Vidago Palace Golf Course

GEO Certified® 08/2014 GEO Re-Certified 01/2018
Telephone: +351 276 990 900

Vidago Palace has been part of Portuguese beverage company Super Bock Group (SBG) (former UNICER), owner of Portugal’s Super Bock beer brand, since 2002. The 18-hole, par 72 course, renovated in 2010 by Cameron Powell, has been developed with full respect and concern for the environment and care for its surrounding and can play host to local tournaments (club championships), national and international competitions, e.g. the Portugal Senior Open 2014, the 2016 Bonallack and Patsy Hankins Trophies and Junior National Tournaments.

The Vidago Pa…

Alexandra Almeida, GEOSA, Accredited Verifier Read verifier report.

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
Vidago Palace Golf Course (18 holes, 6420 metres, year opened 2010)
1 Clubhouse(s)
1 Maintenance Facility/Facilities
1 Pro Shop
1 Practice Facility/Facilities


O campo de golfe do Vidago Palace foi redesenhado pela firma Cameron & Powell em 2009 a partir dum original de Mackenzie Ross, datado de 1936. O percurso, Par 72, foi totalmente reconstruído de acordo com as especificações da USGA, potenciando a realização de campeonatos internacionais, mantendo a identidade do desenho original e reflectindo a beleza, o espírito e o sinal distintivo do lugar. No percurso de golfe existem grandes contrastes que têm em comum o respeito pela envolvente natural. Os muros de suporte dos tees, construídos em pedra local, e as árvores centenárias constituem a sua imagem de marca. Vidago Palace inclui ainda uma academia de golfe com driving range, zona de chipping e 2 putting greens.

O campo de golfe está localizado num vale e envolvido por uma floresta rica em espécies autóctones. Exemplos destas espécies são pinheiros bravos e mansos, cedros, plátanos, carvalhos, medronheiros, giestas, estevas, etc. Uma pequena regueira atravessa o campo de golfe, proporcionando a ocorrência de raposas, javalis e de uma vasta diversidade de espécies de aves.

Situated in the north-eastern corner of Portugal, the Vidago Palace golf course was modernised in 2009 to reflect international championship standards. The upgraded course meets USGA construction specifications, having been transformed into a standard par 72. The extension to 18 holes, a Cameron & Powell redesign of an original Mackenzie Ross 9, dating back to 1936, was carefully developed to retain the integrity, playability and character of the site. The course is one of dramatic contrasts which are united by a singular respect for the surrounding nature. Pathways and retaining walls use local stone and centuries old trees have been preserved. The golf facility includes a golf academy with driving range, chipping area and two putting greens.

The golf course is located in a valley and surrounded by an old-growth forest, rich in native trees and shrubs. Some examples of the species found in the area are: pines, cedars, sycamores, oaks, arbutus, brooms, cistus, etc. A small stream runs through the golf course, promoting the occurrence of a wide variety of species, e.g. birds, including owls, as well as squirrels, wild boar, foxes and even jackrabbits.

Consultation & Surveys

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

  • GEOdesenho - Planeamento e Consultoria do Ambiente Lda

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

Title Author Date View document
Environmental Due Diligence Antunes da Silva, Jacinta Marta Fernandes, Bruno Pereira de Moura and Patrique Alves 2008/04/30

This golf facility does not consult any organizations regarding ecosystem protection and enhancement.

No ecological surveys have been undertaken at this golf facility.

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

Local name Scientific name
Açor Accipiter gentilis
Pombo Torcaz Columba palumbus
Alveola Cinzenta Motacilla cinerea
Cartaxo Saxicola torquatus
Chapim Real Parus major
Búteo \ Águia de asa redonda Buteo buteo
Trepadeira Azul Sitta europaea
Gaio Garrulus glandarius
Petinha dos Prados Anthus pratensis
Picanço Real Lanius meridionalis
Rabiruivo Phoenicurus moussieri
Escrevedeira de Garganta Preta Emberiza cirlus
Raposa do campo Pseudalopex vetulus
Lesma preta Pelophylax ridibundus
Sapo parteiro Alytes obstetricans
Sapo comum Bufo bufo
Lesma preta Pelophylax ridibundus
Sapo parteiro Alytes obstetricans
Sapo comum Bufo bufo
Lesma preta Pelophylax ridibundus
Sapo parteiro Alytes obstetricans
Sapo comum Bufo bufo

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

Local name Scientific name
Liquenes Mycophycophyta
Minhocas Earth worms

Habitats & Designations

This golf facility does not feature any landscape designations.

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

Title Estimated Area (Hectares) Designation
Rough 'ecological' grassland 12 None
Scrub Vegetation 20 None
Native Woodland 20 None


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

Estimated Area (Hectares) Turfgrass Species Sward Composition (%)
Greens 1.5 Hectares Agrostis stolonifera / palustris 100%
Tees 2.0 Hectares Festuca rubra 15%
Lolium perenne 30%
Fairways 14.0 Hectares Festuca rubra 15%
Lolium perenne 30%
Semi Rough 12.0 Hectares Festuca rubra 15%
Poa pratensis 30%

These turfgrasses are optimal for the circumstances at this club because:
Vidago is located in the northern part of Portugal and has a temperate climate with mild winters and moderate summers (temperate climate, a mix of Mediterranean and Atlantic climates). We have seasons with generally warm summers and cold winters, with some rainfall all the year round. In winter, rainfall is often shower and more intense than summer rainfall. According to the Köppen and Geiger climate classification Csa is. 14.1 ° C is the average temperature. The average annual rainfall is 970 mm.

Mowing patterns are not assessed at this golf facility.

