Zuid Limburgse Golf En Countryclub 'Wittem'

GEO Certified® 08/2015 GEO Re-Certified 07/2018
Gulpen Wittem,
Netherlands
Telephone: +3143-4552370
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This report uses the basic information that was provided in the 2015 audit. The emphasis here is on the developments of the last three years and the improvements in GEO theme areas, measured on basis of the CIPs that were recorded in 2053. The 2015 and 2018 reports should be read together and cannot be properly used independently.

The Gulpen-Wittem municipality is home to the highest golf course of the Netherlands; situated on a plateau surrounded by old hillside forests (Schweibergerbosch and Kruisbosch). With its 50 ha, the course is quit…

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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
Wittem (18 holes, 5904 metres, year opened 1956)
1 Clubhouse(s)
1 Maintenance Facility/Facilities
1 Practice Facility/Facilities

Nature

The course is situated in the hills of South Limburg, the only part in The Netherland where hills can be found. The original 9 holes, that were laid out by Fred Hawtree in 1956, are on a plateau covered with dense forest. In 1991 the course was extended to 18 holes by Belgian architect Paul Rolin on an open and more contoured piece of land. From these holes, players have a free view over the South Limburg countryside.

The Zuid Limburg Golf & Country Club 'Wittem' can be described as a woodland and open parkland course.

The course is surrounded on three sides by conservation areas with a high environmental protection status (Natura 2000).

Ambition
Our ambition is to blend the golf course seamless in the surrounding countryside.This is worked out in detail in the attached report "De Zuid Limburgse bos- en landschapsbaan". The bulk of the plan will be implemented between 2013 and 2018. The last phase, #6, will be completed in the spring of 2018.
All targets have been met with the exception of the enhancement of the native woodlands which should be executed by Staatsbosbeheer in the period 2015-2017.

Consultation & Surveys

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

  • Bosgroep Zuid
  • Staatsbosbeheer
  • Instandhouding Kleine Landschappen (IKL)
  • IVN Limburg
  • Verbeek
  • Vogelbescherming

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

Title Author Date View document
De zuidlimburgse bos-en landschapsbaan; gebiedsvisie golfbaan ZLG&CC Heukelom Verbeek 2011/09/08 Download
Passende beoordeling Anteagroup, project 412969 2017/10/23 Download
Aanvulling vergunningsvoorwaarden Bosgroep Zuid 2018/04/05 Download

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

  • see organizations listed above

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

Title Author Date View document
see above mentioned reports

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

Local name Scientific name
For the total list see the Heukelom Verbeek report

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

Local name Scientific name
Birds are monitored 3 times a year (members and Vogelbescherming) since 2014
Reptiles and amphibians are monitored every 3 years (HSL). The first took monitoring round took place in 2015
Plants are monitored every 3 years (NHGL). We plan to have the first review in 2018

Habitats & Designations

This golf facility features the following landscape designations:

Description Designating Authority
National Park State of the Netherlands/European Union
Historic Landscapes / Parklands Province of Limburg
Areas of Scenic Beauty Municipality of Gulpen-Wittem

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

Title Estimated Area (Hectares) Designation
Rough 'ecological' grassland 9 Self Appointed
Scrub Vegetation 5 Self Appointed
Native Woodland 5 National Government
Non Native Plantation Woodland 8 National Government
Wetlands 0,5 Informal NGO
Open Water Features 1 Informal NGO
Heather and other dwarf shrub communities 0,5 Local Government

Turfgrass

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

Estimated Area (Hectares) Turfgrass Species Sward Composition (%)
Greens 2.0 Hectares Poa annua 55%
Agrostis tenuis / capillaris 45%
Tees 1.0 Hectares Poa annua 80%
Lolium perenne 20%
Fairways 15.0 Hectares Poa annua 80%
Poa pratensis 20%
Semi Rough 3.0 Hectares Poa annua 80%
Poa pratensis 20%

These turfgrasses are optimal for the circumstances at this club because:
Poa annua is the dominant turfgrass in The Netherlands as it is in most other countries in our part of the world.
With the start of the renovation in 2012 the decision has been taken to:
a. seed the new greens with 50% Agrostis Capillaris and 50% Festuca Ruba
b. start overseeding the existing greens with the same species as soon as the level of thatch has become acceptable.
c. not to fight poa annua in fairways, semi rough , but to use it in the best possible way.
In 2018 we will evaluate the results so far and see if a change in above policy is advisable

