Royal Liverpool Golf Club

GEO Certified® 11/2015
England, United Kingdom
Telephone: 0151 632 3101

The Royal Liverpool Golf Club is on the Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews, Open Championship roster. It is without a doubt, a top quality and highly regarded classical links golf course, with superb playability, set within a beautiful natural environment. The Royal Liverpool Golf Club evidently demonstrates forward thinking and intelligent practices on the sustainable use of resources. On the golf course, there is prudent use of water and organic fertilisers are the favoured option. Also, the creation of natural walkways with coinci…

Dino Minoli, GEOSA, Accredited Verifier Read verifier report.

GEO Certified® Report

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

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

Facility details

Golf Courses
The Links (18 holes, 7218 yards, year opened 1871)
1 Clubhouse(s)
1 Maintenance Facility/Facilities
1 Halfway House(s)


Royal Liverpool Golf Club provides one of the demanding and toughest tests of golf and is located some ten miles from Liverpool on the western side of the Wirral Peninsula. The course is set within a fixed grassland dune system bordering The Dee Estuary as it enters the Irish Sea. The site lies within a 0.5km of several designated areas; Mersey Narrows and North Wirral Foreshore is both an SPA and RAMSAR; the North Wirral SSSI as well as the Dee estuary SPA and RAMSAR.

Royal Liverpool is one of the oldest English links having been set out on what was the racetrack of The Liverpool Hunt Club in 1869. The Club has a tremendous history and a reputation for supporting both the amateur and professional games. Indeed it has now hosted the playing of The Open Championship on twelve occasions.

The course is located adjacent to Red Rocks Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) within a fixed grassland dune system and provides a natural buffer between the Dee Estuary Foreshore and urban housing of the towns of Hoylake and West Kirby. The native marram and red fescue grasslands dominate across the course with the best examples found along the western boundary with the stunning backdrop of Hilbre Island and Wales beyond. The mosaic of habitats present on the course represents a valuable resource within the local environment and provides a corridor for organisms to commute to and from adjacent designated areas. The fixed dune grasslands, mobile dune grasslands and areas of bare sand present within the course are all designated as Annex 1 habitats under EU directive 97/62/EC.

The rare and internationally protected natterjack toads are of particular ecological interest as are the ground nesting birds including skylark and meadow pipit. There are significant tracts of gorse across the course which provide valuable breeding sites for 'Red' data species linnet and yellow hammer. In terms of plants the site supports the rare Mackay's horsetail.

Consultation & Surveys

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

  • Sports Turf Research Institute

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

Title Author Date View document
Natterjack Diary 2015 Lynne Greenstreet, Wirral Council 2015/05/04
Natterjack Diary 2014 Lynne Greenstreet, Wirral Council
Natterjack Report 2013 Lynne Greenstreet 2013/01/01
Natterjack Report 2012 Lynne Greenstreet 2012/11/30

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

  • Sports Turf Research Institute
  • Natural England
  • Cheshire Wildlife Trust
  • Wirral Borough Council
  • Martin Hawtree Golf Course Architect

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

Title Author Date View document
Pre-Open Ecological/Landscape Assessment on behalf of The R&A Championship Committee Bob Taylor 2014/04/01
Red Rocks Draft Management Plan Neil Friswell 2014/07/03

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

Local name Scientific name
Skylark Alauda arvensis
Meadow Pipit Anthus pratensis
Linnet Acanthis cannabina
Swallow Hirundo Rustica
Kestrel Falco tinniculus
Natterjack toad Epidalea calamita
Mackay's horsetail Equisetum x trachyodon

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

Habitats & Designations

This golf facility features the following landscape designations:

Description Designating Authority
Site of Special Scientific Interest Natural England

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

Title Estimated Area (Acres) Designation
Rough 'ecological' grassland 91 None
Scrub Vegetation 15 None
Wetlands 5 National Government


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

Estimated Area (Acres) Turfgrass Species Sward Composition (%)
Greens 2.5 Acres Agrostis tenuis / capillaris 60%
Poa annua 40%
Tees 2.5 Acres Agrostis tenuis / capillaris 70%
Festuca rubra 30%
Fairways 20.0 Acres Agrostis tenuis / capillaris 30%
Festuca rubra 70%
Semi Rough 8.0 Acres Festuca rubra 80%
Agrostis tenuis / capillaris 20%

These turfgrasses are optimal for the circumstances at this club because:
These grass species occur naturally in this ecosystem and also happen to provide the very finest surfaces for year round, sustainable golf. It is these charactersitics of tight lies, and fast running surfaces that links golf is famed for and attracts golfers from all over the world.