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

  • APG - Associação Portuguesa de Greenkeepers
  • A.Pereira Jordão (turfgrass suppliers)
  • Everris (soil analysis)

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 Decisions on water management measures must be preceded by monitoring in the golf course. Groundwater and water quality monitoring programs as well as operations and decisions regarding the cultural programs for upcoming weeks are discussed on a week to week basis, during the meetings between the greenkeeper, the course consultant and the Director of the golf course.
Promoting the playing quality values of more naturalized turf, particularly fairways and semi-rough The quality of the playing surface is based on proper water system operation, cultural operations e.g. fertilizer program and pesticide management (balanced use of cultural, biological, and chemical procedures).
Promoting the financial benefits of presenting sustainable surfaces Customer satisfaction is the key. The cost / benefit of presenting sustainable surfaces has been monitoring since the opening of the golf course. This process is being carried out on a daily base in order to ensure that golfers enjoy their experience and to minimize the amount of water used for irrigation as well as the flow and pressure.
Improving customer understanding around greens maintenance The club manager provides regular updates, on a weekly or daily base, to all clients. The information about the maintenance operations to be carried out, not only on the greens but also on other areas of the golf course, is displayed throughout the clubhouse to keep the costumer informed.
Demonstrating the direct relationship between environmental best practice and year round high quality playing surfaces The environmental best practice begins with the judicious choice of products and ends with the correct handling technique that allows us to avoid environmentally negative impacts on soil and on the aquifer, these techniques include the efficient use of water for irrigation, the use best management practices and pest management techniques to ensure safe storage, application, and handling of chemicals and reduce actual and potential environmental contamination associated with chemical use and to prevent leaching and runoff to soil and groundwater and use of raw materials.

Conservation & Enhancement

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

Activity Description
Allowing seasonal variation of course coloration and texture During the winter season (typically harsh winter with temperatures below 0 degrees) the appearance of the golf course resents a bit. Fertilizer is applied (third fertilization of the year) for counteract the appearance and color of the course in the winter period.
Appropriately matching mowing lines to contours The initial Mackenzie Ross 9 holes were to be preserved. This required a great
amount of care during both the design and construction phases. The design (layout) of the course blends in seamlessly with the natural surroundings and not otherwise.
All contours and limits of the course were designed with respect for the surrounding nature.
Protection and restoration of historic features The existing sources of mineral water (thermal), occurring within the golf course, have been restructured and now serve as a symbol of the Vidago SPA. The guests at the hotel have at their disposal one of the sources of the mineral water that comes from underground.
Discreet on-course signage and furniture Most of the signs in the golf course are made with wood in order "be better integrated" with the surroundings. Only the bins are made of plastic (wood is porous and absorbent material and can support fungal growth).
Conservation of specimen trees Paths cleaning, trees pruning and weed control are some of the works executed ​​to protect native species and surrounding vegetation.
Screening and softening unsightly man-made features The concept of the golf course was designed to interfere as little as possible with the surroundings. Only walls and paths can be consider as existing constructions. Other than that everything else consists of green space.

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 The design evolved toward minimizing the area of intensively managed turf, taking into consideration the source of water supply and the optimization of the golf course irrigation.
Increasing the size of habitat patches Maintain natural wildlife habitat in at least 30% of all minimally used
portions of the property.
Connection of internal habitat patches Preservation of existing patches to connect small and large natural areas.
Connection of patches with external habitats Preservation of the edges of existing habitats to increase the relationship between wildlife and surrounding.
Creation of habitat corridors There are large patches of re-naturalised vegetation between holes, around tees and greens that connect with the existing habitats inside and outside of the golf course.
Avoidance of habitat fragmentation The existing woodland was preserved whenever possible, through appropriate routing and special care during construction.
Improving and diversifying habitat edges The habitats edges were respected and preserved whenever possible, through appropriate routing and special care during construction.

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 Use of cultural methods to decrease compaction.
Avoid use of herbicides and other pesticides.
Mowing patterns and mowing frequency adjusted to the needs of the rough grassland.
Ecologically informed management of scrub vegetation During the construction of the golf course the preservation of the surrounding scrub was a key concern. 5 years after the opening day, all the areas of shrubs and native vegetation are almost at the peak of its evolution.
Promoting species and structurally diverse woodlands The existing old trees were preserved whenever possible, through appropriate routing and special care during construction. The landscaped trees and shrubs are maintained with plants that are indigenous to the native plant community of the ecological region of the property.
Establishment of littoral shelves and marginal vegetation in wetland areas The shrubbery and native landscaping along the shoreline (stream corridor) is maintained with plants that are indigenous to the native plant community of the ecological region of the property.
Naturalization of linear habitats During the planning and construction of the golf course all the natural areas (stream corridors, woods, etc.) were preserved as much as possible to improve wildlife movement throughout the golf course and from the course to neighboring natural areas (forestry and mature woodlands).

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 Areas where birds and mammals usually nest are protected from disturbance by golfers and maintenance activities. Over the past years we have sown some flowery meadows, in order to create shelter and provide nectar and pollen for certain existing species on the golf course, e.g butterflies.
Control / management of alien species All areas overrun with invasive exotic species as wild pigs are controlled as necessary.
Creation of micro-habitats (eg log and stone piles) Within the golf course and its surrounding, there are several stone walls characteristic of the region. These stone walls serve as shelter and nesting habitats for certain animals.
In the case of foxes make burrows in areas of zero intervention in the basement.


O campo de golfe está localizado sobre um dos mais importantes aquíferos de água mineral em Portugal (Vidago). Os furos das três fontes que afloram à superfície estão localizados no parque d Vidago Palace e dentro da área do campo de golfe, sendo o edifício do clubhouse a antiga fábrica de engarrafamento. Assim, a preservação e protecção do aquífero foi, e continua a ser, o principal requisito para todo o processo de concepção, construção e manutenção do campo de golfe. Este aspecto influenciou tanto o projecto de rega como o projecto do sistema de drenagem e todo o planeamento do sistema de gestão da água. O sistema de rega foi planeado para permitir uma gestão avançada, capaz de minimizar a lixiviação. Drenagem foi projectada para colectar volumes lixiviados e controlar o alto lençol freático. Além disso, este sistema também intercepta todas as escorrências de superfície que podem causar erosão. A política interna de fertilização e de aplicação de pesticidas foi definida especificamente para minimizar possíveis impactos no solo e no aquífero.

