Golfclub De Haar

GEO Certified® 08/2018
Utrecht,
Netherlands
Telephone: 0306772860
Gcdehaar_club_image

Executive summary (English & local language)

The beautiful 9 hole course De Haar was constructed in the beginning of the seventies of the last century, and the combination of majestic trees a perfect golf course design offer stunning vistas. Beyond doubt this one of the most charming 9 hole courses in The Netherlands. Landscape characteristics and species diversity have been described extensively over the last years, and a many rare and/or protected species were encountered over the years. The club has a very well documented course management plan and the head greenkeeper managed to reduce the presence of Poa annua in the greens to a great extent. Water and fertilizer use have gone down considerably, and no spray-zones are in action. To further improve landscape characteristics, the club is in contact with several commercial and non-commercial organizations. It is their wish to finally extend their lovely nine holes to eighteen holes.

Nature

Golf Club De Haar, established in 1974, is situated on the estate “Haarzuilens”. The 9 holes can best be described as a parkland course featuring many majestic old tree species typical for these types of estates. Landscape characteristics, geomorphology and species diversity (plants, mammals, bats and amphibians) have been described extensively over the last decade, and during my visit the GEO committee showed passion and knowledge on these subjects. It is club’s intention to restore the typical landscape characteristics there where necessary. Furthermore both the GEO committee and the greenkeepers are aware of vulnerable areas and protected species. Maintenance strategies have been documented to further improve species richness on and near the course. Several years ago greens consisted largely out of Poa annua (> 60% of the surface area). Nowadays, after applying proper maintenance strategies for several years (reduction of the rate fertilization and irrigation; see other sections), the dominance of Poa has been reduced down to 25%. It is the club’s intention to further reduce Poa presence and increase the presence of Festuca and Agrostis species.

Water

Rates of irrigation are based on expert judgement of the head greenkeeper in combination with soil moisture analyses. In order to reduce the percentage of Poa in their greens, it was decided to reduce the rate of irrigation down to 100 mm per annum. Fairways are not irrigated at all, and the head greenkeeper managed to reduce the total irrigation water use from 3000 down to less than 1000 cubic meters per year for the whole course. Also total potable water use decreased substantially over the last few due to several standard measures (e.g. low-flow toilets, no continuous running of flush water at the bar).

Energy

The club purchases renewable electricity. Despite the relatively low annual kWh use, the club decided to take the following measures to reduce energy use for the next few years, 1) gradually replace all conventional lightning by LEDs, 2) replace conventional maintenance machinery by hybrid ones. Furthermore, club now analyses financial possibilities to install solar cells. Recently the old maintenance shed was completely replaced and special attention was paid to insulation.

Supply Chain

The club’s restaurant is outsourced to a third party. Local products are being used and the purchase of certified products is encouraged as long as they fit with the financial bounderies. Waste is being separated according to local rules, i.e. paper, glass and rest materials. The club does not separate plastics from other waste. Over the years, pesticide use declined and it is the head greenkeepers wish to further reduce it the coming years. The abundance of the diseases sensitive Poa annua in their greens decreased from over more than 60% down to less than 25% due to a well-executed maintenance program. This reduction can be partly be attributed to combination of a decreased irrigation rate and an annual fertilizer N rate reduction from 130 to approx. 60 kg per hectare.

Pollution Control

Recently a new maintenance shed was built with impervious floors where necessary, and waste water is first led through an oil/grease separator before it is discharged to the main sewer. All chemicals and oils are stored according to legislation. A non-spraying zone of 7 meters near surface waters is applied in order to minimize the risk of pollution. The club analyses the chemical composition of their surface waters and irrigation water, and it is their intention to analyse chemical composition of surface water entering and leaving the course.

Community

It is the club’s intention to actively approach local media to tell their success story with respect to e.g. nature management. The club is supported by local nature organizations and a series of commercial experts in order to further improve the landscape and nature value of the course. The club wishes to extend their course with another 9 holes. To this end the club is close contact with “Natuurmonumenten”. The estate was designed by Hendrik Copijn early 1900, and his ideas will be taken into account in the new design. All personnel is properly trained and are offered workshops to further improve their skills. A completely new emergency accident plan is under construction and will come into action by this year.

Documentation Reviewed

Conclusion

The GEO committee of Golf Club De Haar demonstrated knowledge and passion with respect to all GEO-themes. Landscape and species diversity have been well documented over the years, and many rare and protected species are encountered on the site. Using a well-balanced management strategy, the head greenkeeper managed to bring down the presence of Poa annua on their greens considerably over the last five years. I, Adrie van der Werf, independent accredited verifier, therefore recommend Golf Club De Haar to be awarded the GEO Certified® ecolabel.

Certification Highlights

1. They managed to bring down the presence of Poa annua considerably
2. Much attention is given to the original landscape characteristics
3. Many protected species are encountered on the course, and the club is aware of their presence