This golf facility assesses mowing patterns every: 1 months

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

  • Stuart Ormondroyd, Agronomist, Sports Turf Research Institute
  • Martin Hawtree, Golf Course Architect

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 All these maintenance practices are set up with the primary objective of favouring, and retaining these particular grass species.
Promoting the playing quality values of more naturalized turf, particularly fairways and semi-rough Minimising fertiliser and artificial irrigation is encouraged to produce a reflection of the natural stresses placed on turf in this challenging maritime environment. Careful broad leaved weed control has been a part of that process to date. Use of Rescue to manage sward species composition.
Promoting the financial benefits of presenting sustainable surfaces When fully established fescue and bent turf will thrive in this ecological system if maintenance inputs are appropriate. These are low cost grass species to maintain with low fertiliser and irrigation requirements as well as having a naturally low risk to damaging disease activity. Golfers love these surfaces, they provide year round play and visitors from across the world visit to experience true links golf.
Improving customer understanding around greens maintenance Summary newsletters from Chairman of Green are circulated as appropriate to members. These are circulated via email and through the post.
Demonstrating the direct relationship between environmental best practice and year round high quality playing surfaces Minimal irrigation, fertiliser and disturbance practices naturally favour the grasses present on a fixed grass duneland system. Invasive weed grasses including Yorkshire Fog and perennial ryegrass which did contaminate fairway and surrounding areas historically have been successfully controlled with Rescue a selective graminicide.

Conservation & Enhancement

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

Activity Description
Allowing seasonal variation of course coloration and texture Royal Liverpool Golf Club manage the course to ensure maximum environmental through active gorse and grassland management schemes. The course needs to be presented in great condition year round for the benefit of members and visitors.
Appropriately matching mowing lines to contours Fairway lines follow natural contours present in the duneland system particularly on holes along the western boundary.
Discreet on-course signage and furniture There is appropriate green wooden signage in place for public footpaths. On course signage and furniture is kept to a minimum to avoid detracting from the very dramatic natural environment.
Screening and softening unsightly man-made features The Greenkeeping Complex has been carefully screened from the golf course. Tee and bunker banks where appropriate are grassed with indigenous marram and fescue turf to increase the extent of these rare habitats within the environment.

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 Great care is put into course set-up to minimise the amount of amenity grassland on the course. Carries have been allowed to grow up by reducing maintenance and careful offset cutting of pathways through the carries camouflages the cut areas. These longer grasses provide valuable habitat for a wide variety of invertebrate species. A great deal of work has been completed in recent years to remove all artificial shale pathways and restore natural grass pathways. This is difficult where playing levels are high but has been achieved very succesfully.
Increasing the size of habitat patches This is something worked on by the greenkeeping staff with the aim to increase the size of these areas.
Connection of internal habitat patches Out of play areas are used to provide connected valuable ecological habitat across the site.
Connection of patches with external habitats Ecological rough and habitat connect to areas off the course to provide valuable corridors and habitat links across the site and into the wider landscape.
Creation of habitat corridors This is continually worked on and was a great consideration when planning public routeways round the site for the recent 2014 Open Championship.
Avoidance of habitat fragmentation Continual work to promote linked valuable habitat areas as a part of the long term maintenance practices.
Improving and diversifying habitat edges Working with Bob Taylor through his annual visits to maximise improve and diversify habitat edges.

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 Careful weed control practices to favour the indigenous flora which should be found in this environment. Careful mowing practices to manage these areas effectively. As required careful use of selective graminicides to remove perennial ryegrass in particular which has established over the years.
Ecologically informed management of scrub vegetation To take the advice supplied by Ecologist's including Bob Taylor and to work his recommendations into the longer term Course Management Plan which provides the framework for ecological course management practices. Scrub is being controlled with the removal of inappropriate trees and bushes including Burnett rose which is present through rough grass lands.
Establishment of littoral shelves and marginal vegetation in wetland areas Work is done to the 7th hole pond to establish wetland scarpes. A new area is to be developed on the 5th hole.and 5th hole

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 The Club plan to join up to Operation Pollinator this year and are already designating suitable areas.
Installation of nest boxes There are two owl boxes on the site.
Control / management of alien species Both the Club and CWT spend time controlling Burnett rose both in rough grassland areas and on the SSSI.
Provision of hibernation areas In autumn areas are created for small animals and insects on the Leas School area of the course including piles of wood and branches. There is a wish to develop more permanent features on the Leas site and around the Greenkeeping Complex.
Creation of micro-habitats (eg log and stone piles) In autumn areas are created for small animals and insects on the Leas School area of the course including piles of wood and branches.


The Clubhouse and Greenkeeping Facility employ mains water. The golf course uses water sourced from a borehole.

Royal Liverpool invested in an up to date fully comprehensive automatic computer controlled irrigation system in 2009/10. This was to ensure that during extended periods of dry weather turf condition could be protected to avoid losing turf quality and the benefits of sward species composition improvements achieved through intensive work and overseeding. In particular irrigation was installed to cover the pathway/ high wear areas thereby enabling the reinstatement of natural turf pathways. This has been very successful and enabled a more natural feel to be re-established across the course.

Irrigation inputs are informed through regular use of a soil moisture probe and a high tech weather station. In respect of greens hand watering is the preferred option and indeed little automatic irrigating of these areas occurs even in summer.

The Club have an abstraction licence for the borehole used for course irrigation of 28,000 m3 but in reality employ nowhere near the limit and indeed in 2014 used 11,000 m3.

