Golfclub Heelsum

GEO Certified® 04/2013 GEO Re-Certified 11/2016
Telephone: +31 317 313136

On Monday, 19 September 2016, I conducted the re-audit at Heelsum Golfclub at Heelsum (the Netherlands). The club covers an area of 70 hectares, with 27 holes divided over 3 9-hole loops. The course was built in 2002/2003 and can be characterized as a true heather course (a modern-day classic).
The course is situated at the Heelsumse Veld at a remarkable location at the foot of the so-called Veluwe Massif. Geologically speaking, the location is unique because it was here that, at the end of the last ice age, melting glaciers created the larges…

Ronald Buiting, 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
Airborne (9 holes, 3189 metres, year opened 2004)
Helsum (9 holes, 2819 metres, year opened 2004)
Sandr (9 holes, 3094 metres, year opened 2004)
1 Clubhouse(s)
1 Maintenance Facility/Facilities
1 Pro Shop
1 Practice Facility/Facilities


Tijdens de laatste ijstijd, tussen ca. 100.000 en 10.000 jaar geleden was het gebied waarin de golfbaan is gelegen een toendra landschap, waarin de rivieren grote hoeveelheden zand en grind deponeerden. In de voorlaatste ijstijd kwamen de gletsjers tot in dit gebied. Stijgende temperaturen ca.10.000 jaar geleden, verdreven de toendra naar het noorden. Met het smelten van de gletsjers ontstond aan de zuidkant van de Veluwe een van de grootste Sandrs of spoelzandvlakten van Noord-West Europa, bestaande uit zand met grote en kleine kiezels. Het smeltwater in de bevroren ondergrond zorgde voor erosie en dit resulteerde uiteindelijk in droogdalen die nog steeds duidelijk zichtbaar zijn in het landschap en een karakteristiek element vormen in de golfbaan en onderdeel zijn van het spel. De baan heeft zich ontwikkeld tot een klassieke heidebaan met natuurlijke vegetatie die past bij het gebied aan de zuidrand van de Veluwe met heide, gaspeldoorn, brem en grove den. Inmiddels worden er meer dan 300 plantensoorten aangetroffen en is het een genot door de baan te lopen. Naast de geologische geschiedenis is een meer recente gebeurtenis in de geschiedenis van Nederland belangrijk voor de baan. In September 1944 landde in het gebied van de huidige golfbaan de 1st British Airborne Division ter inleiding van de slag om Arnhem. Jaarlijks rijkt de nu 95-jarige veteraan Tom Hicks, die landde op hole Helsum 3, de prijzen uit van de jaarlijkse Airborne herdenkingswedstrijd.

PS: Het bijgevoegde GEO handboek (annex 8) is de bron waaruit het overgrote deel van de data, gepresenteerd in dit rapport, zijn betrokken.

Ten thousands of years ago the present location of the golf club consisted out of tundra vegetation. With temperatures rising, large areas of ice melted, finally resulting in one of Europe’s largest dry dale formations. Thereafter, the landscape changed gradually from tundra into woodland. Due to human activities, woodland finally turned into heather, and this situation lasted until approx. 1900. In the 20th century the whole area was gradually transformed into arable land. Golf course Heelsum was built in 2003 on this former arable land. After its completion in 2004, the course has been maintained in an environmentally sustainable manner. To make the course more attractive, the board agreed with a rigorous change in its philosophy. In 2007, it was decided that the course should have the character of classical heathland course as are frequently found along the coasts inlands of the United Kingdom. Furthermore, it was decided that the dry dales should be restored and become integrated into the golf course. After the first renovation, the course featured 1.5 ha of heather and dry dales that cut through the fairways of the course with a length of more than 1000 m. The former nutrient-rich topsoil has been removed in many places and as a result of these activities now more than 300 plant species can be found in the course of which several are rare. Also the rare sand lizard, part of the club’s logo, is frequently observed in the course. It is the club’s intention to further develop the course along the classical heathland style, with the aim of finally creating 4 ha of heathland with its accompanying nature and wild life.
The area on which the golf course is now situated was part of the airborne landing fields of the 1st British Airborne Division in september1944, in preparation for the battle of Arnhem. To memorize this historic event, we annually organize the Airborne golf match. The prices are presented yearly by the 95 year old Airborne veteran Tom Hicks who landed on the course in 1944, the area what is now Helsum 3.

Note: The attached GEO handbook (annex 8) has been used as a source from which the majority of data presented in this report are obtained.

Consultation & Surveys

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

  • Natuurmonumenten
  • IVN Veluwezoom
  • Gemeente Renkum
  • Staatsbosbeheer
  • NLadviseurs

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

Title Author Date View document
Annex 1. Summary and aims GEO application 2016-2018 Pierre de Wit and Peter Smits 2016/07/30 Download
Masterplan GC Heelsum Annex 2. Steve Marnoch 2012/02/01 Download
Annex 3. Plant inventory 2016 Pierre de Wit in collaboration with FLORON 2016/05/12 Download
Annex 4. Birds inventory 2016 Peter Smits 2016/07/22 Download
Annex 5. Natuurbeheerplan GC Heelsum NL adviseurs 2013/04/11 Download
Annex 6. Mushroom inventory 2015 Pierre de Wit 2015/11/19 Download
Annex 7. GEO questionnaire 2016 Pierre de Wit 2016/04/14 Download
Annex 8. Handbook GEO application 2016-2018 Pierre de Wit 2016/07/30 Download

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

  • NLadviseurs

No ecological surveys have been undertaken at this golf facility.