This golf facility assesses mowing patterns every: 6 months

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

  • Hawtree, Caspar Grauballe
  • Lumbricus, Maurice Evers
  • George Shiels

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 These policies are laid down in our Course Management Plan (Baanbeheerplan) and in annual maintenance programs.
Irrigation and fertilization are kept to a minimum. Colour of grass is not regarded as criterium for the health and attractiveness of the course.
Promoting the playing quality values of more naturalized turf, particularly fairways and semi-rough The feeling that the grass should be as green and lush as possible ('Augusta National Syndrome') has been left by our club quite a while ago. Members and guests are used to the the fact that fairways and rough can become dry and brownish during dry periods. Our course never has had fairway irrigation.
Promoting the financial benefits of presenting sustainable surfaces As part of the above mentioned long term plans, the scale of sustainable surfaces has increased considerably. Members are aware that besides the ecological and esthetical benefits, these sustainable surfaces have financial benefits as well.
Improving customer understanding around greens maintenance Internet and e-mail are used to inform members and guests about maintenance of greens. During bi-Annual General Meetings, members are informed about the status and plans of the course.
Demonstrating the direct relationship between environmental best practice and year round high quality playing surfaces See the above mentioned 'Gebiedsvisie'

Conservation & Enhancement

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

Activity Description
Allowing seasonal variation of course coloration and texture Only tees and greens have irrigation systems. The rest of the course, including fairways and rough areas are kept as natural as possible. They change in color and texture in accordance with the time of year.
Appropriately matching mowing lines to contours Holes follow the existing contours of the landscape. Mowing lines are used to accentuate these contours.
Protection and restoration of historic features Continuous efforts are made to fit the course as seamless as possible into the South Limburg landscape. This includes the introduction and conservation of features that are characteristic for this landscape.
Discreet on-course signage and furniture Signs and course furniture are kept to a minimum.
Conservation of specimen trees The golf course is surrounded by N2000, habitat type H9120 (Beuken- eikenbossen met hulst). Trees on the course should fit in with this habitat type.
Screening and softening unsightly man-made features The clubhouse, driving range hut, carts shed, fences and the greenkeepers maintenance shed are as much as possible surrounded by trees and scrubs.

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 With the exception of tees and greens, we have native grass species on the golf course. The dominant ones are varieties of poa and fescue.
Increasing the size of habitat patches Water features have been added to the course, with special attention for amphibians and reptiles
More hard rough is created (was/is semi rough)
Planting of new trees and scrub on the parkland part of the course is part of the course development program.
Connection of internal habitat patches The above mentioned water features will have the character of 'stepping stones'.
Planting of new trees end scrub on the parkland part of the course will lead to a more natural connection with the woodland parts of the course.
Connection of patches with external habitats The water features will be connected to similar external habitats
Softer en more natural overflows between the golf course and the surrounding landscape have been and will be established in the years to come.
Creation of habitat corridors We hope that this year we will get a permit to start with 'Bosrandbeheer'. The actual work will be executed by the Bosgroep Zuid
Avoidance of habitat fragmentation The course is build on one single plot of land and is completely open to the surrounding landscape. There are no boundaries. There is no risk of habitat fragmentation
Improving and diversifying habitat edges We plan to start with Bosrandbeheer in 2018. Increasing the areas of hard rough is part of the renovation program

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 This is an integral part of the course development program (see the attached report 'De Zuidlimburgse bos- en landschapsbaan'). During the past six years areas with this kind of grassland have been expanded considerably.
Ecologically informed management of scrub vegetation This is an integral part of the course development program (see the attached report 'De Zuidlimburgse bos- en landschapsbaan'). Scrub vegetation has been introduced on several parts of the golf course, aiming at creating the best possible habitat for butterflies and 'hazelmuis' (muscardinus avellanaruis). More will be planted in 2019 -2021as part of the Bosrandbeheer actions.
Promoting species and structurally diverse woodlands This is an integral part of the course development program (see the above report 'De Zuidlimburgse bos- en landschapsbaan').
A Tree Management Plan is set up by Staatsbosbeheer to replace conifer trees by various native species.
Establishment of littoral shelves and marginal vegetation in wetland areas This is done in accordance with guidelines we received from IKL (a local ecological organization).
Maintenance of an appropriate balance of open water and aquatic vegetation IKL, a non governmental ecologic organisation specialized in this field, is consulted to do this.
Naturalization of linear habitats On the course, free flowing forms are used as architectural features. These natural forms are used on all natural parts of the course too.

