantation woodland 4 None
Hedgerows (2.2KM) 0.22 None
Wildflower meadows 1 N/A


Size and estimated species composition of amenity turfgrass maintained at this golf facility.

Estimated Area (Hectares) Turfgrass Species Sward Composition (%)
Greens 1.3 Hectares Agrostis tenuis / capillaris 40%
Poa annua 50%
Tees 0.9 Hectares Agrostis tenuis / capillaris 40%
Festuca rubra 30%
Fairways 11.6 Hectares Agrostis tenuis / capillaris 40%
Festuca rubra 40%
Semi Rough 20.2 Hectares Lolium perenne 30%
Agrostis tenuis / capillaris 30%

These turfgrasses are optimal for the circumstances at this club because:
The grasses chosen have disease resistance, high shoot density to reduce poa invasion and year round colour. We hope to further increase these grasses as we employ a sustainable management program. They are best suited to our climate and the sand-based greens construction. We continue to use rye/fescue mix on the driving range as it is used extensively all year round.

This golf facility assesses mowing patterns every: 1 months

This golf facility consults the following individuals / organizations regarding its grassing plan:

  • William Murphy (TerraLift)
  • Blair Young (Aitkens)
  • Dr Kate Entwistle (Turf Disease Centre)
  • Ian MacMillan (MacMillan Consultancy)

This golf facility is making the following efforts to manage the playing quality expectations of customers:

Activity Description
Establishing clear internal policies for irrigation, fertilization, colour, cutting heights, overseeding etc We are currently in the process of creating a Course Policy document which will detail all internal policies and be made public through the golf course website.
Promoting the playing quality values of more naturalized turf, particularly fairways and semi-rough There are regular maintenance updates for golfers to inform them of the planned work and what we are trying to achieve. They are made aware of the problems we face and try to resolve through sound greenkeeping practices.
Promoting the financial benefits of presenting sustainable surfaces We have reduced fertiliser inputs and aim to further reduce when the percentage of fescue grasses increase. Annual turf inputs shall be made public through the Course Policy document and will give an indicator towards the savings made through reducing the quantity of inputs.
Improving customer understanding around greens maintenance Since 2013, information boards have been located around the facility and we also use social media to inform golfers of planned work and the benefits of such work. It also prepares golfer for surfaces that are not to usual standard but we hope that good communication will help customers understand.
Demonstrating the direct relationship between environmental best practice and year round high quality playing surfaces Creating an environment that allows air and water movement with a balanced organic fertiliser program will in turn create smooth and dry surfaces the are resilient to year-round play.
Meeting with Elmwood Golfing Society Meetings are held between senior greens staff and the course society to keep them informed on work carried out on the course and also to give them prior notice for any planned work. These meetings are a useful platform for asking the society for their feedback and input on the courses performance.
Education Elmwood Golf Course is a training provider so our main duty is the education of students. Sustainability is built into the course curriculum wherever it is relevant and is also passed onto the students through demonstrating best practice procedures.

Conservation & Enhancement

This golf facility is undertaking the following activities to conserve landscape character:

Activity Description
Allowing seasonal variation of course coloration and texture Sustainable management of hedges allows full flowering and fruiting cycles to occur. Our fertiliser and irrigation programs do not encourage lush green growth allowing for seasonal variation in the turf colouring.

Appropriately matching mowing lines to contours We are fortunate not to have very steep slopes anywhere on the course but do ensure our greens iron is used with the drive roller situated at the bottom of the slope as per manufacturer's recommendations. We don’t stripe the semi-rough any more so as to give a more natural looking finish.
Protection and restoration of historic features Multiple examples of retention and rebuilding of original field boundary dry stane dykes. A re-establishment of traditional farm hedgerows is in progress. Where walls have been removed, stone has been retained for future use, the stone piles providing habitat niches for small fauna until used.
Discreet on-course signage and furniture Low maintenance hardwood signage has been installed throughout the course to guide golfers on their way around and to show the length of holes. Benches have been donated to the course by members and are situated on the 9th, 12th and 17th holes.
Screening and softening unsightly man-made features Entrance road bund reshaped with softer irregular undulations which suits mowing better, screens the road from view and separates golfers from traffic. Hedges have been planted to screen neighbouring industrial estate and railway track which borders the course's 5th hole.
Original course design 1997 The layout followed the subtle natural topography with no major earthmoving. Structure planting for boundary definition and screening to fit in with local wooded farmland landscape and to permit and frame views of the Lomond Hills.
Design of maintenance facility Green-clad, low profile building to minimise visual impact of sizeable modern structure. Set against eaves-height banking to north, with partial bank screening to east.
Design of clubhouse Designed to reference the old piggery building with pantile roof, white walls and tower feature.
Design of course extension 2004 Like the rest of the course, construction essentially followed the lie of the land. Boundary and field dykes largely retained. Corner pond incorporated as part of 3 pond complex with swale to create key landscape and biodiversity feature.

This golf facility is undertaking the following activities to improve the landscape ecology of the golf course:

Activity Description
Minimizing the amount of amenity grass In 2012, the area of semi-rough converted into long rough was approximately 2.0ha. Since then we have reduced the amount of semi-rough we maintain year on year, raising the area converted into eco-rough by approximately 4.0ha since 2010.
Increasing the size of habitat patches By reducing the amount of semi-rough and increasing the amount of long eco-rough, we have increased the size of grassland habitat patches and overall area by approximately 4.0ha since 2010.
Connection of internal habitat patches Internal grassland habitat patches have been connected to improve the landscape ecology by joining up numerous little isolated areas.
Connection of patches with external habitats Tree plantation running along boundary of short game area meets up with Stratheden hospital woodlands. The conservation rough on the 6th widens the habitat corridor provided by the railway embankment.
Creation of habitat corridors Established in original design, specifically peripheral woodland blocks (more than 9000 trees planted) and rough grasslands. The planted hedgerows and swale system also form habitat corridors on our site.
Avoidance of habitat fragmentation Fragmented areas of habitat have, where practicable, been joined up since 2012, most notably the area of long rough that divides the 17th & 18th holes. Where this was previously two large areas of long rough, we now have one which runs the length of the hole.
Improving and diversifying habitat edges Stopped mowing of verges under hedgerows in 2010 saving man power and improving the natural biodiversity of the hedgerows.
Introduction of pond complex Enlarged wetland area in corner of new field and created 2 new ponds plus swale leading to and connecting all ponds. Reed planting has been complemented by natural colonisation of a range of native wetland plants, frogs, toads and newts. A swan island was installed in the ponds in 2015.
Quarry Work is ongoing in the development of the sand quarry area in a bid to turn it into a suitable wetland area. Sand is still required for completing student construction projects but this is removed in a structured manner which will aid the conversion of the quarry into a wetlands area.
Krista Nevis Conservation Krista has worked on site giving the greenkeeping team practical assistance in projects such as the building of a willow bridge, hibernacula and bug hotels. These projects have been integrated into the NC Greenkeeping curriculum so students can take the skills learnt to the courses they work on.
Hedgerows Since 2012, we have planted over 800 metres of native hedgerows. This is part of a structured plan which will increase over the coming years the amount of hedgerows on site to nearly 4 kilometres long.
Wild flowers In 2014, we removed a lawn verge on our entrance road and replaced it with a native annual wild flower meadow. The meadow has removed the need for weekly mowing and has brightened up the entrance to the course. The meadow is sown each year and has received positive feedback from members and visitors.

