Royal Aberdeen Golf Club

GEO Certified® 03/2018
Scotland, United Kingdom
Telephone: 01224 702 571

This report refers to the initial certification of Royal Aberdeen Golf Club, Bridge of Don, Aberdeen. The verification visit was carried out on 19 February 2018, preceded by desk review of the below OnCourse report and uploaded supplementary information. The visit centred on a systematic evaluation of the application in collaboration with the course manager, focusing on specific queries and issues noted during the desk review. A tour was then undertaken to inspect and validate key elements relating to all facilities, incorporating the clubhouse…

Mike Wood, GEOSA, Accredited Verifier Read verifier report.

GEO Certified® Report

GEO Certified® is the symbol of great golf environments worldwide – designating that a golf facility has met a credible standard in the areas of nature, water, energy, supply chain, pollution control, and community, and is committed to continually improve. GEO Certified® is widely trusted and endorsed by a growing number of organizations and people, both inside and outside golf.

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

Facility details

Golf Courses
Balgownie links (18 holes, 6922 yards, year opened 1888)
Silverburn (18 holes, 5600 yards, year opened 1900)
3 Clubhouse(s)
4 Maintenance Facility/Facilities


Our site is situated next to the north sea. we have a towering dune structure that protects us from the sea. These areas are covered in Marram and sea lime grasses which gives the best protection form the elements and costal erosion. We have small areas of heather on the main golf course and wild flowers growing in areas that are not managed. Gorse invasion over the past 40 years has been extensive and has spolied the landscape appearance. We have over the past 12 years had a programme to cut and manage the gorse on both courses by cutting it down and in some places removing it completely. The sea facing slope on our dune system is very mobile and continually moves and re-grows. Mosses and lichens grow in the rough areas along with orchids which are left un touched. Weed control in the dune structure is done manually.

Consultation & Surveys

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

  • Scottish National Heritage

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

Title Author Date View document
Golf Course Ecology Report Bob Taylor STRI 2011/05/03
Gorse Management Document Robert Patterson 2015/06/25 Download

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

  • Scottish National Heritage
  • STRI

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

Title Author Date View document
Ecology Report Bob Taylor STRI 2011/05/03

No rare, protected or notable species occur at this golf facility.

This golf facility does not monitor any species as indicators of environmental quality.

Habitats & Designations

This golf facility does not feature any landscape designations.

No areas of habitats / vegetation types and associated designations are present at this golf facility.


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

Estimated Area (Hectares) Turfgrass Species Sward Composition (%)
Greens 1.6 Hectares Agrostis tenuis / capillaris 70%
Festuca rubra 20%
Tees 0.9 Hectares Agrostis tenuis / capillaris 75%
Festuca rubra 20%
Fairways 13.0 Hectares Agrostis tenuis / capillaris 35%
Festuca rubra 60%
Semi Rough 5.0 Hectares Agrostis tenuis / capillaris 30%
Festuca rubra 60%

These turfgrasses are optimal for the circumstances at this club because:
These are deep rooted and survive the dry summer conditions better than the shallow rooted weed grasses like poa annua. They require much less fertiliser and water inputs in their management. The fineness of the leaf is desired in a links situation and gives us fast smooth ball roll.

This golf facility assesses mowing patterns every: 1 months

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

  • STRI
  • Barenbrug Seed Company
  • Greentech sportsturf
  • Floratine

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 Course policy document outlines the management practices for all fine turf areas on the golf course. This document is also used by council when Captains change each yer to ensure continuity within the committee structure and overall management of the links.
Promoting the playing quality values of more naturalized turf, particularly fairways and semi-rough FIne leaved fescue seed is overseeded into these areas twice a year. Minimal water and fertiliser is applied to maintain a natural appearance. Rogue weed grasses have been removed from the rough areas to create thin wispy rough that is visually more appealing.
Promoting the financial benefits of presenting sustainable surfaces By using recycled green waste and our own sand supply we can save around £30,000 annually on buying in from suppliers. it is indigenious to the area and consistant. Low inputs of water and fertiliser and no fungicide gives us sustainable turf year round.
Improving customer understanding around greens maintenance We hold members information evenings every two years to pass on information about the management of the greens/other areas. Technical and photographic eveidence is shown to back up the maintenance programmes.The STRI also visit annually to measure greens performance and this is available to members.
Demonstrating the direct relationship between environmental best practice and year round high quality playing surfaces Reduced water use, fungicide applications and fertiliser inputs have all contributed to a sustainable product year on year. Use of sand dressings and regular aeration practices mean we have high quality links turf on all areas.