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 Bosrandbeheer, hard rough
Installation of nest boxes More than 30 nest boxes have been installed over the last 2-3 years.
(more than 75% has been used)
Provision of feeding tables Near the clubhouse, feeding tables are in use for birds during winter time. Feeding of other animals is unwanted and in some cases even prohibited.
Control / management of alien species We have installed an electric wire fence to keep wild boars out. The only alien species on the course are gold fish and carp that have been put in ponds by members. These fish will be removed gradually (and/or eaten by herons).
We try to avoid prevent of Canadian Goose on the golf course.
Provision of hibernation areas Piles of dead wood in forest areas and muddy parts of water features are designated as hibernation areas.
Creation of micro-habitats (eg log and stone piles) This is done as part of the creation of water features.
About 5 small ponds have been added over the last 3 years

Water

The clubhouse and maintenance facility are connected to the public water supply.

For the irrigation of greens and tees three water basins are available on the golf course. Fairways and (semi)rough are not irrigated.
Since 2010 the irrigation system is computerized and the water usage is measured.

As part of the renovation program, one additional water storage basin has been added in 2013 and one in 2017. Drainage of additional areas (renovated greens and teeboxes) of the golf course have been connected to these basins. The total water storage capacity should be sufficient to cover all the irrigation requirements and we envisage that from 2018 supply of public water for irrigation purposes is not necessary anymore.

Sources & Consumption

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

Title Author Date View document
Watersysteem ZLG&CC 2011 Heukelom Verbeek 2011/10/25 Download

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% 1,509,000 Litres
Golf Course Public / Potable 37% 4,800,000 Litres
Reclaimed 63%
Maintenance Facility/Facilities Public / Potable 100% 100,000 Litres
Other Public / Potable 0 Litres
2016 Source(s) % of supply Total Consumption
Clubhouse(s) Public / Potable 100% 1,047,000 Litres
Golf Course Reclaimed 100% 4,900,000 Litres
Maintenance Facility/Facilities Public / Potable 100% 100,000 Litres
Other Public / Potable 0 Litres
2015 Source(s) % of supply Total Consumption
Clubhouse(s) Public / Potable 100% 1,401,000 Litres
Golf Course Public / Potable 47% 5,250,000 Litres
Reclaimed 53%
Maintenance Facility/Facilities Public / Potable 100% 100,000 Litres
Other Public / Potable 0 Litres

Irrigation & Efficiency

The following areas receive irrigation at this golf facility:

Greens Daily in season
Tees Daily in season
Fairways Never
Semi-Rough Never
Rough Never

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

The irrigation system at this golf facility is:

Serviced every 1 years

Upgraded every 5 years

Re-calibrated and checked for efficient application every 1 years

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

Activity Description
Selection of grass species Renewed greens: 50/50 allbent/fescue
Renewed teeboxes: 70/30 fescue/ryegrass
Existing greens and teeboxes are being overseeded with above species
Soil decompaction and thatch management Frequent aeration of greens and tees (once a month in season) is executed to keep thatch levels under control.
Timing and dose of water application In the early morning
Analysis of soil moisture Until now, soil moisture was only measured once per year.
We started a soil moisture monitoring program in 2018.
Incorporation of evapotranspiration rates and weather data visual
Use of wetting agents Wetting agents are used on greens and teeboxes. Frequency every 4 to 6 weeks
Overall reduction in irrigated area We only irrigate greens and teeboxes.
Targeting of sprinkler heads Sprinkler heads are checked once a year.
Renewed greens have independent controlled nozzle heads. Nozzle heads of existing greens will be replaced in the coming 4 years
Optimizing system pressure The system is kept on pressure by a jockey pump.
Installation of a frequency controlled pump will be investigated in 2018 (energy saving program)
Adoption of cutting edge nozzle technology We use Rainbird nozzle heads

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

Activity Description
Low-flow urinals and toilets Installed
Use of water efficient appliances Not present
Use of efficient shower technology not present
Repairing leaks Leaks are repaired immediately
Water awareness signage Not present
Optimize irrigation In 2018 a program to optimize the water usage for irrigation will be started;
monitoring soil moisture on the greens
measuring actual water distribution over the individual greens
re-calibrating nozzle heads
Aim is not only to reduce the amount of water usage but also improve the conditions of the grass species.