Drainage water from the courses exits on to the adjacent foreshore and into the sea.

Sources & Consumption

No water audits have been undertaken at this golf facility.

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

2014 Source(s) % of supply Total Consumption
Clubhouse(s) Public / Potable 100% 1,964 Cubic Metres
Golf Course Groundwater 100% 11,049 Cubic Metres
Maintenance Facility/Facilities Public / Potable 100% 294 Cubic Metres
2013 Source(s) % of supply Total Consumption
Clubhouse(s) Public / Potable 100% 2,260 Cubic Metres
Golf Course Groundwater 100% 17,182 Cubic Metres
Maintenance Facility/Facilities Public / Potable 100% 268 Cubic Metres
2012 Source(s) % of supply Total Consumption
Clubhouse(s) Public / Potable 100% 2,608 Cubic Metres
Golf Course Groundwater 100% 6,124 Cubic Metres
Maintenance Facility/Facilities Public / Potable 100% 315 Cubic Metres

Irrigation & Efficiency

The following areas receive irrigation at this golf facility:

Greens Weekly
Tees Weekly
Fairways Weekly
Semi-Rough Weekly
Rough Never
Other 2-3 days per week

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

The irrigation system at this golf facility is:

Serviced every 12 months

Upgraded every 5 years

Re-calibrated and checked for efficient application every 6 months

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

Activity Description
Selection of grass species The selective graminicide Rescue has been used to reduce the amount of perennial ryegrass and Yorkshire Fog on on fairways, collars and surrounds.These areas have been overseeded for the past 9 years. with fescue cultivars. This has developed turf areas better able to cope with drought stress consequently reducing irrigation requirements. Typically tees are watered once every two weeks whilst fairways and semi rough areas are watered once every three weeks, this option was not available in the drop down menu. On greens hand watering is used to focus irrigation onto specific areas that need
Soil decompaction and thatch management This work tends to be concentrated on greens. These are verti-drained on three occasions from October to April. During spring and summer aeration tends to comprise Sarel rolling weekly. These aeration treatments allow irrigation water to infiltrate uniformly. The wetting agent programme assists with this.
Timing and dose of water application Timing and quantity of water applied to greens is informed through use of the moisture meter. When values fall below 10% then water is applied. Natural turf pathways receive the greatest amount of automatic irrigation and again winter verti draining and slitting also ensures good infiltration rates are achieved in drier spring and summer months when water is being applied. Wetting agent programmes are in place across all areas.
Analysis of soil moisture On greens this is measured with a soil moisture probe to record objective data and help inform irrigation requirements. On other areas this is assessed through a combination of weather data and visual assessment of turf condition.
Incorporation of evapotranspiration rates and weather data This information is available and used alongside visual assessments and the moisture probe data. However in reality it is felt that relying on the weather station data calculation of evapotranspiration rates would result in over application of waterr. Therefore this data is only used as a very general guide.
Use of wetting agents Wetting agents are used from tee to green to maximise turf quality and optimise natural rainfall or irrigation inputs. Revolution is currently used. Six applications are scheduled for greens whilst tees, fairways and paths receive four applications per year.
Overall reduction in irrigated area Irrigation is only applied when required. Some areas including sections of rough are rarely watered even though the irrigation system provides coverage for all areas. The emphasis is on developing and retaining the characteristic, natural links environment hence water is used only when required to support turf health in periods of dry weather.
Targeting of sprinkler heads The number of Rainbird irrigation heads is being reduced over time to target the application of water to key areas and reduce the amount of water the system applies. At present watering the greens at 100% full coverage takes 121m3 and applies the equivalent of 4mm of rain. Run at 50% applies 2mm of rain.
Optimizing system pressure The system has 3 variable speed pumps and is set at 8.5bar pressure.
Adoption of cutting edge nozzle technology This irrigation system is only 5 years old and consequently is a relatively modern system however new technology is adopted as and when changes are being made.

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

Activity Description
Low-flow urinals and toilets There are motion sensors fitted to the urinals to ensure water is used efficiently. Toilets have the standard flush system with half flush buttons fitted again to reduce water use where appropriate.
Use of efficient shower technology There is no water efficient shower technology fitted at present.
Repairing leaks The Club have their own full time on-site maintenance man who is able to repair any leaks that occur swiftly. This reduces water wastage as well as minimising damage to the building.
Water awareness signage There is no water awareness signage currently in place.


Royal Liverpool Golf Club have recently completed a significant Buildings Project in which significant investment has been made to improve energy effeciency throughout the Clubhouse.

This work was initiated in part through an independent energy report compiled in September 2014. This report addressed all areas of the Clubhouse building. The aim was to identify key areas that could be addressed to reduce future energy costs and demonstrate good practice. This report has been uploaded for reference.

This information has already been used to action almost all of the recommendations suggested. The Club have recently completed the installation of a solar panel system. The re-insulation of the roof space has been completed.This work has included a change to LED lighting through many areas. Mechanisms are being switched to motion sensor where possible. Sash windows have been refurbished and insulated. Work is in hand to install thermostatic radiator valves on all radiators to be controlled through a wireless computer control system.