Conservation & Enhancement

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

Activity Description
Allowing seasonal variation of course coloration and texture The links is commonly very dry and is managed as such. We irrigate to keep turf alive not green. In the summer months the course is normally dry and has a light brown appearance to it which is totally in keeping with the surroundings. Fine grasses give a smooth wiry texture to the turf.
Appropriately matching mowing lines to contours We use the contours of the terrain to set mowing lines especially on fairways. Straight lines are not really desired as we like the course to flow through the dunes and links land.
Protection and restoration of historic features We dont have many features like this but a small stone dyke in front of the 14th green which is left as it was found when the course was laid out. Our dune structure is very important to the ecology of the golf course and is protected as much as possible.
Discreet on-course signage and furniture Use of natural sleepers for steps and signs means they blend with the surrounding areas. Information signs are in club colours and are positioned where they are least obtrusive whilst playing the golf course.
Conservation of specimen trees There are no trees present on Royal Aberdeen links.
Screening and softening unsightly man-made features We do not have many off these apart from our maintenance facility and irrigation reservoir . These were screened with mounding and various species of plants, trees, gorse and grasses to blend them with the surroundings. The on-course toilet was mounded and marram/ broom was planted to help with screening.

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 Sand stripping in out of play areas were installed to reduce grass cover. We have reduced mowing some rough areas through thinning and scarifying which has minimised the amount of amenity rough.
Increasing the size of habitat patches Sand stripping areas and our gorse management work has improved habitat for birds.
Connection of internal habitat patches Reducing gorse plots. Linking grassland areas with turfed paths. Seamless transition of dune land along the seaside of our site.
Connection of patches with external habitats Dune land is kept free from gorse and broom to ensure the habitat in this area is not restricted in any way by alien plants growing in these areas.
Creation of habitat corridors Roughs are linked from hole to hole. Grass paths link holes together to allow wildlife to move freely around the site.
Avoidance of habitat fragmentation Gorse plots are managed to avoid breaking the grassland link. Smaller gorse plots have been allowed to regrow with grassland between them to continue the link.
Improving and diversifying habitat edges increasing heather plots by thinning gorse and rank grassland. Improving wetland areas where possible.

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 Not mowing vast areas of our roughs has allowed wildflowers to flourish. Creation of rough management plan so that all rough areas can support wild flower populations.
Ecologically informed management of scrub vegetation STRI 5 year ecology plan by Bob Taylor. All scrub is buried when doing sand strip operations.
Promoting species and structurally diverse woodlands N/A
Establishment of littoral shelves and marginal vegetation in wetland areas No mowing to edges of ditches and wetlands to give leave a habitat margin.
Maintenance of an appropriate balance of open water and aquatic vegetation Allow wetlands to develop where possible. Dune slack areas.
Naturalization of linear habitats All gorse re-development has broken edges to give a more natural feel to the plots. Sand stripped areas have random features as do any heather plots.

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 N/A Possibly look at doing something in the future to improve this.
Installation of nest boxes N/A
Provision of feeding tables N/A
Control / management of alien species N/A
Provision of hibernation areas N/A
Creation of micro-habitats (eg log and stone piles) Compost heaps for recycling all materials seemed to encourage a variety of flies and bugs.


In 2009 the golf club installed a water filtration system to make bore hole water fit for human consumption. Our bore hole was installed in 1999 to initially supply irrigation water for both golf courses. Our potable water was via a mains supply for the maintenance facility and the green keepers cottage. After installing the bore hole we stopped using mains water for the irrigation system. Due to increasing costs we installed the filter system and we are now self sufficent. The mains supply was switched off in 2009. In 2001 we updated our irrigation system and created a holding reservoir which is fully lined with a capacity of 3 million gallons. This is filled via rain water and bore hole. The bore hole can produce 50-60,000 gallons per day. As we manage a links environment our water inputs to the golf course are minimal. We have a wetting agent policy on all fine turf areas which ensures that moisture is retained within the the plant and the need for irrigation is kept to a minimum. Hand watering is common to get the water to the desired areas and irrigation heads are regulary maintained to avoid leaks and waste. We have a modern system with mainly valve in head sprinklers that allow us to be specific to our target areas.
In 2004 we installed a waste to water system on our wash bay. This recycles all the water for washing machinery etc and ensures that no washings are drained into the ground. The system uses freeze dried bugs that break down the material washed from machinery and sprayers.
In 2008 the old lead pipes that supply mains water to the clubhouses and pro shop were replaced with plastic pipes. New meters were installed and the supply is now much more efficent due to less leaks in the supply.