Energy

We are using electricity from the grid for lighting and charging batteries (carts), natural gas from the grid for heating and cooking, and gasoil and petrol as fuel for maintenance equipment and vehicles.
Early 2015 an energy investigation has been carried out. The outcome is discussed; an action plan has been carried out. A lot of "tussenmeters" are installed, in the kitchen several more energy efficient applications are installed and the TL lamps are replaced. The gas heating installation is also replaced by an high energy efficient installation. The installation of PV-cells has been postponed due to budget restrictions. Insulation of the roof is put on the list of future investments.

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
Renewable Grid Electricity (kWh) 14060 1700 1890

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

2017 2016 2015
Diesel (Litres) 11900 10500 11500
Natural Gas (Litres) 17900 15800 17000
Non-renewable Grid (kWh) 87840 83100 92410
Petrol (Litres) 1700 1680 1345

Energy Efficiency

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

Activity Description
Adoption of green tariff grid supply According to the current contract we are using 'grey' electricity.
Installation of small scale wind turbine na
Installation of photovoltaic and / or solar panels Is in our wish-list. Due to budget restrictions postponed. Not profitable at the moment.
Use of geothermal and / or ground sources na
Use of Liquified Petroleum Gas (LPG) na
Use of biodiesel and /or ethanol na
Use of electric hybrid vehicles na
Use of recycled oils na

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

Activity Description
Investment in low-energy heating and air conditioning systems We do not have any airco system running.
Replacement of the heating system by a high efficiency heating system has been implemented in 2016.
Optimizing thermostat levels for heating and refrigeration These are installed for the heating system. For cooling n.a.
Enhancement of natural ventilation opportunities na
Upgrading of building insulation The construction of the roof prevents any additional insulation.
Use of natural light (e.g. sunlight pipes) na
Installation of low-energy lighting In 2017 the electric bulbs have been replaced by low-energy LED bulbs wherever possible
Use of motion sensor lighting In 2010 motion sensor lighting has been installed in toilets and changing rooms and recently also in the handicars garage and the basement
Transition to energy efficient appliances In the kitchen energy efficient appliances are installed
Use of timers with appliances, heating and lighting These are partly installed
Educating staff and customers na

Vehicles & Transport

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

Ride-on Mowers Walking Mowers Utility Vehicles
Petrol 100%
Diesel 100% 100%

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

Golf Carts Cars Buses
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 na
Group transportation (e.g. buses) na
Secure cycle parking na
Promoting public transport routes and timetables na
Increasing equipment storage (e.g. lockers) na
Staff showers na
Tax breaking incentives for cycling na
Promotion of walk to work campaigns na

Supply Chain

De Zuid-Limburgse golf-&countryclub Wittem is gelegen op 4 km van het dorp Gulpen. In een straal van 10 km liggen meerdere dorpen, die sterk op toerisme zijn ingesteld. De producten die nodig zijn bij de Zuid-Limburgse G&CC Wittem zijn bestemd voor het clubhuis, het secretariaat of de golfbaan. Het beheer van de golfbaan is uitbesteed aan de SBA. Het clubhuis (bar en restaurant, schoonmaak, secretariaat) wordt in eigen beheer geëxploiteerd..
The golfclub is situated in een not densely populated area. Several villages are within a 10 kilometre range. The course maintenance is outsourced to a firm SBA.
The clubhouse is exploited by the club itself.