Sources & Consumption

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

Title Author Date View document
Independent Energy Report Jeff Morgan, Rodney Environmental Consultants 2014/09/03
Energy Performance Certificate Oliver Craven 2014/12/05

Consumption of renewable energy and resources at this golf facility:

2014 2013 2012
Biogas (Cubic Metres) 0 0 0
Biomass 0 0 0
First Generation Bio-Fuels (Cubic Metres) 0 0 0
Hydrogen (Cubic Metres) 0 0 0
On-site Hydro (kWh) 0 0 0
On-site Solar (kWh) 0 0 0
On-site Wind (kWh) 0 0 0
Renewable Grid Electricity (kWh) 0 0 0
Second Generation Bio-Fuels (Cubic Metres) 0 0 0
Wood from sustainable sources 0 0 0

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

2014 2013 2012
Coal 0 0 0
Diesel (Cubic Metres) 8 8 8
Heating Oil (Cubic Metres) 0 0 0
Hydraulic Oil (Cubic Metres) 0 0 0
LPG (Cubic Metres) 0 0 0
Natural Gas (Cubic Metres) 22526 23032 19455
Non-renewable Grid (kWh) 267159 253597 307782
Petrol (Cubic Metres) 0.7 0.7 0.7
Propane / Butane (Cubic Metres) 0 0 0
Wood from unsustainable sources 0 0 0

Energy Efficiency

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

Activity Description
Installation of small scale wind turbine There are no wind turbines installed. This may be considered in the future.
Installation of photovoltaic and / or solar panels Solar panels have recently been installed on site. This has been one part of a comprehensive Building Project to reduce future energy bills.
Use of geothermal and / or ground sources There are no geothermal and/or ground source installed.
Use of Liquified Petroleum Gas (LPG) No LPG is employed at present.
Use of biodiesel and /or ethanol A small percentage of biodiesel is used at present.
Use of electric hybrid vehicles The Club have six pedestrian battery mowers, four hybrid greens triple mowers and six battery operated utility vehicles in use at the current time. The Club are keen to take advantage of new technology for course maintenance.
Use of recycled oils Recycled oils are not used at the current time.

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

Activity Description
Investment in low-energy heating and air conditioning systems Investment was made in 2014 in the installation of an air sourced heat pump to provide a cooling system for the major front of house rooms and ground floor offices. Fresh air supply and extract systems were installed in the clubroom and dining room for use in crowded conditions.
Optimizing thermostat levels for heating and refrigeration Thermostat levels for heating and refrigeration are set at optimum levels and monitored regularly. Time switches are being introduced to reduce electrical loads overnight when the Clubhouse is closed. Wine, coffee and beer fridges are to be switched off overnight then back on early morning.
Upgrading of building insulation Recently the roof space of the Clubhouse was re-insulated.
Installation of low-energy lighting Throughout the Clubhouse all lighting has been or is in the process of being upgraded to LED lighting.
Use of motion sensor lighting Motion sensor security lighting is employed at the Clubhouse and also within the Greenkeeping Complex.
Use of timers with appliances, heating and lighting Timers are being or have been installed to ensure energy is being used through all areas as efficiently as possible.
Educating staff and customers Staff turnover is very low so it becomes necessary to educate existing staff rather than rely on an induction process. Some staff will have day-to-day involvement with some of these areas where changes have been made however as a general approach verbal communication is used. For members newsletters are used when appropriate and these are circulated by post and email.

Vehicles & Transport

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

Ride-on Mowers Walking Mowers Utility Vehicles
Petrol 24% 40% 0%
Diesel 53% 0% 0%
LPG 0% 0% 0%
Grid Electric 0% 60% 100%
Micro Renewable 0% 0% 0%
Hybrid 24% 0% 0%
Hydrogen 0% 0% 0%

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

Golf Carts Cars Buses
Petrol 25% 0% 0%
Diesel 0% 100% 0%
LPG 0% 0% 0%
Grid Electric 75% 0% 0%
Micro Renewable 0% 0% 0%
Hybrid 0% 0% 0%
Hydrogen 0% 0% 0%

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

Activity Description
Car sharing incentives Whilst there are no official car sharing initiatives in place staff working weekends in particular organise car sharing to and from work.
Secure cycle parking There is secure cycle parking at the Clubhouse which is used by both staff and members. For greenstaff working from the Greenkeeping Complex cycles are kept secure in locked sheds. One of the Club Starters cycles to work daily.
Promoting public transport routes and timetables No schemes are currently in place.
Increasing equipment storage (e.g. lockers) All staff have an assigned locker for secure storage of personal items.
Staff showers There are showers available for all staff both in the Clubhouse and in the Greenkeeping Complex.
Tax breaking incentives for cycling These are not adopted at present.
Promotion of walk to work campaigns There are no campaigns promoting walk to work being run at present.