The course sits over one of the most important mineral water aquifers in Portugal. The operating boreholes are actually located inside the course and the clubhouse is an old bottling plant. Therefore, the preservation and protection of the aquifer was the main requirement for the whole of the design, construction and maintenance process. This point influenced both the design of the irrigation and drainage systems, and the whole set-up of the water management system. Irrigation was planned to allow for an advanced irrigation management system, capable of minimizing leaching. Drainage was designed to collect leached volumes and to control the high water table. Additionally, it also intercepts all surface run-offs that might cause erosion. The fertilization and pesticides internal policy was defined specifically to minimize possible impacts.

Sources & Consumption

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

Title Author Date View document
The Vidago Aquifer System - Water Quality Control Plan with amendments (2014) Ministry of Environment, Spatial Planning and Energy 2014/06/23 Download

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

2016 Source(s) % of supply Total Consumption
Golf Course Surface 100% 165,446,000 Litres
2015 Source(s) % of supply Total Consumption
Golf Course Surface 100% 222,211,008 Litres

Irrigation & Efficiency

The following areas receive irrigation at this golf facility:

Greens Daily in season
Tees Daily in season
Fairways Daily in season
Rough Daily in season

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 6 months

Re-calibrated and checked for efficient application every 12 months

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

Activity Description
Selection of grass species Greens - Bentgrass Alpha
Tees and fairways - blend of lolium, fescues and poas
Roughs - Fescues
Soil decompaction and thatch management Major cultural practices: Verticut at 4mm underneath, Grooming at 2 mm (dailyseason), Hollow coring once a year, Pencil tines, Spiking and Light topdressings all year (heavy topdressing on hollow coring greens).
Timing and dose of water application The irrigation water is pumped from the river Tâmega according to the requirements (limit on the water for extraction on an average yearly basis ) established in the permit, which are monitored every month by certified personnel of the municipal council. We keep written records of monitoring activities, results, and control measures taken. The water is pumped to three deposits and then goes to the irrigation system. We use different types of irrigation programs, of sprinklers, nozzles and pressure regulators. The entire system is computerized.
Analysis of soil moisture Three soils analyses per year. We keep written records of monitoring activities and results.
Incorporation of evapotranspiration rates and weather data The water management system, supported by one weather station and several sets of soil moisture probes, was set up to minimize irrigation volumes and to monitor both leached volumes and water quality. The golf course uses a remote program that transmits the daily evapotranspiration, air temperature, soil moisture and other environmental related factors. These rates and data are incorporated daily into the irrigation program and into daily irrigation decisions.
Use of wetting agents Wetting agents are used only when necessary on a seasonal calendar. (between April and September) and only on greens.
Overall reduction in irrigated area We use turfgrass on greens, tees, and fairways that is appropriate for the local climate and growing conditions. Nevertheless, some turfgrass areas have been replaced with native grasses in order to increase the deep ecological rough, reducing the amount of water required for irrigation and also the cost maintenance.
Targeting of sprinkler heads The irrigation system was design to maximize the efficient use of water. The sprinklers are placed according to area, distance and type of nozzle to use. Long and short nozzles according to reach the zone are used. We have installed part-circle irrigation heads where possible, to save water, and adjusted rotation speed and operating pressure to match sprinkler spacing to nozzle performance.
Optimizing system pressure The pumping station is provided with pressure regulators. In the golf course, the irrigation system has pressure regulators and regulators pressure filters.
Adoption of cutting edge nozzle technology In order to achieve high efficiency and uniformity, the nozzles used in the sprinklers vary according to the area to irrigate, they may be smaller or larger depending on the area.

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

Activity Description
Low-flow urinals and toilets All urinals and toilets in the bathrooms of both club house, golf maintenance and hotel are low-flow urinals.
Use of water efficient appliances In the maintenance facility, the washing of vehicles, plant and equipment and bathrooms are supplied with the same water that is used for irrigation thus using low quality water for cleaning functions and reducing the consumption of potable water.
Repairing leaks We check all irrigation equipment periodically and maintain the system on a regular
schedule. Water leaks are repaired in a timely manner.
Water awareness signage The protection of water quality is a priority. The key staff is trained to operate and manage the irrigation system correctly. We have monthly meetings with the staff to raise awareness and education on water wastage, efficient use of water, and other environmental themes and challenges.


No campo de golfe de Vidago a energia primária utilizada é a electricidade, usada para bombear a água do rio, para irrigação, para abastecer os buggies e nas operações de manutenção e serviços administrativos. Os equipamentos de manutenção são abastecidos com gasolina e diesel. Todos os buggies para jogadores são eléctricos. O campo de golfe de Vidago conseguiu uma redução de 20% no consumo de energia nos últimos 3 anos, neste momento estamos a implementar um novo equipamento - um sistema de fertirrigação, que combina a irrigação e fertilização, a fim de reduzir o consumo de energia e de combustível. Temos o compromisso de trabalhar com os fornecedores, considerando o seu aconselhamento na implementação de novas tecnologias que resultarão em redução de nosso consumo de energia e impacto ambiental.

At the Vidago golf course, the primary energy used is electricity for pumping water from the river, for irrigation, for buggies and maintenance and administrative facilities. All the equipment (vehicles) in the golf maintenance is diesel and gasoline-powered. All buggies for golf players are electric. The Vidago golf course has achieved a 20% reduction in energy consumption in the past 3 years . At the moment we are implementing a new equipment - a fertigation system, which combines irrigation and fertilisation in order to reduce the consumption of energy and fuel. We have a commitment to work with suppliers by taking advice on implementing new technologies which will result in reducing our energy consumption and environmental impact.