Purchasing Policies

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

Activity Description
Measures to avoid waste at source Inkoop voor bar en clubhuis gebeurt voornamelijk in bulk. om afval te vermijden.
Regelmatige analyse van de inkoop in verhouding tot de omzet. Dit om te voorkomen van voorraadvorming door vraag gestuurde inkoop te bevorderen..
Bij grote partijen is er de afspraak met de drankenhandel dat het teveel bestelde teruggegeven kan worden.
Avoiding stock through buying when and what is needed only. Monitoring de differences between buying supplies and selling prepared foods. Extra beverage supplies for big catered parties can be given back if superflous.
Use of local suppliers Benodigdheden die acuut nodig en niet door de SBA geleverd zijn, worden door de greenkeepers betrokken bij lokale verkopers.
De inkoop van voedingsmiddelen en dranken geschiedt eveneens zo veel mogelijk lokaal, d.w.z. in Gulpen of directe omgeving. De bakker, groenteboer en slager bevinden zich binnen 10 km.
Most of the products needed at the site of the golfclub are used either in the clubhous or on the golfcourse. As much as possible will supplies be bought locally i.e. within a 10 kilometres distance.
Use of local products Bier wordt betrokken van lokale brouwerijen zowel in Gulpen als in Wijlre.
Brood wordt een dorp verder gebakken. Groente komt van een lokale handelaar.. De slagerij is binnen 10 km.. Hoe kleiner de bestelling hoe lokaler gekocht wordt.
Breweries whithin 10 kilometres provide beer for the clubhous
Selection of certified products Bij het zoeken naar een nieuwe koffie en theeleverancier is gekozen voor Peeze fair trade. en biologisch geteelde productie.
We chose a new fairtrade coffee supplier
Use of recycled and recyclable products Afval wordt zoveel mogelijk gescheiden. Papier en karton wordt gescheiden opgehaald. Verpakking van dranken (glas, plastic) gaat terug naar de verkoper of wordt gerecycled. Er is overleg om aan een totale afvalscheiding in de keuken van de club te komen.
Selection of products that feature minimal packaging Vegatables are bought in crates in bulk.
Cakes ad pies from the bakery are deliverde 0n racks.
No extra packaging is provided in all other deliveries.
Use of accredited suppliers (e.g. ISO 14001) SBA Golf en groen Certificering ISO 9001 en VCA 1
Schoonmaakbedrijf Balanz Facilitair PSO-certificaat trede 3
Peeze koffie en thee Rainforest Alliance keurmerk Fair trade en Max Havelaar

Supply Chain

An overview of the supplier network at this golf facility:

Total number of suppliers Total number of suppliers within 10 Kilometres Total number of suppliers within 100 Kilometres
Food & Beverage 9 3 5
Catering Supplies 5 3
Retail 3
Trade & Contractors 66 13 30
Maintenance Equipment 13 1 10
Course Supplies 2 1

Turfgrass Inputs

This golf facility undertakes the following IPM activities:

Activity Description
Encouraging drought and disease tolerant grasses We are overseeding greens with Colonial Bent and Fescue.
Managing stress and wear Stress areas are earmarked by blue poles and considered as GUR
Enhancement of soil structure Scarifying and sanding of fairways are carried out once/year.
Greens are aerated and sanded in the growing season monthly. Top dressing will be applied every 2 weeks
Optimization of the growing environment The use of fertilizers and pesticides is monitored.
Fertilizers and pesticides are not used in (semi) rough areas or near water ponds.
Areas of hard rough and around water pools are developed as habitats for fauna.
Managing thatch levels Hollow tining, scarification, sanding of greens
Managing surface moisture Surface moisture of greens is removed every morning.
Occasionally wetting agents are added, freq. 1x/4-6 weeks
Establishing thresholds for pests and disease Greens are frequently monitored for the presence of disease.
If present, sometimes mould (fungus), appropriate action will be taken.
Scouting for pests and diseases Monitoring by greenkeepers on a daily basis
Monitoring / improvement of plant health Yearly survey by an specialized agronomist. As from 2018 the agronomist's visits will be increased to three times a year

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

2017 2016 2015
Fairways - K - Organic 204 231 215
Fairways - N - Organic 70 84 27
Fairways - P - Organic 17 2 18
Greens - K - Organic 204 231 215
Greens - N - Organic 182 351 322
Greens - P - Organic 80 94 111
Tees - K - Organic 81 195 227
Tees - N - Organic 31 172 215
Tees - P - Organic 121 55 69