Sources & Consumption

The following water audits have been undertaken at this golf facility:

Title Author Date View document
Bore hole water analysis Analync 2013/09/07

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

2017 Source(s) % of supply Total Consumption
Clubhouse(s) Public / Potable 100% 54,813 Litres
Golf Course Groundwater 100% 5,468,343 Litres
Maintenance Facility/Facilities Groundwater 100% 1,758,999 Litres

Irrigation & Efficiency

The following areas receive irrigation at this golf facility:

Greens Weekly
Tees 2-3 days per week
Fairways Weekly
Other 2-3 days per week

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 15 years

Re-calibrated and checked for efficient application every 3 years

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

Activity Description
Selection of grass species Promote fine turf on all areas-fescue and bent grass dominated swards. Overseed several times annually with fescue seed into all areas. Dwarf rye mixes used on paths to spread wear and reduce damage on turf therfore reducing the need for iirigation.
Soil decompaction and thatch management Weekly sand dressings to dilute thatch and regular grooming/brushing to remove flat growth. solid tining throughout the year to ensure adequate aeration of the soil. Verti-draining is done as required normally every two-three years with 12mm tines. Hydroject use in summer months as aeration tool.
Timing and dose of water application All automatic cycles are done in late evening/ during the night when humidity is lowest. As we are a links situation we occasionally do a cycle and soak to allow the water to penetrate the turf rather than run off. Hand watering is carried out during the day. Minimal water is applied in all applications.
Analysis of soil moisture We have a TDR moisture meter which we use daily if we are needing to irriagate to determine which areas are most in need. We have valve in head sprinklers which all ow us to target the dry areas only. We like to keep our soil moisture levels around the 10-12% mark.
Incorporation of evapotranspiration rates and weather data We have a weather station which feeds back basic information but we tend to use our experience and visual assumption of how much is required. We run our system on minutes rather than ET. We use the water budget facility to apply varying percentages of water to each area.
Use of wetting agents We have a full programme on all fine turf areas. Revolution/Hydrozone on greens and approaches. Drench on tees, fairways and paths. These are monthly applications from March- September to keep the soil hydrayted.
Overall reduction in irrigated area Using the best quality wetting agents on greens and approaches reduces the need for full irrigation cycles to once a week. Hand watering high spots and dry areas maintains consistent surfaces.
Targeting of sprinkler heads Arcs and output are checked each spring. We place a vessel in the middle of the green to catch and monitor the ammount of water applied.
Optimizing system pressure Filters on the main pump set are cleaned twice a year and operating pressures are checked at the pumps and on the valves where they are fitted. Nozzles are replaced frequently as the water has an iron content which can be abrasive and can enlarge the nozzle size.
Adoption of cutting edge nozzle technology We use Remote control systems to test the system and check for leaks. The MI system from Rainbird is very good and allows us to operate it from a smart phone or I pad. The wind nozzles reduce drift and allow us to reduce the time the heads are up thus asving water. Tail nozzles are also used.

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

Activity Description
Low-flow urinals and toilets Smart flush usinals are used in the clubhouse and half flush toilets save water.
Use of water efficient appliances Low temperature washing machines are used in the clubhouse and sheds that only require cold water input. The dishwashers are modern fast use machines that reduce water consumption due to the quick wash cycles.
Use of efficient shower technology We have modern shower heads fitted in the clubhouse to maximise flow and reduce water use. A similiar head is used in the green keepers shed although this is an electric shower unit.
Repairing leaks Our system has a pipe break facility which flags up leaks in the system. All bursts are repaired immediately on the golf course and aorund the clubhouse area. Isolation valves are closed during leaks to avoid water loss.
Water awareness signage Varying signage is posted to alert staff as to the different use of the sinks in the kitchen etc for cleaning and hand washing.


Our main source of power is electricity in the clubhouse and maintenance facility. Heating in these buildings is oil fired and cooking in the kitchens is electric and LPG. We have planned to knock down an old farm building and re-build a new machine shed which will be insulated. The roof space will be covered in solar panels to generate our own electricity for use in the sheds,house and irrigation system. The clubhouse roof was replaced in early 2015 with new membrane and insulation added at the time to retain heat within the building.

Sources & Consumption

No energy surveys have been undertaken at this golf facility.

Consumption of renewable energy and resources at this golf facility:

2017 2016 2015
Biogas (Litres) 0 0
Biomass 0 0
First Generation Bio-Fuels (Litres) 0 0
Hydrogen (Litres) 0 0
On-site Hydro (kWh) 0 0
On-site Solar (kWh) 0 0
On-site Wind (kWh) 0 0
Renewable Grid Electricity (kWh) 0 0
Second Generation Bio-Fuels (Litres) 0 0
Wood from sustainable sources 0 0

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

2017 2016 2015
Coal 0 0
Diesel (Litres) 11000 9500
Heating Oil (Litres) 4500 4100
Hydraulic Oil (Litres) 220 200
LPG (Litres) 300 300
Natural Gas (Litres) 0 0
Non-renewable Grid (kWh) 0 0
Petrol (Litres) 2500 2100
Propane / Butane (Litres) 0 0
Wood from unsustainable sources 0 0