Supply Chain

Royal Liverpool is focused on using local companies to provide the necessary products and services to support the business. This local supply chain has a number of advantages for the business and wider environment. These include reducing the Club's carbon footprint, supporting local businesses and ensuring a strong working relationship with all of these groups to meet the needs of the business more effectively. This strategy applies both to the management of the golf course as well as the running of the Clubhouse activities, for both members and golfing visitors.

In terms of the golf course management practices are set to improve drought and disease tolerance as these factors are of environmental benefit as well as being critical in terms of developing world class playing surfaces. This influences the IPM Programme on all levels and ensures optimum playing quality whilst minimising fertiliser, fungicide, herbicide and insecticide use.

With regards to Waste Management the Club take every opportunity to recycle and re-use materials, be this cardboard packaging or sands and soils from site and re-used on the golf course.

Purchasing Policies

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

Activity Description
Measures to avoid waste at source At Royal Liverpool both the Clubhouse and Course elements have purchasing policies which minimise waste by operating a just in time system. The Club buy in what they need and do not hold stock. This significantly reduces the waste potential although it does increase the number of deliveries to site.
Use of local suppliers Local suppliers are used whenever possible to reduce costs and also ensure swift support when required. These include a local electrician. local gas and central heating engineers and a local building firm based in Heswall.
Use of local products On the course many indigenous materials are used such as turf, sand and cores and there is a large turf nursery. The Club purchase from local suppliers across Wirral and Cheshire. Meat from Moreton, vegetables from West Kirby and bakery items from Hoylake. Stationary and printing is done in Hoylake. Only two national suppliers are employed, Carlsburg for drinks and Brakes for dry goods.
Selection of certified products Certified products are employed. The Food Standard Agency requirements for food hygiene ensures that all food has to have been certified through the kitemark scheme to ensure genuine products are employed.
Use of recycled and recyclable products Wherever possible recycled and recyclable products are used both in the Clubhouse and on the Course. Cardboard and glass are separated on site and recycled. Printer cartridges are recycled after use.
Selection of products that feature minimal packaging The Club policy is that wherever possible minimal packaging is employed in all areas. For example meat is bought from a local butcher and delivered in vacuum packed sealed pouches. This avoids the need for significant or insulated packaging.
Use of accredited suppliers (e.g. ISO 14001) The Club employ accredited suppliers whenever possible. The builder's D Dundas are Master Builders and Gas Safe registered installers. Kempton's heating engineers are Gas Safe registered installers. The STRI employed for Course issues are ISO 9001, ISO 14001 and DHSAS 18001 accredited.

Supply Chain

An overview of the supplier network at this golf facility:

Total number of suppliers Total number of suppliers within 10 Miles Total number of suppliers within 100 Miles
Food & Beverage 6 5 1
Catering Supplies 5 4 1
Trade & Contractors 5 5
Maintenance Equipment 1 1
Course Supplies 4 3 1

Turfgrass Inputs

This golf facility undertakes the following IPM activities:

Activity Description
Encouraging drought and disease tolerant grasses Course management practices are set to improve drought and disease tolerance as these factors are of environmental benefit as well as being critical in terms of developing world class playing surfaces. Seed cultivar selection, fertiliser programmes and irrigation practices are all well controlled.
Managing stress and wear The highest stress and wear areas on the course are the natural turf pathways. These are being managed by careful irrigation practices and fertiliser programmes to develop hard wearing well presented but natural turf areas..
Enhancement of soil structure Soil structure is optimised through varied and intensive aeration practices. A key treatment is regular well timed Verti-draining with areas treated regularly to offset compaction to depth. Tees are treated 3x, greens 6x, pathways 3x, fairways 1x and remaining course areas 1x per annum.
Optimization of the growing environment This is a continual process led by the Course Manager Craig Gilholm. Bringing together traditional greenkeeping techniques, well trained greenstaff, modern equipment and the benefits of a range of proven products to optimise growing environment and in turn achieve excellent playing characteristics.
Managing thatch levels This primarily affects greens turf where thatch is managed through effective aeration and sand top dressing practices along with a sensible approach to fertiliser inputs and judicious use of water. This is intelligent environmental practice and has the benefit of protecting the characteristic links turf which give this course its inherent character.
Managing surface moisture Surface moisture levels are monitored with the frequent use of a Delta T Theta Kit moisture probe and data is used to make informed decisions about aeration, wetting agent applications and watering.
Establishing thresholds for pests and disease There is continual monitoring of the course throughout the year for pest and disease activity. The type of turf area, time of year, weather conditions, historical activity, level of damage and current growth are all factors which help establish the appropriate threshold for damage and allow sensible practices to be implemented if required.
Scouting for pests and diseases All greenstaff are involved in continual monitoring for pests and diseases throughout the year when they are out working on the course. Greenstaff are trained to identify pest and disease problems through visual monitoring particularly of key indicator greens or other areas of the course which historically have been most susceptible to damage.
Monitoring / improvement of plant health There is continual visual monitoring of turf plant health across all areas as greenstaff work on the course. The availability of the Delta T moisture probe allows for objective data on moisture content through the upper soil profile to be collected and used to inform working practices.