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

2017 2016 2015
Fairways - Fungicide - Active Ingredient 0.9 0.3 3.5
Fairways - Fungicide - Total Weight 92.2 34.0 116.5
Fairways - Fungicide - Number of applications per year 2 1 3
Greens - Fungicide - Active Ingredient 7.1 7.4 8.6
Greens - Fungicide - Total Weight 22.5 22.7 29.5
Greens - Fungicide - Number of applications per year 2 2 2
Greens - Insecticide - Active Ingredient 0.2 0.2 0.2
Greens - Insecticide - Total Weight 30 30 25
Greens - Insecticide - Number of applications per year 1 1 1
Tees - Herbicide - Active Ingredient 0.9 0.3 3.5
Tees - Herbicide - Total Weight 2.8 1.0 3.5
Tees - Herbicide - Number of applications per year 2 1 3

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

Activity Description
Selection on the least toxic and lest persistent products Selection of products is based on specialized advice
Selection of appropriate products for specific pests and diseases Selection of products is based on specialized advize
Spot-treatment with handheld sprayers and wipers yes
Calibration and testing of sprayers onece a year
Use of shrouded sprayer and anti-drip nozzles yes, when appropriate
Non-chemical weed control yes, hand spiked on the greens
Use of organic and biological products to improve plant health and resistance. n.a.

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 false false true
Aluminium false false false true
Metal false false false true
Paper & Cardboard false true false false
Grass Clippings false true false false
Cores & Turf false false false true
Sand true false false false
Wood / Timber false false false true

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

Activity Description
Separation of recyclable materials In 2016 an investigation is done about the the waste and the separation of waste streams. In 2018 separation of plastic, metal an tins and drinkcartons wil be organised.The grass of the rough will be eaten by sheeps.
Establishment of recycling centers na
Returning clipping to fairways and walkways yes, clippings are left on the fairways and semi rough
Education of staff and customer education Maintenance staff trained by main contractor. The members of the club and the green-fee players will be instructed about the separation of waste.
Waste awareness campaigns Regular discussions with contractors

Pollution Control

Ambition
Our ambition is to strictly adhere to the existing rules and regulations concerning the Natura 2000 area.
Furthermore we want to investigate if recycling can be increased.

Targets
- investigate where we can further segregate waste is done in 2016, actions will be implemented in 2018 ( see also waste management paragraph)

The golf course is located near a so called Natura 2000 area. These areas are the most protected woodland areas in the Netherlands (by law). We have to ensure that the activities on the golf course do not effect the Natura 2000 area.
This is stipulated in our permit and is regularly checked by the authorities.

Our maintenance contractor is ISO 9001 and VCA certified. All quality, safety, health and environmental issues are adressed in his 'VGMK plan' written and approved for our golf course. His personnel is instructed regularly. In our weekly meetings with the contractor, safety and environmetal issues are standard agenda items.

With regard to waste management: we strictly adhere to the local laws and regulations which are the most stringent in the European Region. Waste is collected segregated by thewaste contractor; paper, glass, plastic, tin, organic materials and others. Hazardous materials are collected seprately.
We plan to investigate how to further reduce the categorie 'others'.

Water Analysis

This golf facility monitors water quality with the following frequency:

Chemical Biological Visual
Inflow Never Never Never
On-Site Never Three Yearly Yearly
Outflow Never Never Never

Waste Water

Waste water from this golf facility is managed as follows:

Discharges to Formal Discharge Agreement
Golf Course Detention Pond N/A
Clubhouse Mains Sewer Yes
Maintenance Facility Mains Sewer Yes
Wash Pad Mains Sewer 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 false true
Lubricants true false
Pesticide Containers true true
Fertiliser Bags true true
Oil Filters true false
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 Storage of equipment and most hazardoes products in enclosed sheds.
Oil and fuel drums storted outside in enclosed areas above a concrete floor, all according to legal regulations.
Maintenance of equipment on covered, sealed impervious areas yes, only small maintenance is carried out at our site; overhauls etc are done outside at the premisses of our main contractor.
Mixing of pesticides and fertilizers in covered areas Mixing is done inside maintenance shed if necessary.
Most pesticides and fertilizers are ready to use.
Mixing of pesticides and fertilizers over impervious surfaces All storage and mixing (if necessary) is done on concrete floors.
Installation of above-ground fuel tanks bins with concrete walls and floors are used to store (a limited amount of) fuel
Installation of sufficient secondary containment for fuel yes
Provision of containment booms and absorbent materials absorbent materials are available to handle small spills