Sources & Consumption

No energy surveys have been undertaken at this golf facility.

Consumption of renewable energy and resources at this golf facility:

2016 2015 2014
On-site Wind (kWh) 349053 440788 202938

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

2016 2015 2014
Diesel (Litres) 7318.33 10344.74 8502.68
Hydraulic Oil (Litres) 210 210 210
Petrol (Litres) 6828.22 7899.43 5916.62

Energy Efficiency

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

Activity Description
Adoption of green tariff grid supply NA
Installation of small scale wind turbine NA
Installation of photovoltaic and / or solar panels The maintenance facility and Clubhouse have solar thermal panels for water heating for showers.
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 The air conditioners installed are energy class A/A+. We give priority to equipment with a high level of energy efficiency class and We are committed to buying energy efficient machines.
Optimizing thermostat levels for heating and refrigeration The thermostat levels are set for building use and turned off during non-use periods.
Enhancement of natural ventilation opportunities NA
Upgrading of building insulation NA
Use of natural light (e.g. sunlight pipes) NA
Installation of low-energy lighting The maintenance building has Fluorescent Lights (CFL) bulbs.
Use of motion sensor lighting The maintenance building has motion sensors.
Transition to energy efficient appliances The Vidago golf course gas been tracking it energy consumption and minimize spending on electricity by maximize the pumping and the irrigation control system efficiencies, and understand and take advantage of the electricity supply contract details. We have installed an efficient irrigation system, with a new state-of-art pump and sprinkler systems, and adjusted the irrigation program to the pumping station characteristics. We carry out the regular maintenance, testing and calibration of pumps, by qualified personnel (GEOdesenho) in accordance with the manufacturer's recommendations.
Use of timers with appliances, heating and lighting NA
Educating staff and customers We have monthly meetings with the staff to raise awareness and education on efficient use of energy and other environmental themes and challenges.

Vehicles & Transport

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

Ride-on Mowers Walking Mowers Utility Vehicles
Petrol 100% 63%
Diesel 100% 25%
Grid Electric 13%

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

Golf Carts Cars Buses
Petrol 3%
Grid Electric 97%

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

Activity Description
Car sharing incentives All employees share the maintenance buggies in their daily tasks and we aim to reduce the number of unnecessary journeys by encouraging more telephone, video and web conferencing.
Group transportation (e.g. buses) NA
Secure cycle parking Around the golf course there are some pedestrian areas and bike paths. All these routes are signed with route markers.
Promoting public transport routes and timetables NA
Increasing equipment storage (e.g. lockers) All workers have the option to use a locker to store their personal items.
Staff showers Both the maintenance building and the hotel have changing rooms and showers for all employees who want to use. These infrastructures are equipped with toilets, showers and dressing area.
Tax breaking incentives for cycling NA
Promotion of walk to work campaigns NA

Supply Chain

O uso ineficiente de energia e recursos aumenta os custos e a dependência de fontes de energia não renováveis, portanto, o campo de golfe de Vidago visa reduzir potencialmente os custos directos associados à manutenção em relação ao ano anterior. Nós examinamos continuamente as nossas estratégias de compra para evitar gastos desnecessários associados a ineficiências relacionadas com o consumo de energia, uso e controle de equipamento máquinas e consumos de fertilizantes e de pesticidas.

O uso de pesticidas é predominantemente curativo em detrimento do preventivo, sendo efectuado após um surto ou sempre que a probabilidade da doença é alta. Os bicos que usamos na adubação foliar são de baixa largura de banda, reduzindo a lixiviação de fertilizantes. O campo de golfe de Vidago definiu claramente quem é responsável por decidir a aplicação de produtos químicos, que são preparados e aplicados por pessoal com conhecimentos e formação para esta operação.

A manipulação, armazenamento temporário e transporte de resíduos segue os procedimentos exigidos por lei e apenas empresas autorizadas têm permissão para colectar e enviar resíduos para destino autorizado. A quantidade total de resíduos é declarada anualmente às autoridades, de acordo com a legislação Portuguesa.

The inefficient use of energy and resources increases costs and dependence on non-renewable energy sources, therefore Vidago golf course aims to potentially reduce the direct maintenance spending compared to the previous year. We continually examine our purchase strategies for avoiding wasteful spending linked to inefficiencies related to energy consumption, equipment or machinery use and control and fertiliser and pesticide inputs.

The pesticides use is predominantly curative rather than preventative, after an outbreak has occurred and disease pressure is high. The nozzles we use in foliar fertilization nozzles are low bandwidth, greatly reducing fertilizer leaching. The Vidago golf course has clearly defined who is responsible for deciding the application of chemicals, which are prepared and implemented by staff with expertise and training for this action.

The handling, temporary storage and transportation of Wastes follows the procedures required by law and only authorized companies are allowed to collect and send it to authorized destination. Waste total numbers are declared to the authorities every year, according to the Portuguese legislation.