This golf facility is undertaking the following activities to improve the quality of habitats on the golf course:

Activity Description
Creation of botanically rich rough grassland A number of wildflower meadows have been introduced since 2013 and a management plan with the objective of improving the botanical diversity of long rough areas is now in place.
Ecologically informed management of scrub vegetation Cutting/pruning outwith breeding seasons continues, as does transplanting of blackthorn and gorse bushes. These bushes are being translocated from areas of the course where they have naturally established to areas where they are desirable.
Promoting species and structurally diverse woodlands Our wooded areas were marked up for thinning by SAC Consultancy in 2013 and this work is carried out by students from SRUC's Rural Skills Course. The thinning will help introduce light into sections of the plantations allowing for more diversity in the species of flora found within them.
Establishment of littoral shelves and marginal vegetation in wetland areas The existing pond edges are of moderate quality at the moment but it is hoped to make modifications to further improve shape and form for biodiversity and aesthetics.
Maintenance of an appropriate balance of open water and aquatic vegetation In winter, maintenance work is carried out to maintain a balance of open water through removal of algae and other invasive plants. During summer months, safe biological products and barley straw are used to reduce nutrient load and break down algae.
Naturalization of linear habitats Since 2010, 870m of hedgerow bottoms and verges previously maintained for tidiness have been left unmown. Wildflowers have become more prolific, blackthorn is allowed to sucker and vegetation has become thicker, all enriching the habitat value.

This golf facility is undertaking the following activities to conserve and enhance biodiversity on the golf course:

Activity Description
Provision of nesting and nectar for pollinators Wild flower meadows have been introduced on the course and have contributed greatly to the provision of nectar for pollinators. The most abundant area is on the entrance road which has greatly reduced maintenance work for greenkeepers and brightened up the entrance to the course.
Installation of nest boxes Bird boxes given to the course by Bell Baxter High School pupils studying Craft, Design & Technology were installed by greenkeeping staff and students in 2015. It is hoped that this will be a yearly project.
Provision of feeding tables A bird table was introduced to the clubhouse lawn in 2014 and wild bird food is placed on table to ensure a year round supply of food is available.
Control / management of alien species Canadian pondweed has colonised one of the ponds and we plan to control/suppress this to allow for better biodiversity and also to help prevent it from colonising the other ponds.
Provision of hibernation areas Woodpiles are situated in all wooded areas of the course. 3 hibernacula have been placed around the pond complex for amphibians to hibernate in and, moving forward, we plan to introduce more.
Creation of micro-habitats (eg log and stone piles) A bug hotel built entirely of recycled and reclaimed materials has been installed nearby the ponds as a student project in 2013. Another microhabitat has been created using recycled materials and turf and this has been placed behind the 6th green.


The main uses of water are irrigation, spraying, machinery washing, catering, showers and toilets. Water usage for the site is split between mains water which feeds the buildings and borehole water which is used exclusively for irrigation.

The borehole was installed in November 2013 and was first used to irrigate playing surfaces in the spring of 2014. Since the borehole became operational, the course has seen a drastic decrease in the amount of mains water used on site and we are constantly looking at ways where we can increase the amount saved.

Run-off from hard standings at the maintenance facility are filtered and recycled through the Waste2Water system which was installed for the daily cleaning of machinery. A discharge licence has been granted for the Waste2Water system from SEPA.

Ultimate discharge of cleaned water goes to a field soak-away along with run-off from the driveway and roofs. Playing area surface water and drains discharge either into mains sewers or field soakaways and, at the east end of the course, into the burn and into the swale and pond complex on the new extension. Reeds have been planted around the pond system to help filter out any contaminates that maybe washed into them and willow bridges have been built to further filter water before it leaves the site. Foul water discharges into mains sewers.

We are planning to investigate rain water harvesting as a means of watering planted areas around the clubhouse.

Sources & Consumption

No water audits have been undertaken at this golf facility.

The water used at this golf facility is drawn from the following sources:

2014 Source(s) % of supply Total Consumption
Clubhouse(s) Public / Potable 100% 913,000 Litres
Golf Course Groundwater 100% 895,000 Litres
Maintenance Facility/Facilities Public / Potable 100% 610,000 Litres
2013 Source(s) % of supply Total Consumption
Clubhouse(s) Public / Potable 100% 921,000 Litres
Golf Course Public / Potable 100% 1,910,000 Litres
Maintenance Facility/Facilities Public / Potable 100% 614,000 Litres
2012 Source(s) % of supply Total Consumption
Clubhouse(s) Public / Potable 100% 1,647,000 Litres
Golf Course Public / Potable 100% 2,600,000 Litres
Maintenance Facility/Facilities Public / Potable 100% 1,098,000 Litres

Irrigation & Efficiency

The following areas receive irrigation at this golf facility:

Greens Weekly
Tees Weekly
Fairways Never
Semi-Rough Never
Rough Never
Other Never

The irrigation system at this golf facility is:
Fully computer controlled

The irrigation system at this golf facility is:

Serviced every 12 months

Upgraded every 0 years

Re-calibrated and checked for efficient application every 12 months

This golf facility is undertaking the following activities to maximize irrigation efficiency:

Activity Description
Selection of grass species We continue to overseed with fescue/browntop bent grass and try to create a environment where these grasses will be the dominant species.
Soil decompaction and thatch management A program of aeration is in place now with the addition of new machinery which allows for decompaction at any time of the year. We also core our greens once a year to remove large amounts of thatch to ensure irrigation water is able to make its way into the root-zone.
Timing and dose of water application Irrigation is mainly applied at night as drift is usually less due to lower wind speeds and evapotranspiration is reduced with the lower night time temperatures.
Analysis of soil moisture We currently use a moisture meter and visually inspect root-zone/soil when required.
Incorporation of evapotranspiration rates and weather data There is a weather station recording rain levels and weather reports are followed closely so as not to over water areas.
Use of wetting agents A wetting agent program has been in place since 2010 which allows minimal water to be used and keeps moisture levels optimal to encourage finer grasses in different environmental conditions.
Overall reduction in irrigated area We will continue to water greens and tees when necessary and will look to conserve water use in the future by ensuring all our sprinkler heads are running effectively and only on areas that we desire to be watered.
Targeting of sprinkler heads All sprinklers used are routinely monitored and adjusted if necessary. Any new sprinklers fitted are fully adjustable and we continue to replace old heads with newer models.
Adoption of cutting edge nozzle technology All new sprinklers fitted use manufacturer's approved nozzles.
Borehole benefit The switch from mains to borehole water for irrigation has improved water resource management by avoiding the external pumping distances and superfluous potability treatments relating to the equivalent volume of mains water.