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 Use of fertilizer is kept at a minimum by monitoring grass quality and is not used in wet periods. Waterbuffers and ponds are designed in such a way that no overflow can take place to Natura 2000 areas.
Establishment of vegetative buffer strips around water bodies At least a 1 meter zone around waterbuffers is kept pesticide and fertilizer free
Establishment of emergency spillage response plan Is part of main contractor's VGMK plan.
Controlling erosion and sediment discharge Uncovered soil, if present, is covered.
Drainage traps are inspected annually and cleared when necessary.
Roads and pathways are maintained once a year.
Establishment of pesticide-free zones (Deep) rough and wooded areas are not treated with pesticides and/or fertilizers.
Our aim is to create natral habitats for fauna.
Use of swales and bio-filters to slow and treat surface run-off N.a.

Community

We are a non-profit golf club with some 500 members, who enjoy playing golf and socializing with fellow members. Annually we host some 4.000 green fee players who often stay overnight in the area and thus contribute significantly to the regional tourist industry. It is our ambition to continue good relations with authorities and local community.
We have good relations with local authorities, civil servants and politicians.
We're blessed by a beautiful natural setting of the golf course, in Natura2000 territory. We strive to optimize the interaction between golf course and surrounding nature, together with the various stakeholders

Our targets:
-be a relevant factor in the athletic and social life of our members
-attract over 4.000 green fee players a year
-invest in continuation of our good relations with all relevant authorities, decision makers, organizations, neighbors and other stakeholders
-continue to be a good and reliable employer (10+ FTE's)


Employment & Education

Typical staffing levels at this golf facility are:

Full Time Part Time Seasonal
Course Management 4 1 1
Food & Beverage 3 1 1
Golf Coaching 1

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

  • Committee Members
  • The Sustainability working group consists of 6 club members, and meets about every 2 months. Focus areas are energy reduction, sustainable course management (water, fertilizer, chemicals), nature conservation and enhancement, and waste separation

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

Activity Description
Storage, application and disposal of pesticides Minimum use of chemicals and special attention to avoid used chemicals to get in contact with surrounding environment. Rules and guidelines are explained and discussed with employees during work and staff meetings.
Efficient water management A closed internal water balance situation has recently be completed
Management of accidents and emergencies Our maintenance contractor is officially certified in this field (VCA). Training and education of employees is part of this certificate.
Management of habitats and vegetation Surrounded by Natura 2000 area. High sensitivity from all staff and committees to control and respect rules and regulations, and optimize the interaction
Waste minimization, separation and recycling Waste separation is executed on all office and substantial household waste, chemical waste and green waste. Employees and committee members are aware of relevant rules and the ways these have to be applied.
Health & Safety This is part of the above mentioned VCA certificate of our contractor responsible for course construction and course maintenance.
Energy Saving Minimizing energy use is discussed on a regular basis with our contractor and with employees working in food & beverages. Energy saving devices have been implemented in the past few years.
Understanding of landscape and cultural heritage Our contractor and his employees (greenkeepers) are fully aware of the specifics of the landscape and cultural heritage of the golf course and its surroundings. They live in the close vicinity of the course.
Environmental management planning The clubs policies and action plans in the field of environmental management are shared with our contractor and his employees.

Community Relations

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

Activity Description
Neighbours Open door policy: neighbors are encouraged to get in touch with the club in case of questions, remarks and/or requests. They are invited for relevant club sessions (like info sessions re our sustainability efforts) and on Open Days
Local Government Frequent communication on legal and ownership community issues. Regular meetings with relevant civil servants, local/regional politicians, and with landowner (Staatsbosbeheer)
Local Environmental Groups Contact with for instance IKL, IVN, NHGL and 'Stichting Dassenwerkgroep Limburg' on natural habitat and about plans to improve and upgrade the course.
Local Community Groups There is one such group relevant to the golf course ('Stichting Verontruste Bewoners'). They are invited on the annual neighbor day. No conflicts to be reported, fortunately
Media Press releases are issued and articles published when relevant. Journalists from local media know who to approach in case of questions (Club Secretary).
Local Businesses There are regular contacts with hotels and other businesses active in the leisure industry. A club committee has been established for these contacts.
Schools & Colleges Promoting golf for children via school ( College) sport system. Once a year an 'open day' for the nearby college

Land Use & Cultural Heritage

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

Activity Description
Maintenance of existing public paths NB: in 2017 the golf course has been awarded the "Landgoed" status.