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

Local name Scientific name
Veldleeuwerik Alauda arvensis ssp. arvensis
Patrijs Perdix perdix
Kerkuil Tyto alba
Zandhagedis Lacerta agilis
Das Melis melis
Geelgors Emberiza citrinella
Roodborsttapuit Saxicola rubicola
Grasmus Sylvia communis
Stekelbrem Genista anglica
Kruipbrem Genista pilosa
Klein warkruid Cuscuta epithymum
Brede wespenorchis Epipactis helleborine subsp. helleborine
Gewone beurszwam Volvariella gloiocephala
Weidekringzwam Marasmius oreades
Gazonvlekplaat Panaeolina foenicecii

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

Local name Scientific name
Das Melis melis
Veldleeuwerik Alauda arvensis ssp. arvensis
Zandhagedis Lacerta agilis
Roodborsttapuit Saxicola rubicola
Grasmus Sylvia communis
Various species of Mushrooms Basidiomycetes

Habitats & Designations

This golf facility features the following landscape designations:

Description Designating Authority
Geological Province of Gelderland
NSW landgoed Province of Gelderland

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

Title Estimated Area (Hectares) Designation
Rough 'ecological' grassland 30 None
Scrub Vegetation 5 None
Native Woodland around the course N/A
Non Native Plantation Woodland None N/A
Open Water Features 0,3 None
Sand dunes 1,5 None
Paths and buildings 5 None


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

Estimated Area (Hectares) Turfgrass Species Sward Composition (%)
Greens 1.8 Hectares Festuca rubra 75%
Agrostis tenuis / capillaris 20%
Tees 1.7 Hectares Festuca rubra 40%
Poa pratensis 40%
Fairways 16.0 Hectares Festuca rubra 65%
Poa pratensis 25%
Semi Rough 3.0 Hectares Festuca rubra 60%
Poa pratensis 20%

These turfgrasses are optimal for the circumstances at this club because:
The course is situated on sandy soil with very good drainage. In summer the greens and fairways are dry and the course gets the appearance of a links course character with requires bump and run play. These conditions are optimal for fine grasses such red fescue that provide good playing qualities.

This golf facility assesses mowing patterns every: year years

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

  • De Enk & Groen; agronomist Conor Nolan (STRI); course architect Steve Marnoch, Prograss;

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 The quality of presentation and maintenance of the course is detailed in an agreement with "De Enk & Groen". Regularly pictures are taken from tees, fairways and greens (also stimp is regularly determined) and are discussed with the head greenkeeper. Also the development of the heathland is reqularly monitored and grass is cut or removed to prevent it to become overgrown. Irrigation is kept to a minimum by sector irrigation only when necessary.
Promoting the playing quality values of more naturalized turf, particularly fairways and semi-rough The members of Golfclub Heelsum know they play on an "ecological course" where input of water, fertilizers and pesticides is kept to a minimum (see also the attached GEO handbook).
Promoting the financial benefits of presenting sustainable surfaces Twice a year the course committee presents the ongoing maintenance to members and friends of Golfclub Heelsum. Regularly, we write articles about the status of the golf course on the club's website, club's newsletter and the club magazine 4P@R.
Improving customer understanding around greens maintenance club members are informed through electronic newsletters. Guests can find information on the club website and are informed at the reception desk when checking in.
Demonstrating the direct relationship between environmental best practice and year round high quality playing surfaces Maintenance is geared towards a high percentage of fescue grasses. Fescue grasses are well adapted to dry and sandy soils and are resistant to drought and pests and diseases. A minimum amount of herbicides is used. Since 2004 nutrient-rich parts of the golf course are mown once or twice a year in order to reduce soil nutrients (clippings were removed). Plant species diversity has increased to over 300 species and the rough becomes less dense which further improves the playability of the course.

Conservation & Enhancement

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

Activity Description
Allowing seasonal variation of course coloration and texture Within the heathland course concept it is allowed to have 'brownish' fairways during dry periods of the year. We have made an agreement with the regional Nature and landscape organization to restore and maintain landscape features dating from the recent glacial periods. We use a minimum of water and fertilizers in the fairways.
Appropriately matching mowing lines to contours The mowing lines follow the natural contours of the landscape which are, since Spring 2016, maintained by a digital map and a digital GPS system that is installed on robot mowers. This secures the contours of tees, fairways, aprons and greens.
Protection and restoration of historic features The course has been renovated extensively since 2008. Dry dales originating from melting glaciers in the last ice-age have been restored and incorporated into the golf course and come into play on several holes. The course becomes more and more integrated into the landscape and matches the landscape of the nearby national park "De Hoge Veluwe".
Discreet on-course signage and furniture The signposts of the holes are sober and fit into the landscape as well as the signposts for the next hole. We have removed the waste bins in the course and players now collect garbage and deposit it into two separate waste bins near the clubhouse (one for natural degradable waste and one for non-degradable wastes including plastics). Waste bins did not fit in the landscape and often attracted crows foraging for food. On every third hole there is a ball washer.
Conservation of specimen trees We regularly remove exotic trees, shrubs and only plants naturally occurring in the area are maintained.
Screening and softening unsightly man-made features We have no unsightly features that need screening