This golf facility is undertaking the following activities to conserve / reduce / minimize water consumption:

Activity Description
Low-flow urinals and toilets All toilets throughout the facility are dual flush. Urinal cisterns have been removed and now fitted with manual flush mechanisms.
Use of water efficient appliances When upgrading appliances, their water and energy efficiency is taken into account as part of the purchasing process. We always aim to select the most efficient models and would prefer to pay more at point of purchase if savings can be made in the long term.
Use of efficient shower technology Showers in the clubhouse were upgraded in 2015 and are now thermostatically controlled with low-flow shower heads.
Repairing leaks Rapid response whenever leaks are identified.
Water awareness signage Water awareness signage is in place in all toilet and washroom facilities on site.
Regular Monitoring Since 2012, a weekly meter reading is taken for the golf facility and sent to the estates team as part of a college-wide water monitoring program.
It is also a requirement of our borehole licence to take daily water readings which are then sent annually to SEPA
Clubhouse Appliances The dish and glass washer machines in the clubhouse are both cold water fed and sized appropriately for demand of the operation. Staff are trained not to run small loads to minimise water and energy consumption. The clubhouse dishwasher has been replaced with a newer, more energy efficient model.


Due to the rural setting of the Golf Course, mains gas is not available. LPG was identified at the time of installation in 1997 as the most feasible primary fuel option for heating and hot water.

The Clubhouse heating comes from a propane-fired condensing boiler with both heating and hot water controlled by a domestic programmer. Recent upgrades to the Clubhouse shower facilities include new cold-feed showers electrically heated on demand. New hand driers have been installed that use 50% less energy than the previous model.
In the Greenkeeping Facility, heating is supplied to the drying room and offices but not the machinery store. The heating comes from a domestic propane-fired condensing boiler with an integral time clock.
Since 2013, the Pro-shop has been relocated to the Clubhouse reducing overall energy consumption for the site. Heating to the old Pro-shop building comes from a domestic propane-fired condensing boiler with an integral time clock.

SRUC has a Heating Policy which provides details of heating provisions and standards to be expected for all SRUC buildings; this is adhered to across the site.

SRUC’s electricity is purchased through the Scottish Government’s national framework agreement for the supply of electricity for the Scottish public sector under which there is no option to purchase energy from renewable sources.

Recently, we have been investigating greener methods of providing the site’s heating, hot water and electricity needs. We have looked at replacing the LPG tanks with a biomass boiler for hot water and heating, retaining LPG for the Clubhouse cookers. We also had a feasibility study taken for the installation of solar PV panels on the Maintenance Facility roof. Senior management have been provided with a Business Case and we are currently awaiting a decision.

Petrol and diesel consumption by the greenkeeping fleet remains fairly steady with efficiency pursued through good servicing and maintenance practices.

Sources & Consumption

The following energy surveys have been undertaken at this golf facility:

Title Author Date View document
Carbon Trust Survey The Green Consultancy Ltd (Ian Wiles) 2008/10/13 Download
Elmwood College Sustainability Report 06-07 Download
Savings Finder - Maintenance Facility Resource Efficient Scotland 2015/01/09 Download
Savings Finder - Clubhouse Resource Efficient Scotland 2015/01/09 Download
Elmwood Solar Feasibility SAC Consulting 2015/08/27 Download

This golf facility does not consume any renewable energy or resources.

Consumption of non-renewable energy and resources at this golf facility:

2014 2013 2012
Diesel (Litres) 10711 18014 12111
Hydraulic Oil (Litres) 50 50 50
LPG (Litres) 27337 26708 30064
Non-renewable Grid (kWh) 176896 162720
Petrol (Litres) 585 593 694

Energy Efficiency

This golf facility is undertaking the following activities to diversify energy and fuel supply:

Activity Description
Adoption of green tariff grid supply SRUC's energy is supplied as part of the Scottish Procurement Framework and at present none of the energy tariffs offered under this framework is from renewable sources.
Installation of small scale wind turbine The installation of a wind turbine was investigated in 2013 but companies asked to quote for this project all said the site is unsuitable for generating wind power.
Installation of photovoltaic and / or solar panels In 2015, costs have been sought to install photovoltaic system on the maintenance facility roof and we are now waiting appropriate direction from senior management.
Use of Liquified Petroleum Gas (LPG) The site has no access to mains gas supply so LPG is used on site for heating, cooking and hot water. Although still a fossil fuel, carbon emissions from LPG are lower than the other main conventional options of oil or non-renewable grid electricity. Lower carbon options are being investigated.
Use of electric hybrid vehicles A new hybrid ride-on greens mower is currently in use. We had wanted to increase the number of hybrid mowers in our fleet but unfortunately there was none available to test before the tender process was carried out. We will continue to appraise this as a means of reducing our fossil fuel use.
Use of recycled oils Our waste oil is collected fortnightly by Olleco and all waste transfers are recorded and filed. Our bulk oils (fryers) use rapeseed oil Non GM, Made from British Rapeseed. All of our used cooking oil is recycled by Olleco to EN14214 EU specification biodiesel that is ISCC certified.