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

2014 2013 2012
Fairways - K - Inorganic 0 0 0
Fairways - K - Organic 0 0 0
Fairways - N - Inorganic 0 0 0
Fairways - N - Organic 10 10 10
Fairways - P - Inorganic 0 0 0
Fairways - P - Organic 0 0 0
Greens - K - Inorganic 20 20 20
Greens - K - Organic 0 0 0
Greens - N - Inorganic 18 16 18
Greens - N - Organic 42 39 42
Greens - P - Inorganic 0 0 0
Greens - P - Organic 0 0 0
Rough - K - Inorganic 0 0 0
Rough - K - Organic 0 0 0
Rough - N - Inorganic 0 0 0
Rough - N - Organic 0 0 0
Rough - P - Inorganic 0 0 0
Rough - P - Organic 0 0 0
Semi-Rough - K - Inorganic 0 0 0
Semi-Rough - K - Organic 0 0 0
Semi-Rough - N - Inorganic 0 0 0
Semi-Rough - N - Organic 0 0 0
Semi-Rough - P - Inorganic 0 0 0
Semi-Rough - P - Organic 0 0 0
Tees - K - Inorganic 15 20 15
Tees - K - Organic 0 0 0
Tees - N - Inorganic 24 21 24
Tees - N - Organic 56 49 56
Tees - P - Inorganic 0 0 0
Tees - P - Organic 0 0 0

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

2014 2013 2012
Fairways - Fungicide - Active Ingredient 0 0 0
Fairways - Fungicide - Number of applications per year 0 0 0
Fairways - Herbicide - Active Ingredient 8.80 8.80 14.16
Fairways - Herbicide - Number of applications per year 2 2 2
Fairways - Insecticide - Active Ingredient 7.50 16.00 0
Fairways - Insecticide - Number of applications per year 1 1 0
Greens - Fungicide - Active Ingredient 6.05 8.94 5.81
Greens - Fungicide - Number of applications per year 4 6 5
Greens - Herbicide - Active Ingredient 1.84 1.10 1.32
Greens - Herbicide - Number of applications per year 2 2 2
Greens - Insecticide - Active Ingredient 0 0.72 2.72
Greens - Insecticide - Number of applications per year 0 1 2
Rough - Fungicide - Active Ingredient 0 0 0
Rough - Fungicide - Number of applications per year 0 0 0
Rough - Herbicide - Active Ingredient 15.40 20.90 20.90
Rough - Herbicide - Number of applications per year 2 2 2
Rough - Insecticide - Active Ingredient 0 0 0
Rough - Insecticide - Number of applications per year 0 0 0
Semi-Rough - Fungicide - Active Ingredient 0 0 0
Semi-Rough - Fungicide - Total Weight 0 0 0
Semi-Rough - Fungicide - Number of applications per year 0 0 0
Semi-Rough - Herbicide - Active Ingredient 0 0 3.54
Semi-Rough - Herbicide - Number of applications per year 0 0 2
Semi-Rough - Insecticide - Active Ingredient 1.44 0 0
Semi-Rough - Insecticide - Total Weight 0
Semi-Rough - Insecticide - Number of applications per year 1 0 0
Tees - Fungicide - Active Ingredient 0 0 0
Tees - Fungicide - Total Weight 0 0 0
Tees - Fungicide - Number of applications per year 0 0 0
Tees - Herbicide - Active Ingredient 0.92 2.98 0.66
Tees - Herbicide - Number of applications per year 1 2 1
Tees - Insecticide - Active Ingredient 0.72 0 2.72
Tees - Insecticide - Number of applications per year 1 0 2

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

Activity Description
Selection on the least toxic and lest persistent products Although not specifically part of a COSHH assessment, consideration is given to the possible environmental impact of the use, accidental spill and
disposal of any chemical used on the course. This ensures the least toxic and least persistent products are selected. The lowest volume required is bought and used, with no stock stored on site.
Selection of appropriate products for specific pests and diseases Whenever possible cultural rather than chemical control will be employed to manage pests and diseases. If sufficient turf damage has occurred to necessitate chemical control then a suitable trained and certificated member of staff or a BASIS qualified advisor will identify the problem and then advise on a suitable product..
Spot-treatment with handheld sprayers and wipers Where hand weeding is insufficient then spot treatment with weed wipers or knapsack sprayers is preferred to blanket spraying.
Calibration and testing of sprayers All spraying equipment is tested and fully calibrated every time before use to ensure that the specific product being applied is being delivered at the correct rate of application.
Use of shrouded sprayer and anti-drip nozzles There are a range of nozzles available to allow a specific product to be applied optimally, at the correct rate with correct droplet size. Low drift nozzles are often used on mounted sprayers and the club employ a shrouded boom sprayer when appropriate.
Non-chemical weed control Hand weeding is employed across greens and areas of rough to reduce the need for applications of selective herbicides.
Use of organic and biological products to improve plant health and resistance. Liquid seaweed is used as across all areas of the course to optimise plant health. Compost tea was trialed in 2013 but uncertain of the benefits its use was suspended through 2014 as the club hosted The Open Championship.