This golf facility is undertaking the following activities to improve the landscape ecology of the golf course:

Activity Description
Minimizing the amount of amenity grass The digital map with the exact mowing patterns provides a excellent tool to accurately mow the fairways and semi-rough. The rough is mown once or twice a year and the clippings are removed to decrease soil fertility which stimulates the diversity of plant species and attracts typical heathland and grassland birds, amphibian and other animals. Fairway clippings are not removed, but as fairways are aerated twice a year they become decomposed by soil micro- and macro-biota.
Increasing the size of habitat patches The mowing patterns imply that the nature rough connects closely to the fairway. Waste areas have been introduced extensively, resulting in specific habitats for endangered plant and animal species.
Connection of internal habitat patches The course has been renovated extensively. Dry dales have been restored in the landscape and come into play on many of the holes. We will increase the area of heathland especially at places not in play to improve the beauty of the landscape for players and tourists, frequently walking and cycling along the golf course.
Connection of patches with external habitats No fences are placed to allow animals (e.g. deer, badgers, reptiles) to cross from the Veluwe National Park through ecoducts over the A12 and A50 to the Rhine Valley. The course is part af an ecological corridor. We also asked the farmer to make an ecological border next to his corn field bordering hole Sandr 4. This attracts and feeds thousends of bees and butterflies in the summer.
Creation of habitat corridors We have connected heather corridors with surrounding heather fields to stimulate migration of the sand lizard and other typical species of the sandy heathlands.
Avoidance of habitat fragmentation We have connecting habitats via heather corridors and dry dales. Internally we will connect nature areas more and more by adding heather and bushes.
Improving and diversifying habitat edges By yearly mowing and removing grass we create more and more nutrient poor habitats which increases the number of species and the spread of wild flowers. This also stimulates the diversity of insects and birds.

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 By mowing the roughs and removing the cuttings the soil fertility is decreased which has stimulated the diversity. More than 330 plant species have been monitored in 2015-2016 in the golf course. See plant inventarisation for more information.
Ecologically informed management of scrub vegetation We have only planted scrubs and trees that are native to the area and fit well into the sandy landscape with many dry dales such as heather, scots pine, gorse and common broom. In the direct vicinity there are older and existing woodlands.
Promoting species and structurally diverse woodlands As mentioned above, we have woodlands in close vicinity which attract many song birds and the species-rich grassland attracts also typical birds, animals and insects.
Establishment of littoral shelves and marginal vegetation in wetland areas We have only one pond in the course and no wetland area.
Maintenance of an appropriate balance of open water and aquatic vegetation The pond on the course is fed with soil water. It is rich in life of amfibians and fish. It is therefore also often visited by cormorants and little grebes.
Naturalization of linear habitats We have a road lined with mainly chestnut trees running through the course. We try to maintain the tree line but many of the chestnut trees suffer from a disease and may have to be replaced.

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 We provide nesting facilities for bees.
Installation of nest boxes Approximately 60 nest boxes have been installed throughout the course.
Provision of feeding tables We have no feeding tables. The crows and magpies have found ways to open golfbags, however, and regularly feed on the sandwiches and food bars of players.
Control / management of alien species We regularly remove Prunus serotina, bramble bush and giant hogweed.
Provision of hibernation areas We provide no special shelter for winter.
Creation of micro-habitats (eg log and stone piles) Log piles along the edges of the golf course from the neighboring woodlands provide micro-habitats for insects and other macro- and micro-biota including mushrooms


We proberen het watergebruik zoveel mogelijk te beperken. Ca. 30% van het oppervlakte van de baan wordt geirrigeerd. De fairways mogen verkleuren als gevolg van droogtestress (een typisch eigenschap van Britse Heathland courses die als referentie voor Golfclub Heelsum gelden). Het irrigatiesysteem, dat deels in 2003 en 2008 is aangelegd, moest in 2016 gerenoveerd worden omdat water uit de vijver werd betrokken, dat “vervuild” was met algen, waardoor filters, kleppen en sproeiers regelmatig verstopt raakten. Er is een nieuwe bron geslagen voor het betrekken van groundwater geslagen, en nu wordt het beregeningswater direct uit de grond betrokken met twee pompen. In 2016 werd een pomp vervangen zodat we nu twee bronnen hebben met gelijke capaciteit. In de droge jaren 2010/2011 werd 30.000 m3 water per jaar verbruikt en in 2012 18.000 m3. Van 2013-2015 hebben we op jaarbasis tussen de 12.000 en 20.000 m3 water gebruikt. Daarmee is het streven gerealiseerd om jaarlijks gemiddeld minder dan 20.000 m3 te verbruiken, wat neerkomt op gemiddeld 100 mm per jaar. Vanaf 2016 zullen de twee pompen voorzien worden van een m3-registratie zodat het watergebruik nauwkeuriger gemeten kan worden.