Energy Efficiency

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

Activity Description
Adoption of green tariff grid supply Various options have been discussed at committee level to diversify our power supply and source. Ground source, wind turbine and solar energy are being looked at.
Installation of small scale wind turbine This has been discussed by committee and with the city council to see if it is viable. Planning may be difficult due to constraints within the local area.
Installation of photovoltaic and / or solar panels New maintenance sheds will have solar panels fitted to south facing roofs. These panals will run the workshops and irrigation system during daylight hours and the greenkeepers cottage..
Use of geothermal and / or ground sources This source of heat has been looked at but at present is not thought to be the best option for us.
Use of Liquified Petroleum Gas (LPG) LPG is used in the kitchen facility at the main clubhouse. It is through gas bottles as we are not on the mains gas supply.
Use of biodiesel and /or ethanol We do not use bio diesel yet in our machines but have added vegetable oils in the hydraulic systems to reduce pollution in any leaks.
Use of electric hybrid vehicles In 2009 all our utility vehicles were changed form petrol to elcetric drive. These machines have in house chargers and will re charge when they are being driven downhill. Auto fill system on batteries ensures long life and performance. electric golf buggies are used on the golf course by the ranger.
Use of recycled oils The kitchen use recycled cooking oils. There is a contract in place for the disposal of used oil and new oil purchased is re-cycled.

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

Activity Description
Investment in low-energy heating and air conditioning systems New heating system installed into green keepers sheds and house. Ultra thin radiators need less heat to warm them and hold heat longer.
Optimizing thermostat levels for heating and refrigeration All radiators have danfoss valves fitted to regulate heat output. Clubhouse refrigerators are fitted with the appropriate cooling thermostats and regulators
Enhancement of natural ventilation opportunities Velux windows are used in a couple of areas within the clubhouse area. Windows have added vents to allow natural ventilation in tea rooms and toilets.
Upgrading of building insulation The clubhouse buildings are very old and have little wall insulation. There is loft insulation in the clubhouse. The maintenace facilty uses old farm buildings but there is insulated roof sheets. The pumphouse is fully insulated as is the drying room and greenkeepers rest room area.
Use of natural light (e.g. sunlight pipes) We have an on course toilet. There is no power to it but we are using sunlight pipes to add natural light to them without the need for an electricity supply.
Installation of low-energy lighting All light fittings in the maintenance buildings are fitted with energy saving lights. Low voltage lights are used in the clubhouse and admin offices. Heat sources are on timers to reduce waste when the building is not occupied.
Use of motion sensor lighting We have them in the maintenance buildings and use PIR sensors on outside lights at the sheds and clubhouse areas. motion lights are used in the locker rooms and corridors in the clubhouse building.
Transition to energy efficient appliances A rated dishwashers and washing machines are used to reduce power usage and time cleaning. Time switched low energy heaters are used in the greenstaff drying room.
Use of timers with appliances, heating and lighting The greenstaff drying room is fitted with a timer switch to dry clothes after working hours and during the night when the tarriff is cheaper. The heaters in the irrigation pumphouse are on a timer switch to ensure that the temperature does not drop below 16 degrees c.
Educating staff and customers Staff are reminded at the group meetings about the need to conserve heat and switch off lights that are not required. Notices are placed in the clubhouse to ask members to be energy efficient.

Vehicles & Transport

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

Ride-on Mowers Walking Mowers Utility Vehicles
Petrol 0% 100% 8%
Diesel 30% 0% 33%
LPG 0% 0% 0%
Grid Electric 0% 0% 58%
Micro Renewable 0% 0% 0%
Hybrid 70% 0% 0%
Hydrogen 0% 0% 0%

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

Golf Carts Cars Buses
Petrol 0% 0% 0%
Diesel 0% 100% 0%
LPG 0% 0% 0%
Grid Electric 67% 0% 0%
Micro Renewable 0% 0% 0%
Hybrid 33% 0% 0%
Hydrogen 0% 0% 0%

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

Activity Description
Car sharing incentives Three members of staff share the same car as they live close by each other.
Group transportation (e.g. buses) Clubhouse staff use local buses to travel to and from work
Secure cycle parking We dont have that facility at the club
Promoting public transport routes and timetables Members of the club and staff are aware of the benefits of using public transport and do when the can. One member of the green staff cycles to work and two walk to work.Our early starts in the summer mean that the timetables do not suit our green keepers.
Increasing equipment storage (e.g. lockers) All staff have their own locker and an area within the drying room to dry wet clothes and boots etc.All lockers have lock and key to protect personal possessions.
Staff showers Staff showers are fitted in the maintenance buildings for use at any time. They are cleaned weekly and run for ten minutes to reduce risk of legionella.
Tax breaking incentives for cycling there is nothing in place at the moment.
Promotion of walk to work campaigns The city council have car share schemes and have encouraged the use of cycles and for individuals to walk more to gain more exercise.

Supply Chain

Private golf club. Use of fertilisers, grass seeds, chemicals and pesticides on an annual basis. These products are supplied from a number of suppliers within the indusrty. Fuel supplies using petrol,diesel,oils and greases form external supplier. We recycle all our green waste and therfore have little requirment to purchase from external suppliers sand,soils etc. We grow our own turf on our nurseries which are renovated annually. The clubhouse facility runs a dining room and bars which supply food and beveredge for the members. Most of the products are fresh and supplied locally.