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

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

Activity Description
Separation of recyclable materials Glass and cardboard are separated on site as generated. However there is no further split of the different recyclable materials collected on site due to limited bin storage. B&M Waste Management responsible for collecting the Club's recyclable materials separate waste further at their processing site.
Establishment of recycling centers This is not on the Club's agenda due to the limited bin space available and the contract and arrangements the Club already have in place with B&M Waste Management see above.
Returning clipping to fairways and walkways Clippings are already returned to fairways and walk ways. The only areas from which grass clippings are collected and then recycled are from greens and tees.
Waste awareness campaigns No campaign has been run at the Club to date but this is a project that could be considered and developed in the future.

Pollution Control

Royal Liverpool are very aware of the need to protect the integrity of the site including water courses from any possible pollution caused by equipment, products or maintenance treatments employed in the running of the Club.

There is currently a Hydrotech Wastewater Treatment system installed in the Greenkeeping Complex providing a closed loop recycling system for the washdown of equipment. The Club are currently in the process of also having a reedbed system designed and installed. The Greenkeeping Complex discharges surface and foul water to a closed holding tank emptied by an outside contractor.

All hazardous materials are stored as required by current legislation with appropriate use of bunds and above ground secure storage as required.

Water Analysis

This golf facility monitors water quality with the following frequency:

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

Waste Water

Waste water from this golf facility is managed as follows:

Discharges to Formal Discharge Agreement
Golf Course Stream No
Clubhouse Mains Sewer Yes
Maintenance Facility Septic Tank N/A
Wash Pad Closed Loop Recycling N/A

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 false
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 No hazardous materials are maintained at the Clubhouse with the exception of a small amount of petrol for the range ball collecting machine. This petrol is kept in an appropriate flameproof metal bunded container. The diesel tank is double bunded inside a shed in a no spill tank. The pesticide storage cabinet is self contained, bunded and complies with all necessary legislation. Oil is kept in a bunded unit.
Maintenance of equipment on covered, sealed impervious areas Maintenance of greenkeeping equipment is carried out in the controlled bunded area within the Greenkeeping Complex used for storage of the diesel tank and oil tank.
Mixing of pesticides and fertilizers over impervious surfaces The sprayers are set up on the closed loop recycling washbed area to prevent any contamination of the surrounding areas with pesticides or fertiliser products.
Installation of above-ground fuel tanks The diesel is stored in a specific no spill tank in a double bunded area above ground. The maximum quantity of petrol stored is 75 litres and this is stored to comply with all necessary legislation above ground.
Installation of sufficient secondary containment for fuel Fuel tanks are bunded or double bunded as outlined above to contain any possible fuel leaks or spills.
Provision of containment booms and absorbent materials Spill kits and sand are in place for easy access should they be required.

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 Turf fertilisers are only applied to key areas at low levels. Fertilisers are only applied when the grass is growing. Timing of fertiliser applications takes account of imminent weather patterns to minimise wash-off potential. Over watering with the irrigation system is avoided. Spraying of necessary pesticides only occurs under suitable calm conditions.
Establishment of vegetative buffer strips around water bodies There is one pond/wetland area on the 7th hole. This is maintained with an established reedbed surrounding it which provides an effective vegetative buffer.
Establishment of emergency spillage response plan There is an emergency spillage response plan currently being written.
Controlling erosion and sediment discharge The Club are gaining land along the line of The Dee Estuary foreshore as sediment is building up on this coastline.
Establishment of pesticide-free zones Rough and semi rough areas are maintained as areas of minimal pesticide use however it has been necessary to carry out spot treatment and single blanket applications of selective herbicides to specific areas only to remove established broad leaved weeds and support reestablishment of desirable grasses and plants. Establishment of pesticide free areas is something that is being worked towards.
Use of swales and bio-filters to slow and treat surface run-off There are no swales and bio-filters used on the course.


Royal Liverpool is integrated into the local community employing people across the course and clubhouse fom the nearby towns. Hosting The Open Championship in 2006 and 2014 and The Ricoh Womens Open in 2012 has seen Royal Liverpool make a significant contribution to the local community.

Employment & Education

Typical staffing levels at this golf facility are:

Full Time Part Time Seasonal
Club Management 4
Course Management 10
Food & Beverage 12 6
Golf Coaching 3
Other 3 3

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

  • General Manager
  • Course Manager
  • Committee Members
  • Technical Specialist
  • Local Government
  • Local Community
  • Local Environment NGO