Approximately 30% of the total surface area is irrigated with ground water via a computerized irrigation system with sector sprayers. In the spirit of the old classical heathland courses, it is the club’s policy to allow fairways to colour with the seasons, i.e. during the summer the course may look slightly brownish. During the reporting period around 20.000 m3/year of water was used to irrigate the golf course. Therefore, we have achieved the club’s intention to reduce the water use to 20.000 m3 on average for the 27 holes.
Fertilization of tees and fairways, aprons and greens is kept to a minimum facilitating drought resistant species like Festuca rubra and Agrostis capillaris to thrive well. This practice also minimizes the occurrence of pest and diseases. Standard maintenance techniques like vertidraining are used to prevent soil compaction and built up of thatch. Wetting agents are only used when standard practices do not functioneffectively. Hot spots are irrigated manually.
Water use in the clubhouse was approx. 1700 m3/year. Water saving buttons have been installed in the toilets.

Sources & Consumption

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

Title Author Date View document
Ground water quality Adrie van der Werf 2013/03/29 Download

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

2015 Source(s) % of supply Total Consumption
Clubhouse(s) Public / Potable 100% 1,700,000 Litres
Golf Course Groundwater 100% 11,402,000 Litres
Maintenance Facility/Facilities Public / Potable 100% 1,000,000 Litres
2014 Source(s) % of supply Total Consumption
Clubhouse(s) Public / Potable 100% 1,700,000 Litres
Golf Course Groundwater 100% 12,817,900 Litres
Maintenance Facility/Facilities Public / Potable 500,000 Litres
2013 Source(s) % of supply Total Consumption
Clubhouse(s) Public / Potable 100% 1,700,000 Litres
Golf Course Groundwater 19,003,900 Litres
Maintenance Facility/Facilities Public / Potable 2,000,000 Litres

Irrigation & Efficiency

The following areas receive irrigation at this golf facility:

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

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 Fertilization of greens and fairways is kept to a minimum.Drought resistant grass species like Festuca rubra and Agrostis capillaris thrive well.
Soil decompaction and thatch management General green practices like aeration, sand dressing and reseeding with Festuca rubra are performed
Timing and dose of water application Based on wheather conditions, soil moist measurements and visual inspections are performed.
Analysis of soil moisture Sensors are present.
Incorporation of evapotranspiration rates and weather data Weather data are recorded and facilitate the application of water and fertilizers.
Use of wetting agents Only when necessary wetting agents are applied locally.
Overall reduction in irrigated area We are replacing the old irrigation sprayers by adjustable sector sprayers.
Targeting of sprinkler heads Part of the two yearly inspections involves functioning of the sprinklers on apron and greens to minimize water usage.
Optimizing system pressure In 2016 we have drilled a new well for groundwater supply and installed a new pump with equal capacity in the second well. Both pumps are computerized creating a better balanced pressure in the system.
Adoption of cutting edge nozzle technology Sector sprinklers with improved nozzle technology sector coverage have been or are being installed.

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

Activity Description
Low-flow urinals and toilets Toilets have water saving knobs
Use of efficient shower technology Investments are planned to introduce shower heads with water saving technology when the locker rooms are renovated.
Repairing leaks A handyman is on site 3 times a week to repair any shortcomings.


Er is nog relatief weinig aandacht besteed aan het energieverbruik van het clubhuis. In het clubhuis wordt wel gebruik gemaakt van groene stroom. Het verbruik lijkt in vergelijking met andere golfbanen aan de hoge kant, maar dit is eigenlijk moeilijk te vergelijken (aantal ruimtes clubhuis, inhoud in m3, aantal bezoekers per jaar etc.) Om meer grip te krijgen op het verbruik zal een energie-audit worden uitgevoerd. Streven is de komende jaren, mede op basis van de audit, het verbruik met minstens 10% terug te draaien.

Until recently little attention has been given to energy consumption. Recently motion sensors have been installed, and low efficient light sources are now being replaced by e.g. led lights. Furthermore, the central light controlling system, has been modified such that most spaces can now be controlled independently. The club uses so-called green-energy. An energy audit will be carried out in 2016 to identify possible extra savings in and around the clubhouse.

Sources & Consumption

No energy surveys have been undertaken at this golf facility.

Consumption of renewable energy and resources at this golf facility:

2015 2014 2013
Renewable Grid Electricity (kWh) 188935 199364 213540

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

2015 2014 2013
Diesel (Litres) 10409 10045 9070
Natural Gas (Litres) 22643 22567 23450
Non-renewable Grid (kWh) 19325 19666 21540
Petrol (Litres) 921 863 1050

Energy Efficiency

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

Activity Description
Adoption of green tariff grid supply The clubhouse uses green tariff electicity. The pump for the irrigation system has been contracted in March 2013 for a different energy supplier and switched to green tariff. This will also be the case for the pump that has been installed in Spring 2016.
Installation of photovoltaic and / or solar panels The greenkeeping facilities are under study for installing solar panels on the roof which could provide energy for buggie charging, maintenance office, lighting at machinery house and more.
Use of geothermal and / or ground sources None
Use of Liquified Petroleum Gas (LPG) No
Use of biodiesel and /or ethanol No
Use of electric hybrid vehicles All buggies (11) of the golf course are run on electricity.