Paths used for walking/hiking mainly on the older part of the course.
Creation of new paths and nature trails The site on which the course is situated doesn't allow creation of new paths and trails.
Installation of effective and welcoming signage These signs are at the entranceway to the golf club, in front of the clubhouse and at some of the public roads leading to the golf club.
Providing opportunities for other recreation (e.g. fishing) This is not possible and/or not allowed.
Partnership conservation and access projects (e.g. community woodland) The club has established an important and fruitful partnership with the National Forest Trust (Staatsbosbeheer). In recent years, new trees have been planted as part of the 'Nationale Boomfeestdag'.
We participate in the "Committed to Birds" project sponsored by NGF and Vogelbescherming.
The club has initiated field studies to take inventory of its biodiversity (amphibians, birds, plants).
IKL has helped construction of a special stone wall next to one of our ponds to house an endangered amphibian species (de vroedmeesterpad).
Waste separation stations near hole 9 and 18 also for public use.
Continuation of traditional agricultural activities A typical South Limburg apple tree orchard was planted at the golf course in 2014.
A flock of sheep is used since 2017 as alternative mowing equipment, and in 2018 a beehive pilot is started.

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
Buildings (Listed Buildings / Ancient Monuments etc) The clubhouse is not officially listed, but it is about 60 years old and is seen as authentic and precious part of the Golf Club. For that reason it is cherished and maintained with high care.
Archaeology (Settlements / Agricultural System etc) The attached report 'De Zuid Limburgse bos- en landschapsbaan' contains a chapter on archaeology. The chance that settlements of historical value can be found on the golf course is considered to be low.
Historic Features (Hedgerows / Dykes / Moats / Cairns etc) A large part of the course is surrounded by hedges that are typical for South Limburg. They are maintained with extra care and the club is investigating opportunities to receive governmental subsidies to cover the costs. Hedge pruning is done outside the birds' breeding season.

Communications

This golf facility undertakes the following internal environmental communications:

Activity Description
Provision of newsletters, notice boards & poster display Environmental issues are communicated on a regular basis on the website, both on the open and on the members part. These issues may also be communicated via email to all members.
There is a nature "notebook" in the clubhouse, and miniposters relating to nature issues
Members evenings and course walks Environment and sustainability have become fixed items on the bi-annual General Members Meetings. Special informative meetings for members often are dedicated to this kind of subjects (like birding, the life of a shepherd)
Course walks are organized on a regular basis for bird watching.
Course guides / brochures All guests receive a course guide for free when they play the course. A brochure is available for everybody who wants to get general information on the club and on the golf course. Both publications contain concise information on the golf course and its specifics.
Interpretation panels & course signage There is a beautiful and unique interpretative panel between the 15th and 16th hole, giving information on the exact location of the course and its position relative to major landmarks in the surrounding landscape.
Course signage is kept to a minimum to avoid disturbing and interfering objects.
Establishment of a nature trail There is no such trail at the moment and it is not foreseen in the near future.

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

Activity Description
Website, press releases & brochures The attached document 'De Zuid Limburgse bos- en landschapsbaan' serves as a pamflet to give all stakeholders an impression of the ambitions and aims of our golf club and to show how a golf course, nature conservation and landscape development can go hand-in-hand. Elements of the document are communicated via the website and brochures as well.
Supporting campaigns The club takes part in several programs that are initiated by the Dutch Golf Federation (NGF). Committed to Green and Committed to Birds are two examples.
Course walks / open days Once per year an Open Day, plus 3 times a year a bird counting early morning walk
Attending community meetings Close to the golf course, a refugee center has been opened. The club has taken the initiative to get in contact with the center to exchange information. Members have been invited to visit the center.
Joint practical projects with community The club has acted as host several times during Second World War remembrance ceremonies that are being held annually on sites close to the golf course.