This golf facility is undertaking the following activities to reduce energy consumption:

Activity Description
Investment in low-energy heating and air conditioning systems Use of condensing boilers to optimise energy consumption.
Optimizing thermostat levels for heating and refrigeration Thermostatic valves installed on each radiator to allow better control of where is being heated as per SRUC heating policy.
Enhancement of natural ventilation opportunities The estates team ensure all windows and doors operate as per design to enable optimum use.
Upgrading of building insulation Buildings well insulated to building standards pertaining at the time. The clubhouse was constructed in late 1990s and the greenkeeping unit in 2004.
Use of natural light (e.g. sunlight pipes) Training room, office and staff rooms located on south side of maintenance building for natural light and solar gain benefits.
Installation of low-energy lighting The replacement of light fittings is ongoing; all new light fittings are low energy T5 or LED type fittings.
Use of motion sensor lighting In April 2015, all high-use areas in the clubhouse and greenkeeping facility have been fitted with motion sensor lighting.
Transition to energy efficient appliances Electric buggies replaced in April 2015 with newer models and number reduced to 4. When a new appliance is purchased, the energy consumption is a key factor in helping us select the most appropriate model.
Use of timers with appliances, heating and lighting The floodlights for the driving range and car park lights operate from a timer which is adjusted regularly to take account of daylight hours. Our buildings' heating systems all work from timers and the times are adjusted throughout the year to minimise energy consumption.
Educating staff and customers Catering staff are trained to minimise gas and electricity use by switching off grills etc when customer demand is low. Staff trained in how to best utilise heating system by using advance features so heating is only switched on when needed.
Double glazing To reduce heat loss from clubhouse, pro-shop and offices, staffrooms and training room in maintenance facility. Whilst the efficiency of double glazing units diminishes over time, all our double glazing is currently within its expected 20-25 year life expectancy.
Energy efficient boilers and maintenance Propane used for heating and hot water used with condensing boilers in maintenance facility, old pro-shop and clubhouse. High standards of servicing through college policy.
Energy efficient hand driers The clubhouse hand driers were recently replaced with more energy efficient models. The greenkeeping facility will soon also have its hand driers upgraded to a more efficient model. The replacement driers use 50% less energy per run cycle than the models they replaced.
Energy monitoring Meter readings are taken on a weekly basis by the estates team who pass the readings on to SRUC's Energy & Environment Manager.

Golf Course Green Team A Green Team was set up in September 2015. All members of the Green Team are booked in for Green Champion Training from Resource Efficient Scotland and once trained they will monitor and audit energy, water and waste streams.
Rotary gang mower Since 2015 our semi-rough has been mown with a tractor-mounted rotary gang mower which can save up to 50% on running costs when compared to a self-contained ride-on mower.

Vehicles & Transport

The maintenance fleet at this golf facility uses the following fuel sources:

Ride-on Mowers Walking Mowers Utility Vehicles
Petrol 100%
Diesel 88% 100%
Hybrid 13%

Additional vehicles operated by this golf facility use the following fuel sources:

Golf Carts Cars Buses
Diesel 100%
Grid Electric 100%

This golf facility has established the following schemes to encourage reductions in staff and customer transport emissions:

Activity Description
Car sharing incentives The College seeks to promote and facilitate the use of sustainable modes of transport for travel to and from the campus by facilitating a car sharing scheme and by running free contract buses for the use of students and staff in remote locations.
Group transportation (e.g. buses) The College provides buses for the students to travel from the main campus to the course.
Secure cycle parking Secure cycle parking exists at the college main campus allowing students to cycle to college then get the college-run bus to the golf course for classes.
Promoting public transport routes and timetables Bus and train timetables are available for staff, students, golfers and visitors on the golf course website.
Increasing equipment storage (e.g. lockers) Lockers are provided in the modular hut classrooms for the golf students to store their golf clubs in. Reviewing locker room facilities for golf members to supply full size lockers for club storage.
Staff showers Showers are available for staff to use in the maintenance shed and also in the clubhouse.
Tax breaking incentives for cycling The College operates a tax breaking cycle incentive for staff.
Promotion of walk to work campaigns SRUC promotes annual walk to work weeks and encourages staff to log the distances walked on the Walk to Work (Living Streets) website so that national figures for distance walked and carbon saved can be collated.

Supply Chain

SRUC operates a sustainable purchasing policy and the golf course follows this whenever we make a new purchase. The clubhouse catering operation has adopted an ethical and environmental purchasing policy. Utilising local seasonal ingredients in order to minimise energy used in food production, storage and transportation has been a priority. All purchases are sourced from within the UK using Scottish based suppliers. All 15 suppliers of food and beverage products deliver from depots within a 100 mile radius. The number of suppliers has been minimised in order to reduce packaging, transportation and overall costs We are moving towards incorporating more Fairtrade certified products into our catering operation. An opportunity has been identified to use fruits and vegetables grown at Elmwood Campus by our horticulture students for seasonal menus at the Golf Course Restaurant.
The bulk of our food waste is collected by Fife Council but we do separate the green waste from the clubhouse to put in our worm composter, the compost generated from which is used to create compost teas which are then used on the course to help us reduce our turf inputs of water, NPK and pesticides.
In 2012 the Golf Course sent 1280L of general waste per week to landfill. In 2013 recycling facilities were enhanced to include plastic, cans and food waste collections. Due to these additional waste stream collections, the course has been able to reduce its landfill collections to 480L per week, a reduction of 800L per week on 2012 figures.
Integrated Pest Management:
Our Integrated Pest Management (IPM) policy was strengthened and more formally documented in early 2015. Fertiliser and pesticide purchases are kept to a minimum through careful selection of products and by following the integrated pest management program which is tailored to favour cultural practices over chemical applications. IPM practices are monitored to ensure their application and effectiveness in line with the policy.

Purchasing Policies

This golf facility undertakes the following ethical / environmental purchasing activities:

Activity Description
Measures to avoid waste at source In 2015 we drafted a letter which has been sent out to all our suppliers clearly stating our commitment to environmental objectives and asking them to work more closely with us in reducing waste packaging.

Use of local suppliers Due to the location of the golf course, finding local suppliers which are cost effective is not always easy. Where possible, however, we try to choose local suppliers and contractors over those who are further afield.
Use of local products Red chips have been used on the course from Balmullo Quarry which is situated 10 miles away. Sand from Bathgate Quarry is used for bunker sand and divot mix. Apples grown in the farm orchard are used by the clubhouse and it is our intention to develop our own orchard and herb garden.
Selection of certified products Rain Forest Alliance coffee used in clubhouse. Course recycle bins are made from wood sourced from approved and sustainable sources. All paper used on site for printing is 100% recycled and has been awarded the Blue Angel eco label.
Use of recycled and recyclable products Recycled plastic is used for the course's 150 yard posts. Stone found on the site has been painted for tee markers. The old tee markers were painted and used as new junior tee markers.
Selection of products that feature minimal packaging There are two 1000 litre IBC in use on site which are refilled annually to reduce the amount of packaging we must dispose of. The IBCs were installed in 2014 and are both bunded to ensure any leaks are safely contained. The IBCs hold liquid seaweed and a pH buffer for our irrigation water.
Use of accredited suppliers (e.g. ISO 14001) The clubhouse uses a range of products which fall under various accreditations such as Fairtrade, Rainforest Alliance, Red Tractor and Ethical Tea Partnership. All paper used on site for printing is 100% recycled and has been awarded the Blue Angel eco-label.
Marmoleum (linoleum) flooring in maintenance building Product containing 97% natural raw materials: 70% rapidly renewable & 40% recycled content. Key ingredients are linseed oil from flax seeds, wood flour from controlled forests and jute backing. All rooms bar workshop and training room.
Warm air hand driers Hand driers save on purchase and disposal of paper towels in all departments. Replacement hand driers use 50% less electricity than previous model.
Peat In 2013 we stopped using any greenkeeping products which contain peat.
Recycled astroturf Astroturf has been used in areas of high traffic as it provides a clean non-slip surface. The astroturf was given to us by St Andrews University who were expecting to have to send it to landfill before we offered to take it.

