Carnoustie Golf Links

GEO Certified® 12/2013 GEO Re-Certified 11/2016
Scotland, United Kingdom
Telephone: +441241802270

Carnoustie Golf Links is renowned primarily for its Championship Course, one of only five in Scotland currently on the R&A Open Championship rota. The facility also includes two further high quality 18-hole courses, the Burnside and Buddon, together with a recently-added 6-hole junior course. The courses in total cover an area of over 300 hectares, forming part of an important natural dune system at the mouth of the Tay estuary.

While the history of Carnoustie as a site for golf is said to extend as far back as the 16th Century, its…

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

Facility details

Golf Courses
Championship (18 holes, 7421 yards, year opened 1842)
Burnside (18 holes, 5972 yards, year opened 1913)
Buddon Links (18 holes, 5921 yards, year opened 1980)
3 Maintenance Facility/Facilities
1 Pro Shop
1 Halfway House(s)
2 Other
1 Other
1 Other


The Carnoustie Golf Links is located approximately 10 miles east of Dundee situated on the eastern coastline of Scotland. It has a landscape of open fixed-dune grassland with dominant species being red fescue, sea-lyme, gorse and heather with small areas of localised tree cover consisting of species such as scots pine and birch. Natural dune formations are maintained throughout the landscape with rolling mounds incorporated into the playing nature of all three courses. Open grassland ecosystems are dominant at Carnoustie Links with red fescue, sea-lyme and wild flowers found in these ecosystems. These areas support nesting habitat for ground-nesting birds such as skylark and meadow pipit. Scrub ecosystems are also dominant in the area and are made up of gorse, heather and broom providing habitat for birds such as stonechat, yellowhammer, wren and robin. Tree cover ecosystems are found dotted throughout the landscape, particularly on the Buddon Course, and provide habitat for siskin, goldcrest as well as a number of birds from the tit and finch families. The Barry Burn winds its way through the Links acting as a tidal waterway connecting the beach at Carnoustie to in-land areas. This is important for the connectivity of wildlife particularly heron, oystercatcher and eel. A number of water features are present, particularly on the Buddon Course, providing refuge for waterbirds such as moorhen, sand martin as well as the previously mentioned heron and oystercatcher. Ecosystems of all three courses are slightly different yet share the same links theme. The Championship Course retains the classic links feel consisting almost totally of scrubland and fixed-dune areas. The Buddon Course is vastly similar however incorporates several water features as well as areas of birch, pine and gorse vegetation. The Burnside Course also mainly shares the characteristics of the Championship course however consists of large areas of amenity grassland.

Consultation & Surveys

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

  • Sports Turf Research Institute
  • Angus Council

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

Title Author Date View document
Carnoustie Golf Club Ecological Management Plan Covering the Championship Course, Buddon Course and Burnside Course Dr Bob Taylor, STRI 2013/06/11 Download
Carnoustie Golf Links Annual Ecological Assessment of the Championship Course Undertaken on behalf of The R&A Dr Bob Taylor, STRI 2013/09/02 Download
Carnoustie Golf Club Annual Ecological Monitoring Assessment of the Championship Course Undertaken on behalf of The R&A Dr Bob Taylor, STRI 2014/09/09 Download
Carnoustie Golf Links Mgmt Cttee Ltd Advisory Report on the Championship Course on behalf of The R&A Championship Committee Dr Bob Taylor, STRI 2015/07/17 Download
Carnoustie Golf Links Mgmt Cttee Annual ecological monitoring assessment of the Championship Course undertaken on behalf of The R&A Championship Committee Dr Bob Taylor, STRI 2016/04/14 Download
Notes of Bird Ringing on Carnoustie Golf Course, 2015 Peter Ellis 2015/11/11 Download
Tree Report 2014 Fred Conacher 2014/11/05 Download
Tree Compartments Fred Conacher 2014/11/07 Download

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

  • Sports Turf Research Institute
  • Scottish Golf Environment Group

No ecological surveys have been undertaken at this golf facility.

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

Local name Scientific name
Sea Pea Lathyrus japonicus

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

Habitats & Designations

This golf facility does not feature any landscape designations.