Purchasing Policies

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

Activity Description
Measures to avoid waste at source Bulk buying of seeds,fertilisers and chemicals reduces deliveries and carbon footprint
Use of local suppliers Clubhouse caterers use local companies to supply almost all food and materials for kitchen use.
Use of local products local butchers,bakers,fish merchants are used to supply the caterers. Local water companies used.
Selection of certified products Fairtrade products are used.
Use of recycled and recyclable products all cores,turf,sands grass clippings are composted for re-use on the golf course. All waste from the bar/kitchen is separated at source and sent for recycling.
Selection of products that feature minimal packaging Bulk buy divot mix instead of bagged material to cut back on plastic waste. 1000lt tanks of fertiliser are purchased to reduce containers and waste.
Use of accredited suppliers (e.g. ISO 14001) STRI, Barrenbrug seeds, Gas and Fuel companies

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 8 6 8
Catering Supplies 8 6 8
Retail 8 6 8
Trade & Contractors 3 3 3
Maintenance Equipment 8 3 5
Course Supplies 15 6 9

Turfgrass Inputs

This golf facility undertakes the following IPM activities:

Activity Description
Encouraging drought and disease tolerant grasses Use of Potassium, managnese, magnesium and seaweed products has given us slow growing hardy turf that rarely suffers from disease pressure. These products are sprayed monthly throughout the year to build up a tolerence within the plant.
Managing stress and wear Visual signs of stress are dealt with immediately. A long term nutrition programme using naturally occuring elements ensures that the turf can withstand stress from machinery and foot traffic. Sensible cutting heights also reduce stress levels on the plant. Foot traffic is managed to spread wear.
Enhancement of soil structure Regular sand dressings maintain good open soil profiles on all areas. Use of seaweeds and amino/humic acids maintain a healthy balance of nutrients in the soil. Regular hollow coring work reduces thatch build up and new sand is added into aeration holes to further improve soil structure.
Optimization of the growing environment Little and often approach to nutrition and water management. Regular areation using solid and hollow tines allows plenty of air spaces for roots to grow. Sensible cutting heights allow better rooted grasses to grow and develop. Keeping turf dry through dew removal reduces disease pressure.
Managing thatch levels Hollow coring is done when required. Organic matter testing is done annually to monitor the need for further remedial work. Regular sand dressings dilute any thatch build up and maintain a free draining environment within the profile. Water inputs are kept to a minimum to give dry firm turf.
Managing surface moisture Use of wetting agents to remove surface moisture is applied monthly. Penetrants are used in the winter months to draw moisture away from the surface and oxygen into the soil profile. Daily dew removal keeps the surface dry and less disease prone. Surface aeration allows the turf to dry quicker.
Establishing thresholds for pests and disease Producing disease resistant turf. treat as soon as possible to reduce impact on conditions and surfaces.
Scouting for pests and diseases Daily course walks and observation by staff to identify any disease or pest issues.
Monitoring / improvement of plant health Regular soil testing is carried out by Analync to assess soil conditions and nutrient levels. These tests show existing levels in the soil and plant availability so that we can make informed decisions on how to correct any deficiency or excess within the soil to improve plant and soil health.

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

2017 2016 2015
Fairways - K - Inorganic 20 20
Fairways - K - Organic 0 0
Fairways - N - Inorganic 15 28
Fairways - N - Organic 0 0
Fairways - P - Inorganic 0 0
Fairways - P - Organic 0 0
Greens - K - Inorganic 41 10
Greens - K - Organic 60 50
Greens - N - Inorganic 11 18
Greens - N - Organic 30 25
Greens - P - Inorganic 10 10
Greens - P - Organic 0 0
Rough - K - Inorganic 0 0
Rough - K - Organic 0 0
Rough - N - Inorganic 0 0
Rough - N - Organic 0 0
Rough - P - Inorganic 0 0
Rough - P - Organic 0 0
Semi-Rough - K - Inorganic 0 0
Semi-Rough - K - Organic 0 0
Semi-Rough - N - Inorganic 0 0
Semi-Rough - N - Organic 0 0
Semi-Rough - P - Inorganic 0 0
Semi-Rough - P - Organic 0 0
Tees - K - Inorganic 50 40
Tees - K - Organic 0 0
Tees - N - Inorganic 25 20
Tees - N - Organic 20 15
Tees - P - Inorganic 15 10
Tees - P - Organic 6 5