Supply Chain

An overview of the supplier network at this golf facility:

Total number of suppliers Total number of suppliers within 10 Miles Total number of suppliers within 100 Miles
Food & Beverage 15 2 13
Catering Supplies 2 2
Trade & Contractors 3 3
Maintenance Equipment 6 3 3
Course Supplies 12 2 10

Turfgrass Inputs

This golf facility undertakes the following IPM activities:

Activity Description
Encouraging drought and disease tolerant grasses Continuing to overseed with fescue and browntop bent cultivars with high ratings from STRI relating to drought and disease tolerance. Watering is kept to a minimum to encourage deep rooting.
Managing stress and wear Rope and movable barriers are used to move traffic away from worn areas. The direction of cut is changed daily on most areas and we use a turf iron in place of a greens mower when practical. Perimeter cut is done alternate days and, with offset units fitted, we avoid triplex ring on greens.
Enhancement of soil structure A routine aeration program is in place. Compost teas and soil stimulants are also frequently used to complement the aeration program. Fertilisers used trigger rooting and boost Mycorrhiza web within soil structure.
Optimization of the growing environment Compost teas are complemented by fertilisers that increase cation exchange capacity to sand-based root zones on the basis of their stable humus and calcium content. The granules encourage microbial life and assisted by the presence of free calcium which allows better air/moisture flow.
Managing thatch levels Greens have thatch removal at least once a year by coring or recently with deep scarify. Light aeration with pencil tines is carried out and air injection is included into aeration program.
Managing surface moisture Surface moisture is removed by mower/roller or manually with a dewey brush/switch depending on the time of year. We try to keep the surface open at all time by mechanical means to allow water/air to move through the profile.
Establishing thresholds for pests and disease In 2015, IPM policy strengthened for the course detailing acceptable thresholds for pests and diseases. The course operates on the basis that chemical means of dealing with a pest or disease problem are the last line of defence. All cultural practices carried out before resorting to pesticides.
Scouting for pests and diseases Greens staff are trained to be on the look out for pests and diseases whilst carrying out their daily tasks which means areas are checked constantly. Outbreaks are closely monitored and the results of these checks are logged in our IPM document.
Monitoring / improvement of plant health The health of the turf grasses are always closely monitored especially on the greens. Staff are trained to make observations whilst carrying out daily tasks, but where an area has given cause for concern we will monitor more closely and plan a remedy.
Compost tea The course owns a compost tea brewer and regular applications are made in an effort to improve soil health. The use of compost teas is seen as an integral part of helping us to reduce our turf inputs of water, fertiliser and pesticides.
Zero contact cylinder set up We sharpen our cutting units regularly which allows us to set mowers up with zero contact between bottom blade and cylinder. The benefits of this are a cleaner cut which promotes plant health and also lower machinery costs as less wear is placed on parts and fuel consumption is lowered.

Fertilizer use at this golf facility in the last three years (kg):

2014 2013 2012
Greens - K - Inorganic 16.63 11.42 16.15
Greens - K - Organic 41.17 96.36 51
Greens - N - Inorganic 11.04 2.14 8.77
Greens - N - Organic 85.65 104 72.8
Greens - P - Inorganic 2.99 6.53 2.5
Greens - P - Organic 9.56 44.59 7.92
Tees - K - Inorganic 34 44 73
Tees - K - Organic 30 32 25
Tees - N - Inorganic 78 131 61
Tees - N - Organic 22 20 55
Tees - P - Inorganic 6 8.8 18.8
Tees - P - Organic 7 8 0

Pesticide use at this golf facility in the last three years (kg):

2014 2013 2012
Fairways - Herbicide - Active Ingredient 5.1 2.55 0.671
Fairways - Herbicide - Total Weight 12 6 2
Fairways - Herbicide - Number of applications per year 1 2 1
Greens - Fungicide - Active Ingredient 0.5
Greens - Fungicide - Total Weight 0.5
Greens - Fungicide - Number of applications per year 1
Semi-Rough - Herbicide - Active Ingredient 5.1 2.55 0.671
Semi-Rough - Herbicide - Total Weight 12 6 2
Semi-Rough - Herbicide - Number of applications per year 1 2 1
Tees - Herbicide - Active Ingredient 0.018 0.93
Tees - Herbicide - Total Weight 0.180 1.20
Tees - Herbicide - Number of applications per year 1 1

This golf facility undertakes the following actions to optimize pesticide use:

Activity Description
Selection on the least toxic and lest persistent products Whenever possible we use products that are the least toxic.
Selection of appropriate products for specific pests and diseases We have consulted specialist advice to determine turf diseases if there is any doubt, thus ensuring correct product use.
Spot-treatment with handheld sprayers and wipers Handheld sprayers have been used to combat disease and is one of many steps taken before blanket spraying takes place.
Calibration and testing of sprayers We continue to calibrate the sprayer but with the addition of a full automatic control unit which can independently adjust on demand to different speeds and pressures.
Use of shrouded sprayer and anti-drip nozzles Non drip air induction nozzles are fitted to our boom sprayer to reduce spray drift.
Non-chemical weed control Hand weeding is still an ongoing task in bunkers, ditches, tree compartments and flowerbeds.
Use of organic and biological products to improve plant health and resistance. Products containing amino acids, fermented plant acids and humates are used to build stress tolerance, reduce sward thinning and improves resilience. We also use liquid seaweed which contains trace elements and stimulates root growth.

Waste Management

No waste audits have been undertaken at this golf facility.