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

Title Estimated Area (Hectares) Designation
Rough 'ecological' grassland 80 None
Scrub Vegetation 6 None
Native Woodland 5 None
Open Water Features 2.3 None
Heather and other dwarf shrub communities 10 None


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

Estimated Area (Hectares) Turfgrass Species Sward Composition (%)
Greens 3.5 Hectares Agrostis tenuis / capillaris 40%
Festuca rubra 25%
Tees 3.6 Hectares Festuca rubra 60%
Agrostis tenuis / capillaris 20%
Fairways 30.0 Hectares Festuca rubra 75%
Agrostis tenuis / capillaris 15%
Semi Rough 15.0 Hectares Festuca rubra 75%
Agrostis stolonifera / palustris 5%

These turfgrasses are optimal for the circumstances at this club because:
Turfgrasses on Carnoustie Golf Links not only provide optimal playing characteristics but the use of fescues also fits in well with the course’s links profile, extending habitat variation and interest and providing an extension of the habitat mosaic. The use of primarily thinner grasses, in fescues, confers stronger disease resistance and requires minimal resource inputs to maintain.

This golf facility assesses mowing patterns every: 1 months

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

  • Sports Turf Research Institue
  • Martin Ebert (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 Internal policies are established for different areas of the courses such as greens, tees, fairways and roughs in regard to mowing, irrigation, grooming, pest control, disease control and topdressing. See 2013 management plan from STRI.
Promoting the playing quality values of more naturalized turf, particularly fairways and semi-rough Through methods of infrequent cutting, litter collection and, where needed, verti-cutting/scarification, the fairway, semi-rough and rough areas of Carnoustie Golf Links are kept naturalised while playing quality is still maintained.
Promoting the financial benefits of presenting sustainable surfaces The financial benefits of maintaining sustainable surfaces are actively promoted by Carnoustie Golf Links through communication with stakeholders, local communities and other golf clubs.
Improving customer understanding around greens maintenance Regular communications with the Pro Shop staff in regards to green maintenance allows them to pass on any relevant information.

Conservation & Enhancement

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

Activity Description
Allowing seasonal variation of course coloration and texture Carnoustie Golf Links Management Committee actively manage to promote colour and texture year-round over the three courses which is demonstrated through annual gorse, heather and grassland management.
Appropriately matching mowing lines to contours Emphasis is placed on matching mowing lines with course contours such as course mounding (dunes) to get a more natural feel.
Protection and restoration of historic features The historical feature of the Barry Burn is maintained to retain a traditional feel and to ensure erosion does not occur.
Discreet on-course signage and furniture Course furniture and signage is kept limited with furniture such as park benches made of wood and signage is kept relatively small and painted green to ensure it is not an eye-sore.
Conservation of specimen trees While there are a small number of trees located on the links course, several of these are old sentinel trees which have been preserved, for example the Scots Pine behind the 13th green on the championship course as well as the Crack Willow located on the 5th hole on the Burnside Course.
Screening and softening unsightly man-made features Trees have been planted in an attempt to screen green-staff complex from sight of golf holes. Additionally, future plans for vegetation screening have been put in place for netted areas around tees.

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 Amenity grass is kept at a minimum and aimed to be restricted only to playing areas, with ecological grassland encouraged in rough areas. The presence of amenity grasses such as Yorkshire fog and perennial ryegrass in these areas of ecological rough is usually identified and managed accordingly.
Increasing the size of habitat patches The size of habitat patches is increased through appropriate scrub management programmes which identify desirable habitat patches and proceeds to retain and expand these areas.
Connection of internal habitat patches Large areas of habitat between holes provide corridor connectivity and habitat interest, linking up other habitat areas.
Connection of patches with external habitats Carnoustie acts as an important buffer zone between sensitive landscapes to the south (listed under designations such as RAMSAR, SAC and SSSI) and the township located to the north of the course. The golf course also links up with rural and farming land to the east and west.
Creation of habitat corridors Where possible, habitat corridors are encouraged by providing constant connectivity between areas of vegetation on the course.
Several wildflower areas have been established to create habitat for pollinating insects.
Avoidance of habitat fragmentation By undertaking conservation management practices on an annual basis under the supervision of an ecologist, habitat fragmentation is kept minimal.
Improving and diversifying habitat edges Structural diversity is encouraged through habitat edges over all habitat types, particularly in grassland margins where practices such as ecology rough formation and phased cyclical gorse management help to diversify habitat boundaries.