Purchasing Policies

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

Activity Description
Measures to avoid waste at source First and foremost we try to use a product to its full capacity. This will prolong the life of the product resulting in less products required for purchase. We aim to ensure where possible, products do not go to landfill. The clippings from greens are spread into the rough and out-of play areas and the clippings from the roughs are left where it was cut. Additionally, some areas that were previously semi-rough are being converted to rough. We have monthly meetings with the staff to raise awareness and education on waste management.
Use of local suppliers we try as far as possible to purchase local materials.e.g. cutting tools and other utensils are always purchase locally.
Use of local products In purchasing either products or maintenance tools, we always try to use local suppliers and we aim to buy goods locally where possible
Selection of certified products The Vidago golf course is already working with some certified companies and suppliers, but we choose whenever possible certified products and try to work with companies that protect the environment and that have Quality and Environment Management Systems.
Use of recycled and recyclable products We promote printing on recycled paper and in the maintenance of the golf course the vast majority of packaging can be recycled. We aim to use suppliers that are committed to sustainability by implementing measures such as offering recycling schemes for their packaging and toner cartridges or having a “green” product portfolio.
Selection of products that feature minimal packaging We consider the products and services we buy. Some products used to be bought in large containers. We consider the risk when buying a specific product/
service, the packaging used to supply the goods, the logistical methods used to deliver, its recycled content and its recyclability. In recent years we have been buying the same quantity of product but in much smaller packages. Whenever possible we prefer product with green packaging.
Use of accredited suppliers (e.g. ISO 14001) All waste oil is collected by an accredited supplier (ISO 14001). Our key aims when selecting a supplier is to balance optimum service delivery, enhanced product quality, with reduced business risk and to be more socially responsible. We aim to work with suppliers who are accredited to ISO standards or who are working to improve their sustainability in the future.

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
Course Supplies 18 3 15

Turfgrass Inputs

This golf facility undertakes the following IPM activities:

Activity Description
Encouraging drought and disease tolerant grasses The mixture of grasses used on the golf course possess several different characteristics such as disease resistance, drought tolerant, shading and trampling. The grass used on greens is very resistant to dollar spot and poa annua.
Managing stress and wear Limited paths were installed to prevent golfers from developed habits of driving in the wrong areas, limits are made ​​of wood and in all fairways signs are positioned to direct traffic to the path.
Enhancement of soil structure We regularly work to improve soil health. Some cultural operations are done every year to improve the soil structure and airing of the soil. Generally We aerify fairways just one time per year and Greens and Tees are Hollow Cored once per year.
Optimization of the growing environment Fertilizer applications are planned based upon soil test information and environmental conditions.
Managing thatch levels Tees and greens are scarified every year, tees 1-2 x/year and greens 2x/month. Both areas receive topdressings after the operation (greens light topdressed 2x/month).
Managing surface moisture The greens are not with dew any day of the year, they are cut or strip or roll up to remove the dew.
Establishing thresholds for pests and disease Yes, aesthetic and functional thresholds are set for pest and diseases for all managed areas and we only use chemicals when necessary. When a disease appears we try to monitor it, using first cultural operations. Only if the disease becomes severe then we use a small dose of pesticide and control the situation.
Scouting for pests and diseases A reliable monitoring program is the key to a successful IPM program and therefore monitoring is an ongoing process, the greenkeeper inspects the course on a daily basis. At the sign of any irregularities like weak turf, insect damage, disease activity or any other irregularities, the problem is studied and try to solve it without resorting to chemicals.
Monitoring / improvement of plant health Different methods and sampling frequencies are used, depending on the type of pest and monitoring objective: field scouting to make visual counts, record turf “hot spots” where disease or insect outbreaks first occur or assessment of damage, etc. We measure the effectiveness of the pest management treatment chosen and update the information about new diseases and resistance that may appear. We aim to reduce the pesticide use by following appropriate cultural techniques, but it may be necessary from time to time to meet the quality objective set for the golf course.

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

2017 2016 2015
Fairways - K - Inorganic 116 62
Fairways - N - Inorganic 178 128
Fairways - P - Inorganic 34 45
Greens - K - Inorganic 187 181
Greens - K - Organic 28
Greens - N - Inorganic 231 171
Greens - N - Organic 28
Greens - P - Inorganic 106 83
Greens - P - Organic
Rough - K - Inorganic 116 62
Rough - N - Inorganic 178 128
Rough - P - Inorganic 34 45
Tees - K - Inorganic 116 62
Tees - N - Inorganic 164 99
Tees - P - Inorganic 50 37

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

2017 2016 2015
Fairways - Herbicide - Active Ingredient 3 3
Fairways - Herbicide - Total Weight 103.06 144.2
Fairways - Herbicide - Number of applications per year 11 12
Greens - Fungicide - Active Ingredient 4 5
Greens - Fungicide - Total Weight 17.35 129.1
Greens - Fungicide - Number of applications per year 6 10
Greens - Herbicide - Active Ingredient 6 5
Greens - Herbicide - Total Weight 7.5
Greens - Herbicide - Number of applications per year 1
Greens - Insecticide - Active Ingredient 1 1
Greens - Insecticide - Total Weight 6 19
Greens - Insecticide - Number of applications per year 1 3
Rough - Herbicide - Active Ingredient 3 3
Rough - Herbicide - Total Weight 126.1 176.5
Rough - Herbicide - Number of applications per year 11 12
Tees - Herbicide - Active Ingredient 3 3
Tees - Herbicide - Total Weight 24 24.10
Tees - Herbicide - Number of applications per year 4 4
Tees - Insecticide - Active Ingredient 1
Tees - Insecticide - Total Weight 6
Tees - Insecticide - Number of applications per year 1

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

Activity Description
Selection on the least toxic and lest persistent products We try to use one that is more specific to the disease in question, with low Toxicity, Persistence and Solubility.
Selection of appropriate products for specific pests and diseases We have implemented a pest control program that utilizes inspections and incorporates different methods of pest control such as non-chemical methods and pesticides when warranted, to keep pests from causing economic, health-related, or aesthetic damage. Pesticides are applied by a certified pesticide applicator and registered technicians and are used in strict accordance with label directions. Before selecting a pesticide, the greenkeeper also considers the environmental impact of pest control measures and we keep records on all pesticides applied.
Spot-treatment with handheld sprayers and wipers We use small hand-held sprayers and wipers on small areas.
Calibration and testing of sprayers We properly calibrate and test all equipment used to apply chemicals.
Use of shrouded sprayer and anti-drip nozzles Foliar spray nozzles were changed to anti-drop nozzles two years ago. The aim was to reduce the amount of product applied and drip.
Non-chemical weed control Manual control of weeds is frequent (weekly).
Use of organic and biological products to improve plant health and resistance. We always try to use organic products whenever possible.