This golf facility manages key waste streams as follows:

Re-use Recycle Landfill Incinerate
Glass false true false false
Plastic false true false false
Aluminium false true false false
Metal false true false false
Paper & Cardboard false true false false
Grass Clippings false true false false
Cores & Turf true false false false
Sand true false false false
Wood / Timber true false false true

This golf facility undertakes the following activities to continue the lifecycle of materials and resources:

Activity Description
Separation of recyclable materials Glass, paper, plastic, food waste and metal are separated on site and are picked up on a weekly basis by Fife Council. Batteries are taken to our local supermarket for recycling. Clothing is given to a local nursing home who then sell on to generate income to be spent on activities for residents.
Establishment of recycling centers The site has always recycled paper and glass but in 2013 we introduced a separate plastics/cans collection. This has drastically reduced the amount of waste going to land fill, initially saving the course over £500 a year in waste charges. Recent tweaks have saved a further £700 per year.
Returning clipping to fairways and walkways Clippings are only boxed on greens, tees and approaches. On all other areas they are returned with the exception of long rough where we cut and collect in an effort to reduce fertility.
Education of staff and customer education Staff are sent to training seminars on a regular basis as part of their CPD. We recently introduced a Green Team on site and make use of the excellent training packages made available through Resource Efficient Scotland.
Waste awareness campaigns Waste awareness campaigns come under the remit of the Green Team and are to be run on a regular basis. Successful waste awareness campaigns will be key to the course meeting its environmental objective of becoming a zero waste site by 2020
Recycled Glass Sand Trials In 2004/5, trials funded by WRAP on use of recycled glass-derived sand in golf course applications. The majority of the work was carried out at Elmwood, with a range of smaller trials at 5 other Scottish golf courses, supported by SGEG.
Re-use of stone Stone from old dykes dismantled during course construction re-used for culvert facing and swale edging. We have begun to use stone found on site as tee markers; these are painted the appropriate colour for each set of tees.
Astroturf We took delivery of a large quantity of astroturf from St Andrews University when they upgraded their artificial turf football pitch. We have used this on some banks and also on pathways around the course.
Habitats from waste Waste pallets have been used to create bug hotels and a pallet filled with empty waste plastic bottles to aid buoyancy has been built and installed in one of the ponds as a swan island.
Increased recycling Recycle bins can now be found out on the course enabling golfers to separate waste at source. Plastic recycling facilities have been introduced which has greatly reduced the amount going to land fill. The financial savings of increasing our recycling works out at £1200 per year compared to 2012
Refinment of waste pick ups 2012 bin facilities:-

1280L general waste bin
660L paper bin
240L x 3 glass bins

2015 bin facilities:-

1280L paper bin
660L & 360L cans and plastics bins
240L x 3 glass bins
360L general waste bin
140L food waste bin
1000L wormery for composting green food waste
Wormery A wormery was introduced on site in 2014 to minimise the amount of food waste collected by our waste contractor. Green food waste from the kitchens is placed in the wormery and composted into vermicast which is then used to create compost tea.
Range balls We work in partnership with Kingsbarns Golf Course who give us their old range balls when they replace them twice a year. When we replace our range balls we use them as drainage backfill which saves us from sending them to landfill.
Pins In 2013 we began to refurbish old or damaged pins by placing a vinyl guard onto them. By continually refurbishing pins we have not had to buy any new pins or dispose of any old ones since 2013

Pollution Control

Minimising the environmental impact of our maintenance practices is a core aim. We are continually assessing how we operate and whether we can further reduce risk of pollution through new work methods. In line with sector best practice, we have introduced a program of compost tea applications. The application of compost tea promotes a healthy growing environment for our turf, making it more resilient to outbreaks of disease. Healthier soils and holistic pest management is part of our plan to reduce the amount of fertilisers and pesticides used on site towards the end of being pesticide free by 2020.
Our maintenance facility and yard have been designed with pollution prevention in mind. Our yard has a water recycling system attached to the wash pad drain. Run off from the wash pad enters the water recycling unit where it is biologically processed and the water used for the next wash. Our chemical storage safe, petrol and diesel stores are located on the wash pad, within our water recycling system.
Fresh oils are kept inside the workshop on bunded pallets with waste oils being stored safely until they are collected by a registered waste contractor.
All greenkeeping staff and key personnel from the clubhouse have received formal Chemical Spill Training and regular spill drills are carried out onsite to ensure a prompt and effective response in the event of an incident. Spill kits and containment booms are kept at strategic points throughout the site.

Water Analysis

This golf facility monitors water quality with the following frequency:

Chemical Biological Visual
Inflow Yearly Yearly Monthly
On-Site Yearly Yearly Daily
Outflow Yearly Yearly Monthly

Waste Water

Waste water from this golf facility is managed as follows:

Discharges to Formal Discharge Agreement
Golf Course Mains Sewer N/A
Clubhouse Mains Sewer N/A
Maintenance Facility Mains Sewer N/A
Wash Pad Closed Loop Recycling Yes

Hazardous Materials

Hazardous materials at this golf facility are handled and disposed of as follows:

Secure Storage Registered Uplift
Detergents true false
Cooking Oils true true
Lubricants true true
Pesticide Containers true true
Fertiliser Bags true false
Oil Filters true true
Batteries true false

Pollution Prevention

This golf facility undertakes the following activities to prevent pollution from its maintenance facility and clubhouse:

Activity Description
Storage of equipment and hazardous products on covered, sealed impervious areas Secure above-ground store of diesel, oil, chemicals and pesticides over impervious containment area within maintenance yard. Equipment and machinery all stored in secure workshop. Oils are stored on a bunded pallet to catch any spills.
Maintenance of equipment on covered, sealed impervious areas All servicing is carried out by trained engineers within a purpose-built, H&S compliant workshop.
Mixing of pesticides and fertilizers over impervious surfaces All mixing of fertilisers and pesticides is carried out on the Waste2Water washdown pad so that if any spills occur they are contained in a safe area. Any chemicals entering this system will be broken down safely by the microbes within the system.
Installation of above-ground fuel tanks Above-ground secure, double-skinned storage tanks for diesel. Petrol stored in an approved separate secure unit.
Installation of sufficient secondary containment for fuel The diesel fuel store is a legally compliant, double-skinned tank designed to contain any ruptures within the tank. Petrol is stored in jerry cans which are stored in a sealed container, inside a secured unit. Other oils are stored on a bunded pallet.
Provision of containment booms and absorbent materials Emergency spill containment materials are situated around the maintenance facility and all staff are trained in its effective use with drills being carried out a minimum of twice a year. Any used absorbent materials are disposed of by a registered waste contractor.
SRUC technical specialists We are fortunate to have within the organisation specialists whom we can consult before carrying a task out. In 2015 when it was noted our chemsafe bund had corroded specialist advice was sought from the in-house team on how to safely move the contents to another site ensuring we remained compliant.