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 Out of play areas around the course are used as ecology grassland with wildflower populations promoted in these areas. Ecology roughs are cut and collected once every 1-3 years, with a fringing rough implemented in some areas to aid the ecology rough and create an ideal transitional area with semi-rough.
Ecologically informed management of scrub vegetation Ecological management organisations such as the Sports Turf Research Institute are regularly consulted for advice on gorse and heather management with detailed management plans put in place to ensure the health of these habitats going forward.
Promoting species and structurally diverse woodlands The structural diversity of woodlands is a priority with species diversity being essential as well as establishing an ideal age diversity of a certain species.
Establishment of littoral shelves and marginal vegetation in wetland areas Original wetland areas contain large amounts of marginal vegetation in the littoral zone and are made up of appropriate species. The newly established wetland areas have been lined with suitable vegetation such as soft rush as well as orchid.
Maintenance of an appropriate balance of open water and aquatic vegetation All wetland and watercourse areas adhere to a strict management policy stating that 60% of open water must be maintained to ensure that while aquatic vegetation is present, it doesn’t becoming overbearing and threaten aquatic diversity within the watercourses.
Naturalization of linear habitats Natural curves and outlines are implemented into linear habitats such as those alongside of fairways. The creation of these curves and swales, along with the promotion of structural diversity, aim to achieve a certain degree of naturalisation in typically linear habitats.

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 promotion of bees on the course is prominent with several operation pollinator grassland areas now established. One such area was a joint project with the Eco-groups from our 3 local primary schools that we led.
Installation of nest boxes Bird nesting boxes are located on the course on trees, at intervals where appropriate. Nesting boxes are commonly used by wagtail species but can also be used by other species such as blue tits . This year, additional nest boxes are to be established under bridges along the Barry Burn.
Provision of feeding tables No feeding tables have been established at Carnoustie Golf Links as of yet however they will be looked in to as a possible future addition.
Control / management of alien species There are a number of species throughout Carnoustie Golf Links that are actively managed. Broom and gorse are the most prolific and common of these species. Annual management is undertaken and nutrient inputs carefully recorded and managed to ensure eutrophication doesn’t occur.
Provision of hibernation areas The provision of hibernation areas in the form of bat boxes is existent at Carnoustie Golf Links, with the majority of bat boxes installed on selected trees and located on the Buddon Course.
Creation of micro-habitats (eg log and stone piles) A number of micro-habitats have been established throughout the course, particularly in the form of log piles but also by establishing stone piles around watercourses.


Water use at Carnoustie Golf Links is mainly used for irrigation purposes. Water is sourced from five bore holes and is then distributed around the course through a fully computer-controlled irrigation system. The irrigation goal at Carnoustie Golf Links aims to minimise unnecessary water use as much as possible with soil moisture levels recorded regularly with only the required amount of water applied in order to maintain these moisture levels. Water run-off from the course drains mostly to the sea usually via the Barry Burn as well as the number of other ditches present on the course installed for this purpose. The course is located at the bottom of the local catchment with Barry Burn transporting water from the upper catchment, through Carnoustie, and emptying into the ocean. Because of this, it is essential that the Carnoustie Golf Links engage in sustainable watering practices and chemical application in order to that chemical run-off does not drain into the ocean or affect the groundwater supply. The designated SSSI and SAC area to the south of Carnoustie Golf Links along the coastline contains vegetation which is heavily dependent on groundwater, putting an onus on Carnousite Golf Links to practice appropriate and sustainable water management. Going forward, the Carnoustie Golf Links aims to keep more rigorous recordings of water use in order to ensure ongoing continual improvement and that a reduction in water-use is taking place over years to come.

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:

2015 Source(s) % of supply Total Consumption
Clubhouse(s) Public / Potable 100% 608,000 Litres
Golf Course Groundwater 100% 48,090,000 Litres
Maintenance Facility/Facilities Public / Potable 100% 2,316,000 Litres
Other Public / Potable 100% 88,000 Litres
2014 Source(s) % of supply Total Consumption
Clubhouse(s) Public / Potable 100% 784,000 Litres
Golf Course Groundwater 100% 21,622,000 Litres
Maintenance Facility/Facilities Public / Potable 100% 3,492,000 Litres
Other Public / Potable 100% 86,000 Litres
2013 Source(s) % of supply Total Consumption
Clubhouse(s) Public / Potable 100% 1,043,000 Litres
Maintenance Facility/Facilities Public / Potable 100% 2,272,000 Litres
Other Public / Potable 100% 55,000 Litres