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

Activity Description
Enhancement of natural ventilation opportunities The clubhouse has filters on windows providing natural ventilation
Upgrading of building insulation The golfpro's offices will be part of the energy audit as building isolation is poor.
Use of natural light (e.g. sunlight pipes) The clubhouse has ample natural light which reduces the usage of artificial lighting at daytime to a minimum.
Installation of low-energy lighting In 2012 we introduced a new light control panel which allows to turn on or off particular areas more efficiently. Part of the investments in 2013/14 involved introduction of LED lights wherever appropriate. Low-energy lighting is already applied partially.
Use of motion sensor lighting Motion sensor lighting was Introduced in main areas in 2012. Toilet areas on the ground level, parking facilities and driving range will follow later.
Transition to energy efficient appliances Some appliances in the kitchen have been replaced or discontinued in 2012. We will work closely with the restaurant owner to replace or adjust procedures and machines by more efficient ones that use less energy.
Use of timers with appliances, heating and lighting External ligthing is connected with daylight sensors. The heating in the clubhouse is time-controlled.
Educating staff and customers Part of the energy audit is a follow-up on internal and external communication.

Vehicles & Transport

This golf facility does not operate a maintenance fleet (ride-on mowers, walking mowers, or utility vehicles).

This golf facility does not operate any additional vehicles.

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

Activity Description
Secure cycle parking There is cycle parking available
Increasing equipment storage (e.g. lockers) "Project Clubhouse and Facilities", which started February 2013, was planned to increase in locker area. There is a waiting list but funds to build are not immediately available. We are considering to double the number of lockers.
Staff showers The greenkeepers have their own shower facilities

Supply Chain

Het is het beleid van GC Heelum om een natuurlijke en duurzame baan te zijn. Sinds de opening in 2003 worden er geen fungiciden en insecticiden meer gebruikt in de baan, en voert de Enk Groen en Golf een duurzaam beheer met een minimum gebruik van kunstmest en andere synthetische producten. Beheer is verder gericht op zoveel mogelijk verschraling van bodem ter stimulering van de ontwikkeling van biodiversiteit. In de baan zijn de prullenbakken verwijderd en vervangen door vier containers bij het clubhuis waar afval gescheiden kan worden aangeboden. Spelers krijgen een bio-afbreekbaar afvalzakje aangeboden wanneer ze de baan in gaan. Dit heeft geleid tot minder zwerfafval in de baan, een betere recycling en vermindering van de kosten. In het restaurant worden als duurzame, organische en fairtrade producten geserveerd. We zullen deze ontwikkeling de komende jaren doorzetten en ook zoeken naar gebruik van meer lokale producten en leveranciers.

Since the opening in 2003 fungicides and insecticides have not been used, and it is the club’s policy to keep it that way. Herbicides are used only when necessary and applied as a spot treatment. As N-fertilization rates are extremely low, occasional outbursts of N-fixing Trifolium species occur on greens, tees and fairways. The maintanance of the rough is directed towards the increase of biodiversity.
Sita (certified waste company) performed a waste audit in 2010. In the clubhouse, paper and glass are separated from the main waste stream. In 2012 the club started an experiment with waste collection on the airborne holes. In this experiment, garbage bins were removed, and golfers were requested to collect and dump their garbage in special bins for degradable and non-degradable waste after they finished their round of golf. Besides the environmental impact, this action also reduced free flying garbage in the course (crows are extremely clever in picking out garbage from the bins). Since the experiment was successful, waste bins were removed from the whole course, and players are provided with a biodegradable garbage bags to collect their garbage. In the restaurant we already serve organic and fairtrade products. We will make an effort to strengthen this development en stimulate the use of more local and sustainable products from local suppliers.

Purchasing Policies

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

Activity Description
Measures to avoid waste at source We have removed the garbage cans in the course and replaced them by central collection points. This has reduced the amount of litter in the course considerable and enables us to seperate and recycle waste in a better and more efficient way.
Use of local suppliers We expect an increase of local suppliers for the clubhouse's restaurant as the manager is not dependent on central purchase. Most other supplies are obtained from sponsors of the club and they are all located within short reach of the golfcourse.
Use of local products We have already stimulated the manager of the restaurant to use more local products. We will continue our efforts to increase use of local products where available.
Selection of certified products Peeze coffee/tea is used which is a fair trade product. We also serve organic grown tea.
Use of recycled and recyclable products Garbage bags used in the new waste project are a recyclable product.
Selection of products that feature minimal packaging Most products of the golf course signage, balls, flags, distance markers etc.. have minimal packaging.
Use of accredited suppliers (e.g. ISO 14001) De Enk Groen en Golf, which is our greenkeeping company, has a certification ISO 14001. It is eager to innovate, use new robot technologies and environment- friendly ways tot prevent and control pests and diseases.