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

Activity Description
Storage, application and disposal of pesticides Six members of the greenstaff have been formally trained in Pesticide use through the NPTC and hold PA1, PA2 and PA6 certificates of competence. All greenstaff are NVQ 2 qualified. In addition there are 2 trained first aiders on the greenstaff and eight trained first aiders on the Clubhouse staff.
Efficient water management Clubhouse staff are informally trained on efficient water management. On the greenstaff efficient water management forms part of the NVQ 2 training in respect of appropriate irrigation and soil moisture management. This is then supported with ongoing on-site training.
Management of accidents and emergencies There are standardised processes already implemented that comply with Health & Safety legislation to address these issues. As necessary RIDOR reporting would be completed. The Club also employ Health & Safety consultants XACT as per England Golf recommendations.
Management of habitats and vegetation The Club employ consultants from STRI and Cheshire Wildlife Trust to assist in the correct management of habitats on the Club's land including both on-course and off course areas.
Waste minimization, separation and recycling The staff are informally trained on recycling and waste separation. Glass and cardboard are separated at source. Waste oil is transferred and recycled.There is a waste transfer agreement in place.
Health & Safety There are standardised processes in place to ensure the appropriate training is given as required under Health & Safety legislation. This is in place across all areas of the Club. All kitchen staff have to be trained in food storage and food handling. Greenstaff have to be trained in safe operation of machinery.
Energy Saving The Club continually seek to raise awareness amongst all staff as to the benefits of appropriate energy saving. Due to a low staff turnover this is not best delivered through an induction programme.
Understanding of landscape and cultural heritage At Royal Liverpool the Club's golfing heritage is taken very seriously. There is an active Heritage Committee made up of Club members many of whom are published authors. This committee is responsible for the Club's collection and displays of historical memorabilia.
Environmental management planning The Club are the landowners and have a Land Management agreement in place working closely with Natural England and Cheshire Wildlife Trust. The Club own the land within the golf course boundary as well as an area of land bordering the course and foreshore. A dune system habitat running along the course and foreshore is designated SSSI and consequently there is legislation in place protecting this part of the site.

Community Relations

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

Activity Description
Neighbours This is a large site with a large number of properties physically on the boundary of the course. In the run up to staging international events Question & Answer sessions have been held to ensure positive engagement with the local community.
Local Government Wirral Borough Council are strategic partners when it comes to hosting international golfing events and the Club have an extremely good working relationship with them. For example the adjacent municipal golf course is used for practice facilities as well as car parking.
Local Environmental Groups The Club works with local environmental groups including Hoylake Conservation Group and Cheshire Wildlife Trust.
Local Community Groups The Club host the Hoylake Schools Championship each year to foster stronger ties with local juniors. In addition a past Club Secretary, Mr Chris Moore, is currently Secretary of the Hoylake Conservation Area.
Media The Club use Twitter and Facebook as social media outlets. There are currently 10,900 followers on Twitter. There is an excellent Club website at www. In addition the Club have a good relationship with both The Liverpool Echo and Golf Monthly helping to ensure positive news stories particularly around important golf events.
Local Businesses As detailed within the Supply Chain information the Club seek to procure services and produce from local suppliers and businesses whenever and wherever possible.
Schools & Colleges The Course Manager, Craig Gilhome, works with Wirral Schools to offer 5 students a year the opportunity of between 1 and 2 weeks work experience. Craig also allows local colleges to bring students on-site for course walks and to observepractical skills for example bunker building.

Land Use & Cultural Heritage

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

Activity Description
Maintenance of existing public paths There are three public rights of way crossing land owned by the golf course. There are two crossing the course itself and a further footpath along the foreshore land. This latter path forms a crucial part of the Wirral Coastel Path network. All of these rights of way are very well used and are correctly signed and maintained by the Club.
Creation of new paths and nature trails There are no plans to introduce any new paths or trails,
Installation of effective and welcoming signage There is effective, clear and welcoming signage at the Club entrance. All public rights of way across golf course land are clearly marked and potential hazards for course crossing points are also clearly indicated.
Providing opportunities for other recreation (e.g. fishing) There are no additional recreational activities provided.
Partnership conservation and access projects (e.g. community woodland) The Club employ consultants from STRI and Cheshire Wildlife Trust to assist in the conservation of on-course and off course areas.
Continuation of traditional agricultural activities This is a links site and the Club take seriously their responsibility to maintain the natural duneland systems including native species for example marram grass.

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 does not undertake any activities to conserve cultural heritage features.


This golf facility undertakes the following internal environmental communications:

Activity Description
Provision of newsletters, notice boards & poster display The Club successfully keep members informed of matters including course information, through regular newsletters sent by post and email.
Members evenings and course walks This has not been done in recent years but could be considered over the coming years.
Course guides / brochures The Club publish an annual brochure made available to all members and visitors.
Interpretation panels & course signage The signage on the site mainly relates to public rights of way.
Establishment of a nature trail There is no plan to establish a nature trail.

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

Activity Description
Website, press releases & brochures There is a website at There is an annual brochure published each year, indeed the current copy is in the process of being written. Press releases are co-ordinated by the Club Secretary. During international events a club member is nominated for speaking with the Press & Media. This approach has worked well to ensure positive press.
Supporting campaigns The Club support the local community and indeed work closely to support The Cottage Hospital, a local charity based in Hoylake.
Attending community meetings The club is represented by a past Club Secretary, Mr Chris Moore, at the Hoylake Conservation Area Society.
Joint practical projects with community As mentioned previously Course Manager Craig Gilhome works in partnership with local schools to provide work experience placements and with colleges providing the opportunity for site visits and practical observation of traditional greenkeeping skills by student greenkeepers.