Waste Management

No waste audits have been undertaken at this golf facility.

This golf facility manages key waste streams as follows:

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

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

Activity Description
Separation of recyclable materials The waste is separated according to its nature. There are several recycling centres in the golf course, maintenance facility, clubhouse and hotel. Dispose of all chemical containers and all waste materials is done in a manner that eliminates the potential for on-site or off-site contamination of water bodies.
Establishment of recycling centers We segregate all waste by utilizing specific waste bins around all offices and maintenance areas. The waste is then collected and recycled. The waste oil and batteries storage facility is located in an appropriate area of the golf course.
Returning clipping to fairways and walkways We only collect clippings on greens and tees. Clippings are dispersed on fairways and roughs.
Education of staff and customer education All employees are up-to-date and fully aware of the organization's waste policies and environmental practices. We communicate goals, objectives and projects to staff and company decision makers.
Waste awareness campaigns At Vidago Golf Course, the staff is aware of proper waste management. We have monthly meetings with the staff to raise awareness and education on waste management and other environmental themes and challenges.

Pollution Control

O campo de golfe situa-se sobre um dos mais importantes aquíferos de água mineral em Portugal. Vários dos poços operacionais (furos de Vidago Salus) estão, na verdade, localizado dentro dos limites do campo de golfe.

A empresa portuguesa GEOdesenho (consultoria em rega, drenagem e gestão de água para golfe) criou os novos sistemas de irrigação e drenagem, desenhados de forma a evitar qualquer contaminação do aquífero. A drenagem foi projectada para colectar os volumes lixiviados e controlar o alto lençol freático, interceptando todas as escorrências de superfície que podem causar erosão. A estrutura de gestão implementada desde a fase de crescimento dos relvados foi fundamental para definir a base para os procedimentos de manutenção da actual equipa de greenkeeping. Após a fase de grow-in, foi implementada uma transição cuidadosamente planeada para a equipe de manutenção permanente. A actual equipa de manutenção está a manter o campo desde 2013. A política de aplicação de fertilizantes e pesticidas foi definida desde a fase de grow-in, sendo mantida até à data, especificamente para minimizar possíveis impactos.

O campo de golfe foi inaugurado em Outubro de 2010, os resultados após quatro anos de operação revelam nulo impactos sobre os aquíferos. Estamos efectuando campanhas de amostragem seis vezes por ano, em catorze locais diferentes e a diferentes profundidades. Temos implementado um programa de monitorização intensivo, que inclui um plano de monitorização adequado à história da captação de águas subterrâneas local, ajustado às características do consumo de água e questões ambientais do local (por exemplo, protecção da qualidade da água). Os resultados demonstram a não ocorrência de impactos negativos no aquífero, depois de um ano de construção, um ano de grow-in e mais de dois anos de manutenção regular do campo de golfe.

The course sits over one of the most important mineral water aquifers in Portugal. Several of the operational boreholes (Vidago Salus boreholes) are actually located within the area the golf course.

Portuguese water management consultancy GEOdesenho created the new irrigation and drainage systems to avoid any pollution of the aquifer. Drainage was designed to collect leached volumes and to control the high water table. Additionally, it also intercepts all surface run-offs that might cause erosion. The management structure implemented since the grow-in phase was fundamental to set the basis for the maintenance procedures and team. After the grow-in, a smooth transition was made for the permanent maintenance team, which has been operating the course during the last year. The course’s fertilisation and pesticides policy has been defined specifically to minimise possible impacts.

The course opened in October 2010, results after four years of operation point to null impacts on the aquifers. We are sampling six times a year, at fourteen different locations and at different depths, from superficial waters to the aquifer itself. We have an intensive monitoring program which includes a monitoring plan tailored to the history of local groundwater abstraction, projected water demands and issues of concern (e.g. water quality protection). The results demonstrate no impact at all, after one year of construction, almost another of grow-in and slightly more than two years of normal operations.

Water Analysis

This golf facility monitors water quality with the following frequency:

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

Waste Water

Waste water from this golf facility is managed as follows:

Discharges to Formal Discharge Agreement
Golf Course Stormwater Drain Yes
Clubhouse Mains Sewer Yes
Maintenance Facility Mains Sewer Yes
Wash Pad Detention Pond Yes

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 Pesticides are stored in a separate building (structure is fire proof with an impermeable surface and spills are contained by a lip along the edges), in a dry, well ventilated area and with an appropriate fire extinguisher. The pesticide storage area is locked and secured to prevent unauthorized entry and there is enough absorbent material available to handle a spill of the largest container and we follow spill containment procedures, as directed by law.
Maintenance of equipment on covered, sealed impervious areas All mechanical equipment and tools are in enclosed storage with limited personnel access. All buildings have surveillance 24/7 electronic surveillance.
Mixing of pesticides and fertilizers in covered areas The building is locked and clearly labeled as a fertilizer or pesticide storage area. The mixing and loading area is close to the storage facility, to minimize the distance that chemicals are carried.
Mixing of pesticides and fertilizers over impervious surfaces The mixing and loading area is close to the storage facility (structure with an impermeable surface) to minimize the distance that chemicals are carried, complying with the standards required by applicable law.
Installation of above-ground fuel tanks All above-ground fuel tanks (single walled) and chemicals, liquid products, petroleum products, and other materials that have the potential to pose a threat to human health or the environment have secondary containment.
Installation of sufficient secondary containment for fuel All above-ground fuel tanks (2) stored on site have secondary containment systems. Inspections, tests, maintenance and repair are the first lines of defense against spills.
Provision of containment booms and absorbent materials All hazardous substance are carefully labeled and identified as hazardous, and they also have material safety data sheets (MSDS) that explain their hazards in detail, along with other the measures. and there is enough absorbent material available to handle a spill of the largest container and we follow spill containment procedures, as directed by law. If a container is accidentally ripped open or knocked off a shelf, the spill is confined to the immediate area and promptly cleaned up.