Supply Chain

An overview of the supplier network at this golf facility:

Total number of suppliers Total number of suppliers within 10 Kilometres Total number of suppliers within 100 Kilometres
Food & Beverage 6 3 3
Catering Supplies 2 1 1
Retail 1 1
Trade & Contractors 50 10 40
Maintenance Equipment 5 1 4
Course Supplies 4 1 3

Turfgrass Inputs

This golf facility undertakes the following IPM activities:

Activity Description
Encouraging drought and disease tolerant grasses We use a minimal amount of fertilizers and water (see also the GEO-Handbook, annex 7). On the fairways we use only fertilizers on areas with poor quality grass. In 2014 that was on 2 hectares and in 2015 on 5 hectares.
Managing stress and wear We move the pin positions daily to spread stress and wear on the greens. In the winter we use only the back or frontside of tees to minimize damage. We have a policy to minimize use of winter greens to only 2-3 weeks a years when there is frost in the ground.
Enhancement of soil structure The greens are aerated and sand-dressed 2 tot 3 times a year. The fairways are aerated twice a year.
Optimization of the growing environment We apply minimal amounts of fertilizers and water and applications are virtually limited to greens. This reduces the occurrence of fungal diseases and stimulates fine grasses such as red fescue. It also reduces expansion of annual meadow grass.
Managing thatch levels We aerate greens, tees and fairway to reduce thatch formation and regularly dress the greens with sand.
Managing surface moisture Sensors are installed.
Establishing thresholds for pests and disease We use minimal amounts of water and fertilizers which reduces disease presssure. We therefore do not need to use fungicides. Occassionally we have an limited outbreak of dollar spot but this never causes serious problems. We have problems with grass grubs, mainly Amphimallon solstialis, but the level of damage inflicted by crows and badgers feeding on them in the autumn is so far acceptable. Patches are repaired with sand and grass seeds. We have set up an experiment to test biologicals and botanicals to prevent or reduce outbreaks.
Scouting for pests and diseases The course committee and green keepers regularly monitor for the presence of pests and diseases
Monitoring / improvement of plant health We monitor for the health of the course on a weekly basis and only apply nutrients and water when required.

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

2015 2014 2013
Fairways - K - Inorganic 0 0 0
Fairways - K - Organic 70 42 0
Fairways - N - Inorganic 0 0 0
Fairways - N - Organic 54 68 0
Fairways - P - Inorganic 0 0 0
Fairways - P - Organic 21 23 0
Greens - K - Inorganic 0 0 0
Greens - K - Organic 92 112 97
Greens - N - Inorganic 0 0 0
Greens - N - Organic 87 65 46
Greens - P - Inorganic 0 0 0
Greens - P - Organic 24 26 8
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 0 0 0
Tees - K - Organic 70 42 26
Tees - N - Inorganic 0 0 0
Tees - N - Organic 54 50 18
Tees - P - Inorganic 0 0 0
Tees - P - Organic 21 20 0

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

2015 2014 2013
Fairways - Fungicide - Active Ingredient 0 0 0
Fairways - Fungicide - Total Weight 0 0 0
Fairways - Fungicide - Number of applications per year 0 0 0
Fairways - Herbicide - Active Ingredient 2 2 2
Fairways - Herbicide - Total Weight 60 41 70
Fairways - Herbicide - Number of applications per year 1 1 1
Fairways - Insecticide - Active Ingredient 0 0 0
Fairways - Insecticide - Total Weight 0 0 0
Fairways - Insecticide - Number of applications per year 0 0 0
Greens - Fungicide - Active Ingredient 0 0 0
Greens - Fungicide - Total Weight 0 0 0
Greens - Fungicide - Number of applications per year 0 0 0
Greens - Herbicide - Active Ingredient 2 2 2
Greens - Herbicide - Total Weight 4 4 8
Greens - Herbicide - Number of applications per year 1 1 1
Greens - Insecticide - Active Ingredient 0 0 0
Greens - Insecticide - Total Weight 0 0 0
Greens - Insecticide - Number of applications per year 0 0 0
Rough - Fungicide - Active Ingredient 0 0 0
Rough - Fungicide - Total Weight 0 0 0
Rough - Fungicide - Number of applications per year 0 0 0
Rough - Herbicide - Active Ingredient 0 0 0
Rough - Herbicide - Total Weight 0 0 0
Rough - Herbicide - Number of applications per year 0 0 0
Rough - Insecticide - Active Ingredient 0 0 0
Rough - Insecticide - Total Weight 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
Semi-Rough - Herbicide - Active Ingredient 2 3 3
Semi-Rough - Herbicide - Total Weight 9 11 56
Semi-Rough - Herbicide - Number of applications per year 1 1 1
Semi-Rough - Insecticide - Active Ingredient 0 0 0
Semi-Rough - Insecticide - Total Weight 0 0 0
Semi-Rough - Insecticide - Number of applications per year 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 2 2 2
Tees - Herbicide - Total Weight 4 6 4
Tees - Herbicide - Number of applications per year 1 1 1
Tees - Insecticide - Active Ingredient 0 0 0
Tees - Insecticide - Total Weight 0 0 0
Tees - Insecticide - Number of applications per year 0 0 0

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

Activity Description
Selection on the least toxic and lest persistent products Only the herbicides Primstar and MCPA were used against broad leaf weeds and clover on the fairways and greens and some roundup in the semi-rough and rough to remove thistles.
Selection of appropriate products for specific pests and diseases We are testing biologicals for control of pests and diseases.
Spot-treatment with handheld sprayers and wipers Where necessary, we control thistles and weeds with spot applications of herbicides.
Calibration and testing of sprayers License with greenkeeper.
Use of shrouded sprayer and anti-drip nozzles License with greenkeeper.
Non-chemical weed control Manual removal with hand mowers.
Use of organic and biological products to improve plant health and resistance. We have recently started a pilot experiment with new biological products that are claimed to control pests and diseases.