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

2017 2016 2015
Fairways - Fungicide - Active Ingredient 0 0
Fairways - Fungicide - Total Weight 0 0
Fairways - Fungicide - Number of applications per year 0 0
Fairways - Herbicide - Active Ingredient 1 1
Fairways - Herbicide - Total Weight 0.18 0.18
Fairways - Herbicide - Number of applications per year 2 2
Fairways - Insecticide - Active Ingredient 0 1
Fairways - Insecticide - Total Weight 0 0.77
Fairways - Insecticide - Number of applications per year 0 1
Greens - Fungicide - Active Ingredient 1 1
Greens - Fungicide - Total Weight 0.5 0.5
Greens - Fungicide - Number of applications per year 1 1
Greens - Herbicide - Active Ingredient 1 1
Greens - Herbicide - Total Weight 1.65 1.65
Greens - Herbicide - Number of applications per year 0 0
Greens - Insecticide - Active Ingredient 0 1
Greens - Insecticide - Total Weight 0 0.77
Greens - Insecticide - Number of applications per year 0 2
Rough - Fungicide - Active Ingredient 0 0
Rough - Fungicide - Total Weight 0 0
Rough - Fungicide - Number of applications per year 0 0
Rough - Herbicide - Active Ingredient 0 0
Rough - Herbicide - Total Weight 0 0
Rough - Herbicide - Number of applications per year 0 0
Rough - Insecticide - Active Ingredient 0 0
Rough - Insecticide - Total Weight 0 0
Rough - Insecticide - Number of applications per year 0 0
Semi-Rough - Fungicide - Active Ingredient 0 0
Semi-Rough - Fungicide - Total Weight 0 0
Semi-Rough - Fungicide - Number of applications per year 0 0
Semi-Rough - Herbicide - Active Ingredient 0 0
Semi-Rough - Herbicide - Total Weight 1 1
Semi-Rough - Herbicide - Number of applications per year 1 1
Semi-Rough - Insecticide - Active Ingredient 0 1
Semi-Rough - Insecticide - Total Weight 0 0
Semi-Rough - Insecticide - Number of applications per year 0 0
Tees - Fungicide - Active Ingredient 0 0
Tees - Fungicide - Total Weight 0 0
Tees - Fungicide - Number of applications per year 0 0
Tees - Herbicide - Active Ingredient 1 1
Tees - Herbicide - Total Weight 1.4 1.4
Tees - Herbicide - Number of applications per year 1 1
Tees - Insecticide - Active Ingredient 0 1
Tees - Insecticide - Total Weight 0 0.65
Tees - Insecticide - Number of applications per year 0 1

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

Activity Description
Selection on the least toxic and lest persistent products Select the appropriate chemical and active ingredient to suppress the weeds present in the turf. Safe use near water courses (LERAP) Spray in calm conditions to avoid drift onto other areas and sensitive plants.
Selection of appropriate products for specific pests and diseases Careful identification prior to applications to ensure that the appropriate chemical is selected for control. Most insecticides have now been removed from the market so other methods of control need to be sought.
Spot-treatment with handheld sprayers and wipers Sensitive dune scapes and rough areas are treated by hand to target the specific weed/pest. This is time consuming but worthwhile to ensure contamination of the natural environment is kept to a minimum. Some weeds are hand pulled to eliminate chemical use completely.
Calibration and testing of sprayers Fortnightly nozzle out put checks on the sprayer. Fitting of new nozzles annually if the output is comprimised during checks/calibration. Annual service of the sprayer by supplier to ensure the pump output is consistent.
Use of shrouded sprayer and anti-drip nozzles We use the anti drift nozzles as we are in a windy location. We do not use shrouded booms.
Non-chemical weed control Our rough areas are hand weeded to remove Ragwort, willow herb and dockens. All risings are collected and composted in the green waste pile.
Use of organic and biological products to improve plant health and resistance. We have integrated manganese/ magnesium into all our turf management programmes to allow the plant to protect itself naturally from disease. Potassium, Calcium and micro nutrients are all used to promote healthy strong turf.

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 true true false false
Cores & Turf true true false false
Sand true true false false
Wood / Timber false true false false

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

Activity Description
Separation of recyclable materials Separate bins at the clubhouse for glass,plastic, and paper.Uplifted by the city council. all scrap metal taking to scarp yard for recycling. turf,cores,sand,clippings composted and used again to make divot mix/rootzone.
Establishment of recycling centers separate bins centre put in at clubhouse to separate all glass,plastic,paper products. Recycling area on golf course to re-use all material removed from the courses. all organic material composted and recycled for future use. we do not buy any sand or soil products.
Returning clipping to fairways and walkways Clippings on fairways are collected but paths and walkways are left to fly and go back into the turf. This also applies to the semi and rough areas.
Education of staff and customer education All greenstaff are aware of the need to recycle organic materials removed from the courses. Some customer education to reduce waste is carried out using signage etc within the clubhouse area.
Waste awareness campaigns We are very aware of the need to reduce waste. A materials removed from the courses are stockpiled and composted for re-use. We make our own divot mix and root zone for construction work. All materials within the clubhouse area are separated at source for recycling.