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 We have minimize the impact of potential chemical runoff and drift by avoiding applications during high winds or prior to heavy rains.
Establishment of vegetative buffer strips around water bodies We have minimize the impact of potential chemical runoff and drift near the stream by establishing buffer zones around the stream and other sensitive areas.
Establishment of emergency spillage response plan We have implemented an emergency plan that specifies procedures for handling sudden or unexpected situations. The emergency plan includes all possible emergencies, consequences, required actions, procedures, and the resources available. Any employee who discovers a fire, release, spill or injury immediately reports it to the greenkeeper. We provide periodic updates to the staff in an effort to keep the staff informed.
Controlling erosion and sediment discharge Native landscaping is promoted as a means to prevent flooding, control erosion, and enhance biodiversity.
Establishment of pesticide-free zones We have minimize the impact of potential chemical runoff and drift by using appropriate cultural practices, determining the point at which action to reduce pest problems is taken (economic or aesthetic threshold). Nevertheless, pesticides are part of the IPM program. Pesticides are used as a last-resort control based on the need to maintain a pest population below the predetermined aesthetic or economic threshold. To reduce the amount of pesticides applied, we make spot applications only to areas where pests are a problem rather than broadcast applications to an entire area.
Use of swales and bio-filters to slow and treat surface run-off Drainage was designed to collect leached volumes and to control the high water
table. Additionally, it also intercepts all surface run-offs that might cause erosion Throughout the whole course the trees and woods reduce stormwater runoff . The presence of trees also helps to slow down and temporarily store runoff, which further promotes infiltration, and decreases flooding and erosion downstream.


O Vidago Palace Hotel está comprometido com a região onde se situa. Sendo o Turismo é uma actividade que pode ter um impacto verdadeiramente importante sobre o desenvolvimento sustentável, toda a premissa do nosso negócio consiste em introduzir no mercado um modelo de turismo de golfe mais sustentável, potenciando assim um maior desenvolvimento económico para a população local e, simultaneamente, minimizando os impactos negativos no meio ambiente local.

Reconhecemos que o turismo tem uma relação especial com o meio ambiente e a sociedade, facto que resulta da dependência exclusiva de ambientes com qualidade, distinção cultural e interacção social, segurança e bem-estar. Portanto, a promoção do emprego para a população local, proporcionando oportunidades de emprego de qualidade, não só contribui para o desenvolvimento local, mas também melhora a qualidade de vida das comunidades locais, proporcionando uma experiência satisfatória e gratificante para os visitantes, contribuindo para manter e reforçar a riqueza cultural e para o incremento da valorização e conservação da biodiversidade local.

Temos implementada uma política de recurso a fornecedores locais sempre que possível, de modo a trazer o máximo de beneficio económico para a comunidade local e para a região. Incentivamos os funcionários a efectuar acções de voluntariado e de apoio na comunidade local e ajudamos as escolas locais e casas de repouso da região através de doações, financiando, por exemplo, a construção, reabilitação, reconstrução e fornecimento de equipamento.

Procuramos maximizar as oportunidades de formação e desenvolvimento para nossos funcionários. A formação contínua é realizada na forma de reuniões mensais. Esta abordagem mantém todos os colaboradores informados sobre as políticas e últimas alterações introduzidas nos procedimentos, além de que proporciona o conhecimento necessário relativo às últimas inovações na indústria.

O Vidago Palace Hotel e campo de golfe foram reconhecidos internacionalmente, quer através de prémios independentes promovidos pelos media do sector quer através de elogios de clientes, esta informação encontra-se disponível na página do hotel

The Vidago Palace Hotel is committed to the region where it operates .Tourism is an activity that can have a truly major impact on sustainable development. The entire premise of our business is to market a more sustainable golf tourism model, thereby creating greater income for local people whilst minimising negative impacts on local environments. We recognize that tourism has a special relationship with the environment and society. This is because of its unique dependency on quality environments, cultural distinctiveness and social interaction, security and well-being. Therefore, promoting employment for local people, providing quality employment opportunities, not only contributes for local development but also enhances the quality of life of local communities, provides a satisfying and fulfilling experience for visitors, contributes to maintain and strengthen cultural richness and biodiversity and contributes to their appreciation and conservation.

We have a policy of always using local suppliers wherever we can, as to bring as much income to the local area as possible. We encourage employees to volunteer their time in the community and help local schools and nursing homes by funding the construction, rehabilitation, reconstruction and provision of equipment. We seek to maximize training and development opportunities for our employees. Ongoing training is conducted in the form of monthly meetings. This approach keeps everyone informed of the latest policy and procedure changes, plus it provides the knowledge needed to stay ahead of the latest industry changes.

Vidago Palace Hotel and golf course were recognized internationally, this information is available on the hotel website / hotel / awards /.

Employment & Education

This golf facility does not have a sustainability working group.