Waste Management

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

Title Author Date View document
Waste audit SITA 2013/01/14

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 false false true 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 We have introduced a waste bin-free golfcourse and garbage is separated after a round of golf between degradable and non-degradable waste products. Paper and glass from the clubhouse are collected on demand instead of regular collection.
Establishment of recycling centers We have established three recycling collecting points
Education of staff and customer education Via electronic newsletters and internal memos we advise members and guests as well as employees about the measurements taken.
Waste awareness campaigns We stimulate wast awereness by informing players through newsletters and the website of the golfclub.

Pollution Control

Het beleid van de club is gericht op minimaal gebruik van chemische bestrijdingsmiddelen en meststoffen. Er worden geen fungiciden en insecticiden gebruikt. Wel worden er herbiciden gebruikt om een of tweemaal per jaar zo mogelijk pleksgewijs onkruiden als paardenbloem, weegbree en distels in toom te houden. Er wordt een minimale hoeveel stikstof toegepast om uitgroei van straatgras en zieketen en plagen te beperken. Deze strategie werkt goed. De club en beheerder beschikken over alle vergunningen. De Enk Groen en Golf voert het beheer en is voortdurend bezig met innovatie.

It is the policy of the club to minimize input of pesticides and fertilizers. The club meets all legislation requirements with respect to use and storage of pesticides, fertilizers, waste and fuels. Maintenance of the golf course is outsourced to De Enk Groen en Golf. This company meets all legislation requirements and holds all necessary environmental permits (ISO 14001) and has a strong policy for innovation. In order to reduce environmental pollution as much as possible only low rates of fertilizer are applied in the course. No insectidies and fungicides are used. Some herbicides are applied (spot application) once or twice a year against weeds to ensure playing quality.

Water Analysis

This golf facility monitors water quality with the following frequency:

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

Waste Water

Waste water from this golf facility is managed as follows:

Discharges to Formal Discharge Agreement
Golf Course N/A N/A
Clubhouse Mains Sewer Yes
Maintenance Facility Mains Sewer Yes
Wash Pad Mains Sewer Yes

Hazardous Materials

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

Secure Storage Registered Uplift
Detergents true true
Cooking Oils true true
Lubricants true true
Pesticide Containers true true
Fertiliser Bags false 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 Oils, paint and other hazardous products are stored on a doubled floor to prevent spreading of potential leaks. Where necessary products are stored behind a lock.
Maintenance of equipment on covered, sealed impervious areas All machinery is parked in a large shelter. There is a concrete floor and if liquids are involved, these works are carried out with a security layer.
Mixing of pesticides and fertilizers in covered areas This is performed at the greenkeeper's garage facilities where these products are stored.
Mixing of pesticides and fertilizers over impervious surfaces The garage facility has a concrete floor.
Installation of above-ground fuel tanks The diesel tank with the green keeper's facility s is an above-ground installation. It is certified yearly and protected to prevent outside damage.
Installation of sufficient secondary containment for fuel According to legislation.
Provision of containment booms and absorbent materials Not necesssary.

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 There is a minimal input of fertilizers and pesticides.
Establishment of vegetative buffer strips around water bodies We have some natural vegetation around the pond.
Establishment of pesticide-free zones Hardly any pesticides are used and certainly not in the non playing area


Duurzaamheid en natuurlijke ontwikkeling zijn het uitgangspunt voor het beleid van GC Heelsum en dat wordt uitgedragen aan alle leden en medewerkers.We onderhouden nauw contact met de buurt en de natuur- en milieuverenigingen die betrokken zijn geweest in het proces rond de aanleg van de baan en waarmee een convenant is afgesproken. Door en langs de baan lopen fiets- en wandelpaden en het clubhuis is vrij toegankelijk voor omwonenden en bezoekers.

Sustainability is one of the key issues of golfclub Heelsum. All the staff is obliged to follow yearly First Aid courses. All new staff is informed on use and storage of waste, handling of electricity in all spaces. All the staff’s obligations are regularly checked and controlled by the general manager.
We have good contacts with the neighbourhood and the course can be approached through walking en cycling paths that run through and around the course.