This golf facility undertakes the following activities to prevent pollution on its golf course:

Activity Description
Eliminating leachate and run-off through careful timing of turf inputs Constant monitoring of weather forecasts and use of the most advanced nozzles available on our sprayer.
Establishment of vegetative buffer strips around water bodies The widths of buffer strips around our ponds have increased substantially since 2013 and a review of mowing regimes around the buffer strips has resulted in the heights of cut being raised to allow better filtration of potential run-off from fertilisers.
Establishment of emergency spillage response plan An emergency spillage response plan is in place and all staff are aware of the procedures to follow should a spill or leak occur. The procedures laid out in this document are reinforced by regular drills and from formal spills training which all members of the GC team are expected to complete.
Controlling erosion and sediment discharge Willow bridges have been built on the ditch that leads from the final pond to the sewer systems. The willow bridges are a living filtration system that help remove nutrients and silts from the water that passes through them.
Establishment of pesticide-free zones All long rough and wooded areas of the golf course have been designated as pesticide-free zones and it is one of the course's long term environmental objectives to become pesticide-free by 2020.
Use of swales and bio-filters to slow and treat surface run-off A substantial swale feature has been built to gather and conduct water to the ponds. The base of the swale has been allowed to grow in to allow the vegetation to slow water passing through and increase the swale's ability to better filter contaminants out of the water.
Reedbed and wetlands Two areas identified suitable for reedbed establishment to intercept nutrients to avoid pollution and algal build up in ponds and swales:
1. Sand extraction quarry at top side of course extension.
2. Swale entry points to ponds.


As a college and centre of excellence, people and the local communities are at the centre of everything we do.

Highlights since 2012 include:
• Environmental awareness being embedded into the taught curriculum
• Increased ties with local environmental groups such as Fife Bird Group and Living Lomonds Project
• Increased engagement with young people

In 2015, we worked with the Living Lomonds Project offering work placements to their modern apprentices. Advice has been taken from the Living Lomonds Project on how to enhance the long rough areas for improved biodiversity and playability. This has had a direct impact on management plans for 2016.

We recently organised bug surveys for local youth groups to conduct on the course. The first survey was carried out by Cupar Scouts and the results were uploaded onto the OPAL (Open Air Laboratories network) website. The feedback from the young people involved was positive and we plan to offer local schools the opportunity to carry out similar surveys. The course runs numerous initiatives to draw in local youngsters and to introduce them to the game of golf by offering training packages to local schools free of charge. In 2014, we were fortunate to receive over 800 trees from the Woodland Trust. The planting of these trees was carried out by a number of local primary schools supported by HND Pro Golf students, NC Rural Skills students and the greenkeeping team.

An annual disability golf competition (organised by Fife College) is hosted at the Course. Our Golfing Society is also active in this field by running a separate competition for golfers with disabilities.

The course holds greenkeeping training seminars which are organised by the BIGGA Central Section and are popular with greenkeepers from the local area.

Employment & Education

Typical staffing levels at this golf facility are:

Full Time Part Time Seasonal
Club Management 2
Course Management 7
Food & Beverage 2 8

The sustainability working group at this golf facility is comprised of:

  • General Manager
  • Course Manager
  • Committee Members
  • Senior Management
  • Environmental Officer
  • Estates Manager
  • Golf Receptionist

Employees at this golf facility receive the following formal and informal environmental education:

Activity Description
Storage, application and disposal of pesticides Any member of staff using pesticides is trained in full compliance with current legal requirements and best practice. E.G PA1, PA2 etc.
Efficient water management Relevant staff are trained in maintaining and operating the computerised irrigation system for optimum function. All staff are trained on effective and efficient hand watering. Clubhouse staff are trained in-house. Signage in place on all water tap locations as a reminder to staff and customers.
Management of accidents and emergencies All staff are trained in how to deal with emergencies ranging from fire drills to oil spills. Formal spill training has been completed by all key personnel on site. 12 members of staff are qualified first aiders and 6 are trained in the use of defibrillators.
Management of habitats and vegetation Staff have attended Grassland Management courses run by The Living Lomonds Project and the topics covered on this training course have had a massive impact on how we manage our long rough areas.
Waste minimization, separation and recycling Elmwood Golf Course was the first golf course in the world to achieve the ISO 14001 certificate and one of the environmental objectives set by the course is to become a zero waste facility by 2020.
Health & Safety Staff trained in safe use of machinery, equipment and products. Relevant staff trained in manual lifting. Regular medicals for key staff. Staff expected to comply with health and safety legislation. Catering staff are qualified in food regulations.
Energy Saving The Estates Manager monitors the site's energy usage. Energy audits are carried out regularly and when it is noted that a saving can be made by replacing inefficient lights etc, he ensures that the work is carried out.
Understanding of landscape and cultural heritage The key contextual landscape appraisal used as guidance for greens staff: SNH Review 113, particularly sections C5 & D5 which give the landscape character type. www.snh.org.uk/pdfs/publications/review/113.pdf. Elmwood Landscape Report & Programme underway, incorporating the golfer's perspective.

Environmental management planning An Environmental Management Plan has been in place for most of the time the course has been in operation. We are currently revising our management planning system which will be formalised in a Course Policy Document.
Environmental Awareness "Environmental Issues: Sports Turf" has been introduced to the NC Greenkeeping certificate and students will carry out a number of practical units on the golf course during their studies.
Emergency Spill Training All key staff have received formal Emergency Spill training. The training covered legislation, types of absorbent materials and also a practical session letting people try out the different materials available for containing spills.
Green Champion Training A Green Team has been set up on site to monitor the course's resource use. All members of the Green Team have been enrolled on a Green Champion training course organised by Resource Efficient Scotland.
In-house Training A series of in-house training days are to be set up covering the course's environmental work. The training days are to be delivered to staff across the site to ensure all staff are aware of what is going on and the reasons why we do things the way we do.

Community Relations

This golf facility engages with local community groups in the following manner:

Activity Description
Neighbours We share tools and machinery with a number of local courses and would welcome any future requests for assistance.
Local Government Michael Clark (programme manager for greenkeeping) has replaced Carol Borthwick on Fife Golf Trust board thus ensuring an SRUC Elmwood presence. Fifestyle discount card is still on offer to all employees of local council and advertised on website.
Local Environmental Groups Friends of Angus Herpetofauna have delivered a newt handling session which was open to staff, students and members of the public. The GC shares information on local bird activity with Fife Bird Club.
Local Community Groups Fife 10th - 1st Cupar scout group have carried out bug surveys alongside golf course staff in September 2015. It is hoped that this will be the start of a regular working partnership.
Media Steve Johnstone deals with marketing department regarding local advertising ensuring local community are kept up to date with all activity on site. All social media advertising is done on site and this includes managing and updating our own website.
Local Businesses Elmwood Golf Course offers excellent conference suite facilities, ideal for local businesses looking for a rural retreat to hold seminars, meetings or corporate event days. We are in the process of contacting all local businesses to offer the opportunity to sponsor a hole at Elmwood Golf Course.
Schools & Colleges Local primary schools have helped plant over 800 trees on the course which had been granted to us by The Woodland Trust. A schools link work experience course has been created for secondary school pupils.
BIGGA Central Section Active member and host for meetings and education seminars since 2006. Our former course manager, Andrew Mellon, was the Central Section Chairman before becoming the National Vice Chair then Chairman for BIGGA until his resignation in June 2012.
Fife Society For The Blind Each year the Fife Society for the Blind holds a competition at our course.
Training & education provider The golf course was originally built solely as a teaching facility for the College's greenkeeping students. The College now also runs golf education courses and much of the golf students' time is spent practicing and playing at our facilities.
Schools coaching programme Each week, Elmwood students and golf lecturers coach pupils from Springfield and Ladybank primary schools. Approximately 20 children from each school are taught on the short game area and driving range.
ClubGolf Scheme Elmwood Golfing Society are working in partnership with Elmwood students and staff from the Sport and Golf Department to provide a junior coaching program which is spread over 3 years covering all aspect of the game.
Disability Golf An annual competition for disabled golfers is organised in conjunction with a lecturer from the College's Inclusiveness Department and attracts entrants from throughout Scotland.
Elmwood Golfing Society and Scottish Disability Golf Partnership Our Society members organise and participate in an annual match with Scottish Disability Golf Partnership.
Charitable Organisations Management are actively involved with local charity organisations in organising and management of competitions / charity golf days at the Golf Course. Elmwood Golfing Society each year have a nominated charity and anyone who lands in a bunker on the 12th is asked to make a donation.
People to People American Culture Groups Each year during the months of June and July, the golf course hosts between 1000 - 2000 American youngsters who are touring Europe taking part in various activies. People to People was founded in 1956 by the President of the USA, Dwight D. Eisenhower.

Land Use & Cultural Heritage

This golf facility provides access and diversified land use for others through:

Activity Description
Maintenance of existing public paths There was an existing right of way on the land before the course was built which has been maintained. The access route to the clubhouse is now used by pedestrians and the club treat it as a connecting right of way.
Creation of new paths and nature trails In Scotland there is a right to roam responsibly under the Land Reform (Scotland) Act 2003, so people regularly walk around the course. Paths have been provided in various locations and one of them has been developed into a nature trail.
Installation of effective and welcoming signage Signage welcoming golfers and members of the public was installed on the entrance road to the course in 2014. This was part of a program of upgrading signage around the facility designed to ensure users of the site feel welcomed and can find their way around easily.
Providing opportunities for other recreation (e.g. fishing) The course hosts primary schools nature projects where local primary school children build and place on the course bug hotels, bird boxes and carry out bug surveys.
Partnership conservation and access projects (e.g. community woodland) The course is in regular contact with Fife Bird Group and the site has been opened up for their members to use. A temporary hide is installed each year next to the courses sand martin site.
Falconry The golf course has given hunting permission to a local woman who owns a Red Tailed Buzzard. This relationship benefits the course as it helps keep rabbit populations under control and also opens up the course to non golfers.

No archaeological or heritage surveys have been undertaken at this golf facility.

This golf facility does not consult any organizations regarding the conservation of cultural heritage.

This golf facility undertakes the following activities to conserve cultural heritage features:

Activity Description
Historic Features (Hedgerows / Dykes / Moats / Cairns etc) Several sections of traditional field boundary stane dykes preserve the landscape character and heritage. During the construction into the new field, stone cundies were uncovered. Where possible these were left intact and are still functioning.
Relocation of wall from 1st hole An internal wall which dated back to the original agricultural use of the land and that ran in front of the first green was moved rather than removed when it was highlighted as a H&S risk. It now serves to separate the 1st and 15th green.


This golf facility undertakes the following internal environmental communications:

Activity Description
Provision of newsletters, notice boards & poster display Social media, information boards and course signage is used for activities that may disrupt or interest golfers, students, customers or members of the public. The website has an environmental section and environmental notice boards can be found throughout the site.
Course guides / brochures We introduced a course score saver booklet which informs golfers about the course layout etc. In the future we plan to create a booklet detailing the course environment and its sustainable management.
Interpretation panels & course signage An interpretation board has been designed by Krista Nevis and will be installed on the 4th hole in 2016 describing the features built around the pond system that encourage biodiversity and clean the water before it leaves the site.
Establishment of a nature trail A nature trail running through the trees on the 17th hole has been well received by members of the public. A section of the nature trail runs past a wildflower meadow.
Elmwood Golfing Society Elmwood Golf Course is a pay and play course but a group of local golfers decided to set up the Elmwood Golfing Society. With the Society in place our members can now get a nationally recognised handicap and participate in weekly competitions.
Golfer Survey In 2013, we launched an online survey to all our members asking them for feedback on the facility. Feedback was positive and helped us identify areas of improvement as well as areas where we were doing well. It is our intention to do another survey in 2016 to monitor progress against this feedback.

This golf facility undertakes the following social and environmental advocacy activities:

Activity Description
Website, press releases & brochures The Elmwood Golf Course website has a page dedicated to informing golfers and the public on the environmental aspect of golf course management. Sustainable Development policies presented on College website.
Supporting campaigns SRUC policy is to support staff participating in charitable activities and campaigns such as Earth Hour, National Zero Waste Week, Ride to Work scheme etc.
Course walks / open days Course walks are carried out with a range of visitors to the course. In 2015, course walks highlighting the environmental work carried out on the course have been delivered to groups such as Prospect Union H&S representatives, Living Lomonds and members of staff from other SRUC campuses.
Joint practical projects with community The College has many partnership activities with school and community groups (including an Eco Project), various of which involve the golf facility.
ISO 14001 The College has held ISO14001 accreditation continuously since 1995, the first UK educational facility and, in 2001, the first golf course to achieve it. The award certificate is on display in the clubhouse foyer and course manager's office.
Scottish Awards for Environmental Excellence on Golf Courses Awarded to Elmwood Golf Course in 2001, a step up from the Scottish Golf Course Wildlife Charter held for several years prior to that. The Award is on display in the clubhouse foyer along with the College's Environmental Charter.
Committed to Green Awarded to Elmwood Golf Course in 2001 as European acknowledgement of attaining the equivalent Scottish Award for Environmental Excellence on Golf Courses.
Public access to clubhouse The clubhouse is open to the non-playing public for restaurant and bar.
Scottish Power Business Award Awarded to the whole College in 2005 for its commitment to long term environmental awareness.
Sustainable Development Policy The golf course is subject to the SRUC Sustainable Policy Statement with objectives and policies, documentation, internal and external auditing based on legal compliance, ISO 14001 EMS, voluntary initiatives and annual targeting and review.