Irrigation & Efficiency

The following areas receive irrigation at this golf facility:

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

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

The irrigation system at this golf facility is:

Serviced every 6 months

Upgraded every 1 years

Re-calibrated and checked for efficient application every 1 years

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

Activity Description
Selection of grass species Grass species are selected to be not too water-intensive and drought tolerant to a certain extent.
Soil decompaction and thatch management Aeration and verti-cutting practices are carried out on all areas of the course when required in order to aid water infiltration.
Timing and dose of water application Irrigation occurs usually of an early morning or evening/night in order to minimise water loss through evapotranspiration.
Analysis of soil moisture Soil moisture measurements are regularly taken over all three courses, particularly on greens. This can ensure that only the required amount of water is needed to achieve moisture level targets and therefore no over-watering occurs, also preventing possible disease and pest outbreak.
Incorporation of evapotranspiration rates and weather data This is not yet incorporated into the irrigation system at Carnoustie Golf Links but the installation of a system to collect weather data and evapotranspiration rates has been heavily discussed and it is possible that it will be implemented in the near future
Use of wetting agents Wetting agents are regularly used across all three courses in order to improve water efficiency.
Targeting of sprinkler heads Angles and directions of sprinkler heads are fine-tuned across all three courses to only irrigate necessary areas.
Optimizing system pressure Irrigation system pressure is made optimal to reach a balance of being able to administer appropriate amounts of water without causing any water wastage.
Adoption of cutting edge nozzle technology Nozzles have all been upgraded to provide a range of various nozzles for differing spraying jobs.

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

Activity Description
Low-flow urinals and toilets Low-capacity holding tanks are present in toilets to use less water.
Use of water efficient appliances The use of water efficient appliances will be instigated in any new building or installation project.
Repairing leaks All leaks are promptly and thoroughly repaired to reduce any further water loss.


The Carnoustie Golf Links consumes over 1 million kWh of energy per year costing the club a total of £80,000. In the last year we had an energy audit carried out over the whole business and furthermore carried out a Data Logging exercise on our electricity usage at the Golf Centre and Greenkeeping Sheds so that we can we have a better understanding how & where our electricity is being used so that we can reduce usage where at all possible. Fuel oil is the main source for heat and power in the green keeper’s complex and it accounts for 44% of all energy used. Other inputs also come from gas and the electricity grid. The annual emissions produced by Carnoustie Golf Links amount to 327 t CO2 e. A report on energy consumption at Carnoustie Links has been recently conducted identifying a realistic target of a 25% reduction in energy use over the next 5 years through improving management practices, staff awareness, data recording as well as addressing methods for an increased efficiency in each of the golf course buildings and complexes.

Sources & Consumption

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

Title Author Date View document
Energy Audit Orchard Energy - Colin Porteous 2015/06/02 Download
Electricity Logging Report Orchard Energy - Colin Porteous 2016/07/27 Download

Consumption of renewable energy and resources at this golf facility:

2015 2014 2013
Biogas (Litres) 0 0 0
Biomass 0 0 0
First Generation Bio-Fuels (Litres) 0 0 0
Hydrogen (Litres) 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 (Litres) 0 0 0
Wood from sustainable sources 0 0 0

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

2015 2014 2013
Coal 0 0 0
Diesel (Litres) 43120 46073
Heating Oil (Litres) 5950 7165 5159
Hydraulic Oil (Litres) 225 410 350
LPG (Litres) 0 0 0
Natural Gas (Litres) 17686 17552 12314
Non-renewable Grid (kWh) 168130 151826 168119
Petrol (Litres) 5728 8512 6375
Propane / Butane (Litres) 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
Use of electric hybrid vehicles There is one electric golf utility vehicle present for the use of maintenance staff and the 11 diesel ride-on greens mowers are installed with electric drive motors instead of hydraulic ones.