Employment & Education

Typical staffing levels at this golf facility are:

Full Time Part Time Seasonal
Club Management 2 4 2
Course Management 2 3 3
Food & Beverage 3 5 5
Golf Coaching 3
Retail & Leisure 1 3

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

  • General Manager
  • Course Manager
  • Committee Members

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

Activity Description
Storage, application and disposal of pesticides Employees of De Enk Groen en Golf get training. Head greenkeeper and one assistant have permits for use of pesticides.
Efficient water management On the central water pump for irrigation a seperate meter will be installed to measure water use more accurately. In a quarternly meeting the data are shared within green keepers the course committee.
Management of accidents and emergencies The marshals receive a yearly training on the use of the AED and first aid. The green keepers run a prevention programme to avoid incidents.
Management of habitats and vegetation Voluntary workers from the golfclub and course committee participate in the monitoring and registration of flora and fauna. They are trained by field experts from FLORON, KNNV and IVN during the establishement of the nature protection plan.
Waste minimization, separation and recycling We have removed waste bins from the course and near the clubhouse three locations have been installed to collect the degradable and non-degradable waste.
Health & Safety Yearly training is provided on first aid.
Energy Saving A big consumer of energy is the restaurant of the club, and other parts of the clubhouse. An awareness campaign is still to be set up to improve energy savings. An energy inspection has been made. We expect most of the conventional lighting to be replaced by LED lights in the near future. Installation of solar panels is considered as well.
Understanding of landscape and cultural heritage Part of the introduction for new workers in the greenkeeping team is to make them aware of the uniqueness of the course. Also new members of the course committee get an extensive introduction into the typical heathland course concept.
Environmental management planning There is regular contact between the course committee and the greenkepers on the use of pesticides and fertilizers.

Community Relations

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

Activity Description
Neighbours A group of interested neighbours is yearly invited to join a golf challenge. A course committee member is also member of the neighbour community and functions there as our representative.
Local Government The mayor of Renkum is member of our club. When establishing the golf course he functioned as a warranty provider. We have also joined forces on the sports policy as the adjourning soccer clubs will probably merge in the future and some area will become available for the club.
Local Environmental Groups The IVN has established a guide of conduct with regards to the future use of the land and its specifice heritage.We have regular contact with IVN and other groups and show them our progress in the development of the course.
Local Community Groups There is good contact with the neighbourhood and with the group of "vijf dorpen in het groen" on the developments of the course.
Media We have established excellent contacts with the local press and national golf press. Regularly there are coverages about our initiatives and developments.
Local Businesses The golfclub has its own business club organizing 12 events per year. The course manager is represented at three different network groups. Where possible we seek suppliers among our own members and sponsors.
Schools & Colleges In 2012 we facilitated the sports education of the local grammar school with 60 children following golf clinics at our club. The local elementary school was invited to join the charity event for nature education. In 2015 we gave lectures and organized an excursion for plant science students of Wageningen University. In 2016 two students from a grammar school in Ede, het Streek, did a project on nature development in the course and sustainable use of energy, respectively.

Land Use & Cultural Heritage

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

Activity Description
Maintenance of existing public paths The path along the Helsum 1 hole is ours but publicly accessible. We provide maintenance once a year.
Creation of new paths and nature trails The "Klompenpad" is an initiative of a nature trail alongside farmer terrains. It also crosses our golfcourse and we kindly provide the clubhouse as a catering facility during the walk.
Installation of effective and welcoming signage The entrance of the golfcourse has recently been furnished with a welcoming sign. Also the public path nearby the terrace has a sign welcoming guests to have a drink or bite.
Providing opportunities for other recreation (e.g. fishing) This is not possible on the course.
Partnership conservation and access projects (e.g. community woodland) We have cooperation with Natuurmonumenten on development of a heather corridor that connects some of their nature areas.
Continuation of traditional agricultural activities The farmer that used to cultivate the former grounds of the golf course is now a member of the greenkeeping staff. His farm is also used to store green keeping facilities.

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

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

  • Natuurmonumenten

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

Activity Description
Buildings (Listed Buildings / Ancient Monuments etc) Dorrestein farm at Klein Americaweg. Monument remembering the landing of 1st British Airborne Division on september 17, 1944 to prepare for the battle of Arnhem.
Archaeology (Settlements / Agricultural System etc) During the last ice-age sand dales were created around and within the area of the golfcourse. These have been restored and provide a unique feature that dates back to million years ago.
Historic Features (Hedgerows / Dykes / Moats / Cairns etc) Dry dales represent the food prints of the last ice age.


This golf facility undertakes the following internal environmental communications:

Activity Description
Provision of newsletters, notice boards & poster display A monthly newsletter is sent to all friends and members of the club. Incidentally we inform about projects. General items on the maintenance of the course are published in the club magazine 4P@R and also published on the website for club members.
Members evenings and course walks We organize twice a year a presentation for the board about the activities of the course committee. Once a year organize a course walk just before one of the board meetings. New members get a course walk as part of their introduction day.
Course guides / brochures We provide a free of charge course guide with lots of heritage information about the course and the area.
Interpretation panels & course signage We plan a panel on specific species on the heathland golf course in 2017 together with our partners FLORON and Natuurmonumenten.

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

Activity Description
Website, press releases & brochures Course information is present on the website. The members are regularly informed about nature development in the golf course (plants, birds), exemplified by several press releases and articles each year. Articles on the website:

Course walks / open days An open day is organized once a year on the 3rd Saturday in April. Course walks are organized twice a year for potentially new members that are invited by club members.
Joint practical projects with community Development of heather corridor with Doorwerthse Heide