Pollution Control

Our chemical usage on the golf courses is very low. Our management of the fine turf areas means that we suffer very little disease issues. We use traditional straight fertilsiers and apply only around 35-45kg of Nitrogen per annum per hectare. The grass species that we have and encourage mean there is reduced need for water or fertiliser applications. Our wash pad has a wash down system that re-cycles and cleans the water for re-use. As our site has a vast dune structure there is no chemical treatments in these areas and chemical applications near water courses are done by hand and aquatic products are used to treat any weed problems. We recycle all our green waste taken from the golf courses. It is stored and composted for 3-4 years then screened for re-use on all areas of the links. As we remove gorse bushes we also take sand from below the gorse areas for use as dressings and bunker sand. The gorse areas are cleaned up and sand capped afterwards and seeded with native bent and fescue grasses. This has stopped the need to dig into the dunes for sand and therefore scarring the landscape. We are totally self sufficent as far as all materials are concerened. We have grassed 90% of our paths to remove unsightly gravel from the courses. Irriagtion is kept to a minimum to preserve the natural appearance of the links and to encourage the native fine grasses. We have an annual contract with a waste compliance company who deal with all our containers/oils/plastic bags/paint/filters and batteries.

Water Analysis

This golf facility monitors water quality with the following frequency:

Chemical Biological Visual
Inflow Two Yearly Two Yearly Monthly
On-Site Two Yearly Two Yearly Monthly
Outflow Never Never Never

Waste Water

Waste water from this golf facility is managed as follows:

Discharges to Formal Discharge Agreement
Golf Course N/A N/A
Clubhouse Mains Sewer N/A
Maintenance Facility Septic Tank Yes
Wash Pad On-Site Treatment Plant No

Hazardous Materials

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

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

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 All equipment and materials are stored in covered buildings with concrete flooring.Spill kits are present to deal with any spillage or leaks.Chemical and petrol storage is in a cool ventilated building.
Maintenance of equipment on covered, sealed impervious areas We have a fully equipped workshop that is used to maintain all our machinery. All fluids from machinery is collected and disposed in authorised containers for uplift by the waste disposal company. Grinders and welding equipment are in designated areas.
Mixing of pesticides and fertilizers in covered areas All mixing of products is done in a covered building. accurate records are kept off all applications and products that are mixed.Dry powder products are handled in a well ventilated store.
Mixing of pesticides and fertilizers over impervious surfaces All chemical/ fertiliser mixing is done on our wash down pad. Tank flushing is carried out after each spraying. Any spillage is dealt with using spill products to absorb the chemical. Correct spraying quantities are used to avoid waste. Washings go through our wash system and are treated for re-use.
Installation of above-ground fuel tanks We have two bunded fuel tanks within one of our sheds fitted with discharge pumps and meters. There is also a bunded tank at the clubhouse which is outside but locked at all times. These tanks were all replaced in the last three years.
Installation of sufficient secondary containment for fuel Bunded tanks will retain all fuel should it leak from the tanks. Our petrol storage cabinet will also retain any spilt fuel.
Provision of containment booms and absorbent materials We have products in the workshop and maintenance facility to absorb any oil/fuel/chemical spillages that occur. The contaminated products are collected by the waste recycling company that we use on an annual basis.

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 Precise water and chemical applications are carried out to avoid run off and excesses within the soil. Cycle and soak practices are used when irrigating during dry weather. Retention wetting agents are used in the summer to maintain soil moisture levels.
Establishment of vegetative buffer strips around water bodies Our irrigation reservoir has an unmanaged bank area around it. This area is fenced off from the public with warning signs on show. The few ditches that we have on course are protected by buffer strips of unmown grass to reduce the need for any chemical applications.
Establishment of emergency spillage response plan We have and inventory of all products held to inform the emergency services if there is a situation develops. This is updated every three months.Spill kits are on site to deal with spillage should it happen.
Controlling erosion and sediment discharge We do not discharge any fluids into the ground or into streams etc. Coastal erosion is a major issue for us in our location but something that we are not allowed to do anything with due to planning constraints. Managing the public in these areas helps control some erosion in sensitive areas.
Establishment of pesticide-free zones Our dune structure is hand weeded at all times. Wild flowers are present, therfore no chemical applications are made in these areas. Any chemical applications in the rough areas are done by hand using backpack sprayers to target specific weeds etc.
Use of swales and bio-filters to slow and treat surface run-off We do not use swales. Our irrigation and drinking water is treated with Endosan to treat for bio film in the tank and pipe work. Our drinking water also passes through a UV filter to kill e coli bacteria.


As we are a private golf club our links with the local community consist of donations to local charities and supporting the neighbourhood adjacent to the golf course. Our golf professional holds clinics for junior golfers and we encourage new junior members into the club. We recently had some paraplegic war veterans playing the course as part of a fund raising event. Their party of 12 were given full courtesy of the golf course and clubhouse as part of their tour around the golf clubs of Scotland.
There are traffic calming measures to protect the children in the vicinity of the golf course and our members are asked to be aware of them when the drive to and from the golf club as our entrance is at the end of a narrow residential street with no through access.