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

Activity Description
Investment in low-energy heating and air conditioning systems The Energy Audit carried out by Orchard Energy highlighted how low energy heating systems can reduce energy consumption and where it may be possible to install such a system in the future.
Optimizing thermostat levels for heating and refrigeration The levels for heating and refrigeration are monitored weekly throughout the year and adjusted as required.
Upgrading of building insulation Any new buildings recently constructed have been established with decent levels of insulation.
Use of natural light (e.g. sunlight pipes) Golf Centre uses windows to make the most of natural lighting in atrium area.
Installation of low-energy lighting Use of low-energy light bulbs takes place.
Use of motion sensor lighting Motion sensor lighting is used in the Green staff buildings in areas such as toilets and change rooms which are only seldom used.
Transition to energy efficient appliances The use of energy efficient appliances will be employed should any current appliances need replacing.
Use of timers with appliances, heating and lighting Timers exist for lighting in some areas. Heating is also controlled by a timer in some parts of the golf course buildings.
Educating staff and customers Signs are present throughout staff offices and working areas reminding staff members to switch off lights when not in use.

Vehicles & Transport

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

Ride-on Mowers Walking Mowers Utility Vehicles
Petrol 0% 100% 0%
Diesel 100% 0% 92%
LPG 0% 0% 0%
Grid Electric 0% 0% 8%
Micro Renewable 0% 0% 0%
Hybrid 0% 0% 0%
Hydrogen 0% 0% 0%

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

Golf Carts Cars Buses
Petrol 20% 0% 0%
Diesel 0% 100% 0%
LPG 0% 0% 0%
Grid Electric 80% 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
Secure cycle parking Secure cycle storage exists on site; should a staff member decide to cycle then they can have full confidence that their bicycle will remain safely stored.
Increasing equipment storage (e.g. lockers) Three lockers are available to each member of staff for personal storage.
Staff showers Male & female showers are available to staff.
Tax breaking incentives for cycling Promotion of cycle-to-work campaigns are present where the Golf Links are able to fund the purchase of a bicycle by a staff member who then uses this to cycle to work regularly.

Supply Chain

Supply chains at Carnoustie Golf Links are predominantly focussed on turf management practices. By employing sustainable turf management practices such as integrated pest management, Carnoustie Golf Links can aim to reduce their supply chain and focus on producing the same outputs but with fewer inputs. Inputs such as fertilisers, pesticides, herbicides and insecticides can be reduced just by taking precautionary measures along with the establishment of effective monitoring regimes and data collection. Recycling occurs where possible at Carnoustie Golf Links and Fertiliser use at Carnoustie has continued to decrease from 2013 levels. The use of organic fertilisers where possible and spot-treatment techniques for herbicide and fungicide application has already proven to reduce nutrient application to the turf. The development of more detailed and comprehensive record keeping systems at Carnoustie has allowed us to better analyse usage of all materials.

Purchasing Policies

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

Activity Description
Use of local suppliers Where possible local suppliers are used.
Use of local products Business is kept local where possible. Gravel, building supplies, signs and stationary are all sourced from local suppliers.
Selection of certified products Fairtrade catering items are used such as tea, coffee and sugar.

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
Catering Supplies
Retail 29 1
Trade & Contractors 14 5 8
Maintenance Equipment 15 3 9
Course Supplies 54 18 22

Turfgrass Inputs

This golf facility undertakes the following IPM activities:

Activity Description
Encouraging drought and disease tolerant grasses Drought and disease tolerant grasses are encouraged throughout all three courses in order to reduce the amount of chemical applications needed.
Managing stress and wear Areas of stress and wear are spot-treated in order to aid recovery. Spot treatments of irrigation can occur as well as top-dressing and organic matter application. This reduces material use and environmental damage.
Enhancement of soil structure Soil structure is improved through the application of topdressing, made up of a compost/sand mix, as well as methods such as aeration and verti-cutting.
Optimization of the growing environment Slow-release organic based fertilisers are applied where appropriate to promote growth without overwhelming turf. Seaweed application is done regularly to increase turf health and provide a natural source of iron,hardening the turf and conditioning the soil. Chemical fertilisers are only used supplementary if required.
Managing thatch levels Topdressing, verti-cutting, scarification and aeration Is carried out across all three courses in order to reduce thatch build-up.
Managing surface moisture Moisture levels around all three courses are recorded regularly to ensure soil moisture is maintained at a target level. Aeration also takes place to reduce thatch levels and increase water infiltration. Brushing also takes place in order to remove dew and ultimately prevent disease outbreak.
Establishing thresholds for pests and disease Data collection and record keeping enables periods where the likelihood of disease and pest outbreaks are increased to be identified and mitigation efforts can then be stepped up. Data collection can also identify the least amount of inputs needed to protect against pest and disease outbreak.
Scouting for pests and diseases Daily scouting occurs for signs of disease and pest outbreak in order to preferably prevent outbreak or at least ensure that it is caught early resulting in minimal resource expenditure. Chemical pest control methods as a result have been very much reduced.
Monitoring / improvement of plant health Data collection and record keeping practices are implemented with regard to turf health with data such as moisture levels and turf visual assessment logged for all three courses. This also helps to identify times of the year when turf can become susceptible to disease and pest outbreak.