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

Activity Description
Storage, application and disposal of pesticides Everyone who uses pesticides has adequate guidance, instruction or training for their correct use. All the maintenance staff has received proper training and guidance in the risks to human health and the environment associated with chemical use, storage, and disposal.
Efficient water management All employees are aware of the scarcity of water and its importance. Thus, the use of water is minimized, e.g. we use non-potable water for bathroom sinks and for washing machines.
Management of accidents and emergencies Emergency procedures for each of several emergency categories have been established. Emergency response training in the form of drills are carried out with local firefighters to simulate emergency scenarios. There are also emergency plans in workplaces and pesticide store.
Management of habitats and vegetation Avoid disturbing known bird nests, necessary vegetation removal to the edges of existing habitats and strategically placed buffer strips that can effectively mitigate the movement of sediment, nutrients and pesticides within the golf course. These buffers also provide food and cover for waterbirds and wildlife.
Waste minimization, separation and recycling All employees are trained in the company’s environmental practices. Therefore, all maintenance staff have received the appropriate waste disposal training, promoting and facilitating the reduction, reuse and recycling of materials.
Health & Safety Each employee has work equipment in accordance with safety standards. At the maintenance building there is a cabinet with emergency equipment.
Energy Saving The maintenance building has solar panels and light sensors in some divisions. All employees are trained in the company’s environmental practices. Therefore, all maintenance staff have received the appropriate energy efficiency training, minimising energy consumption and encouraging the use of renewable sources and improved technology.
Understanding of landscape and cultural heritage The greenkeeper ensures that all necessary information about the surrounding landscape is given to its staff. All maintenance staff have received the appropriate information on the quality and variety of natural landscapes, flora and fauna.
Environmental management planning All employees are familiar with greening strategies and Vidago's environmental policy. The Vidago golf course actively supports conservation activity, including the restoration of heritage buildings and the maintenance of traditional landscapes and habitats.

Community Relations

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

Activity Description
Neighbours The golf course has a great relationship with the neighbours, they are invited to participate in golf events and we communicate regularly with neighboring property owners and community groups to inform them of the Vidago golf course's involvement in various projects.
Local Government The Vidago golf course actively supports the improvements made in the region or in local institutions.
Local Community Groups The company has partnerships with other hotels, golf courses and restaurants in the region.
Media Both the hotel and golf share all the information regarding sport and social events with local and regional media .The hotel is proud to be a Leading Hotels of the World and won several National and International Awards since 2010, the year of its reopening., e.g. the hotel won the "Best New or Back on the Scene" Award in Condé Nast Johanses Awards for Excellence 2014 and has been awarded by World Luxury Spa Awards 2014 as "Best Luxury Destination Spa", a distinction that inserts the Vidago Palace Thermal SPA among the best in the best in the world.
Local Businesses The golf course supports local business by making purchases at local suppliers and directs its customers to local restaurants, recreational areas and local monuments, contributing to an enrichment of the region's economy.
Schools & Colleges The company welcomes all students from local schools.

Land Use & Cultural Heritage

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

Activity Description
Maintenance of existing public paths All existing public roads prior to construction of the golf course were kept.
Creation of new paths and nature trails Two pedestrian paths were built in the hills surrounding the golf course so that locals and guests can enjoy not only the local fauna and flora, but also the magnificent views over the golf course.
Installation of effective and welcoming signage The entrances and paths are well marked and there are signs of welcome and safety on the golf course.
Providing opportunities for other recreation (e.g. fishing) The hotel accommodates a congress centre and auditorium, business meetings, spaces for social events as well as tennis court, pool, wine cellar, Thermal SPA and rooms with games.
Continuation of traditional agricultural activities There is a "kitchen garden", also known in Scotland as a kailyaird, located in the surrounding of the golf course, where We've been growing our own vegetables, such as cabbages, tomatoes, peppers, potatoes, etc. The garden and the restored farmhouse also serve as a training centre for visiting children and guests who want to learn about how to grown organic food.

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) Vidago was formed like the idea of a European spa resort, with its 100 acres park where lives about 40 different tree species, some of which are centuries old. Their springs and the old spa in the Art Nouveau style, the monumental Palace form a harmonious and restful park. In 1936, Vidago Palace Hotel begins to enjoy a 9 holes golf course, created by the famous Philip Mackenzie Ross.
Archaeology (Settlements / Agricultural System etc) The available literature on the origins of Vidago all point, more or less, to same events, records and History. It´s said to have been a SPA Resort in Roman times. It is believed, however, that its settlement was already Pre-Roman.however, Vidago by the end of the XIX Century, early XX Century, has always remained a small agricultural place between two locations so important in the valley of the Ribeira de Oura - Loivos and Arcossó - having Vidago, belong right inside the parish of Arcossó.
Historic Features (Hedgerows / Dykes / Moats / Cairns etc) Four beautiful sheltered springs, all with different architecture scattered throughout the Natural Park, two of them still active. It is possible to try the water from the spring if in small quantities.The pertaining springs are all found inside the park and golf course and are the following: north to south: Vidago1 and 2 and Salus spring, this latter associated with a bottling plant currently disabled. Inside the Spa Park we should highlight has architectural heritage the old bathhouse, built in 1916, the tower front flanked by two wings, with a lobby with tall marble columns.


This golf facility undertakes the following internal environmental communications:

Activity Description
Provision of newsletters, notice boards & poster display We typically only send out newsletters once a week with news and other information. The monthly newsletter of the Vidago Palace aims to be a mirror of the best suggestions and activities in the hotel. Creative, appealing and familiar also integrates news from the Thermal SPA and Golf Course.
Course guides / brochures The hotel reception and the clubhouse offer ample information about hiking trails,
guided hikes & trail maps, flora and fauna at the park and golf course (to learn more
about about our Fauna and Flora, visit our online guide, monuments and other details of the area. We also have events across the year, including guided wildlife and bird watching walks for those wanting to learn more from our experts. Birdwatching and Biodiversity at Vidago:
Establishment of a nature trail Two pedestrian paths were built in the hills surrounding the golf course so that locals and guests can enjoy not only the local fauna and flora, but also the magnificent views over the golf course.

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

Activity Description
Website, press releases & brochures The whole history of the hotel, golf and Vidago Park, and other useful information, is available on the hotel website
Course walks / open days The company organizes cycling tours. The participation is open to all and they can participate in as many events as they want.
Attending community meetings On feast days, as the Kids Days, circus days in the village, Christmas events etc, the company joins the local community to share experiences. These events also
help us expand and deepen our relationships in the local business community.
Joint practical projects with community We encourage employees to volunteer their time in the community and help local schools and nursing homes by funding the construction, rehabilitation, reconstruction and and provision of equipment.