Employment & Education

Typical staffing levels at this golf facility are:

Full Time Part Time Seasonal
Club Management 3 1
Course Management 11 1 1
Food & Beverage 3 6 5
Golf Coaching 2
Retail & Leisure 2 2
Caddies 50
Other 1

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

  • General Manager
  • Course Manager
  • Committee Members
  • Technical Specialist

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

Activity Description
Storage, application and disposal of pesticides All quailfied staff are trained to PA1,2,6 level. They are fully versed on all application and disposal techniques for chemicals and pesticides etc. College training is given and the club has an active education budget for all additional education courses.
Efficient water management We use a waste to water system for all washing of machinery and sprayers. Hand watering on the golf course is on-going to target the water where it is needed to reduce waste. All leaks and possible waster are reported and dealt with at source.
Management of accidents and emergencies The staff have full access to the health and safety manual at all times, Any accidents are recorded in the accident book. Fire drills and meeting points are displayed on the staff notice board. The club possess two defibrillators
Management of habitats and vegetation The greenstaff maintain all areas of the golf courses including the habitat and vegetation. We also are following a 5 year ecology plan set out by Bob taylor from the STRI. This was started in 2017.
Waste minimization, separation and recycling The clubhouse, office and pro shop have access to various recycling bins. Oil from fryers is collected by a specialist company for disposal.
Health & Safety Reqular health and safety meetings are held. Risk assesments are reviewed and up dated annually. There is a code of practise, held by various departments as detailed by the health and safety executive (HSE)
Energy Saving The clubhouse and pro shop have recently changed to L.E.D lighting and possess one solar panelled golf buggy along with another electric golf buggy for member use. Solar panels are planned for the maintenance facility to run the workshop and irrigation systems.
Understanding of landscape and cultural heritage STRI 5 year ecology plan and SNH studies RSPBA
Environmental management planning STRI management plans form Bob Taylor. RSPBA

Community Relations

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

Activity Description
Neighbours There is access for local community to walk through the golf course - signage indicates this is at their own risk. Neighbours were given complimentary tickets to the AAM Scottish Open 2014.
Local Government The council have now recognised the importance of Royal Aberdeen and it's significance to Aberdeen tourism.
Local Environmental Groups RSPBA who watch sea birds annually
Local Community Groups Safe Donmouth protection scheme to protect children in the vicinity of the golf club
Media Club results are sent to local press following each event, working relationship with county and national media
Local Businesses The club have relationships with various local businesses - which are regularly utilized
Schools & Colleges There is a long standing association with Aberdeen University allowing largely discounted Membership fees

Land Use & Cultural Heritage

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

Activity Description
Maintenance of existing public paths No official public paths pass through our site.
Creation of new paths and nature trails New paths for public use have been created along the dune line and course boundaries.
Installation of effective and welcoming signage warning signs erected at points of entry to inform the public of the risks from golf balls and exposed sand dunes and erosion.
Providing opportunities for other recreation (e.g. fishing) As we are based on a vast dune structure there are no other activities undertaken withing the land owned by the club. Fishing is undertaken on the beach as is wind surfing from which the high dunes are used as a launch area.
Partnership conservation and access projects (e.g. community woodland) N/A
Continuation of traditional agricultural activities Planting of hedge rows on boundaries and revettment of bunker faces with old sods.

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

This golf facility consults the following organizations regarding the conservation of cultural heritage:

  • STRI ecology and agronomy
  • Scottish national Heritage

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

Activity Description
Buildings (Listed Buildings / Ancient Monuments etc) There are no protected buildings or ancient monuments within our boundaries
Archaeology (Settlements / Agricultural System etc) N/A
Historic Features (Hedgerows / Dykes / Moats / Cairns etc) N/A


This golf facility undertakes the following internal environmental communications:

Activity Description
Provision of newsletters, notice boards & poster display Notice board in clubhouse informing members about course and club issues. Any public information is also shared which includes safe travel etc through the houses adjacent to the golf club.
Members evenings and course walks Regular updates and meetings with members on all course and club matters. Course walks with members and green committees.
Course guides / brochures Golf course planners and club website give information on all areas of the club.
Interpretation panels & course signage Routine signage with regards to directions and safety issues.on the golf course. public signage for walking public.
Establishment of a nature trail N/A

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

Activity Description
Website, press releases & brochures Full club website open to all. Press releases regarding tournaments or environmental issues
Supporting campaigns N/A
Course walks / open days Course walks for external green keepers prior to major events. Open days at sheds to show members the maintenance facility and machinery
Attending community meetings Representation at any public meetings concerning our community and vicinity.
Joint practical projects with community N/A