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

2015 2014 2013
Fairways - K - Inorganic 8.8 5.5 15.5
Fairways - K - Organic 2.1 3.5 6.9
Fairways - N - Inorganic 33.5 8.8 15.8
Fairways - N - Organic 4 4.8 6.2
Fairways - P - Inorganic 3.5 0.6 3.9
Fairways - P - Organic 2.9 2.9 2.3
Greens - K - Inorganic 49.9 34.4 66.1
Greens - K - Organic 0.6 9.1 1.4
Greens - N - Inorganic 43.6 49.8 63.1
Greens - N - Organic 5.5 13.3 13
Greens - P - Inorganic 16.4 1.8 9.1
Greens - P - Organic 1 1.9 1.5
Rough - K - Inorganic 2.3 1 2.5
Rough - K - Organic 0.4 0.9 1.6
Rough - N - Inorganic 3.4 1.6 1.6
Rough - N - Organic 0.7 1.6 1.2
Rough - P - Inorganic 1 0.7 0.5
Rough - P - Organic 0.4 0.7 0.5
Semi-Rough - K - Inorganic 2.3 1 2.5
Semi-Rough - K - Organic 0.4 0.9 1.6
Semi-Rough - N - Inorganic 3.4 1.6 1.6
Semi-Rough - N - Organic 0.7 1.6 1.2
Semi-Rough - P - Inorganic 1 0.7 0.5
Semi-Rough - P - Organic 0.4 0.7 0.5
Tees - K - Inorganic 54.4 7 62.3
Tees - K - Organic 0 2.3 0.6
Tees - N - Inorganic 81.8 28.2 54.7
Tees - N - Organic 6.6 11.2 5.6
Tees - P - Inorganic 10.2 0.7 9.4
Tees - P - Organic 0 0.3 1.3

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

2015 2014 2013
Fairways - Fungicide - Active Ingredient 0.07 0.19 0.02
Fairways - Fungicide - Total Weight 0.13 0.78 0.09
Fairways - Fungicide - Number of applications per year 1 3 1
Fairways - Herbicide - Active Ingredient 2.2 1.27 1.19
Fairways - Herbicide - Total Weight 5.66 3.65 2.2
Fairways - Herbicide - Number of applications per year 5 6 4
Fairways - Insecticide - Active Ingredient 0 0.08 0
Fairways - Insecticide - Total Weight 0 0.16 0
Fairways - Insecticide - Number of applications per year 0 2 0
Greens - Fungicide - Active Ingredient 3.99 2.29 5.5
Greens - Fungicide - Total Weight 12.84 6.66 14.83
Greens - Fungicide - Number of applications per year 10 9 8
Greens - Herbicide - Active Ingredient 1.33 0.93 0.81
Greens - Herbicide - Total Weight 3.6 2.94 3.43
Greens - Herbicide - Number of applications per year 3 4 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 0.4 0.33 0.24
Rough - Herbicide - Total Weight 1.04 0.96 0.58
Rough - Herbicide - Number of applications per year 14 13 12
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 0
Semi-Rough - Herbicide - Active Ingredient 0.2 0.21 0.11
Semi-Rough - Herbicide - Total Weight 0.51 0.65 0.24
Semi-Rough - Herbicide - Number of applications per year 7 6 7
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 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 0.39 3.44 1.83
Tees - Herbicide - Total Weight 1.97 6.54 4.68
Tees - Herbicide - Number of applications per year 2 4 5
Tees - Insecticide - Active Ingredient 0 0.35 0
Tees - Insecticide - Total Weight 0 0.69 0
Tees - Insecticide - Number of applications per year 0 1 0

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

Activity Description
Selection of appropriate products for specific pests and diseases If pest and disease outbreak does occur, products are selected carefully in order to make sure they are the most appropriate and most effective. Wormicide is used for potential worm outbreaks and fusarium used for fungicide treatments.
Spot-treatment with handheld sprayers and wipers Spot treatments with sprayers and wipers are conducted in areas where required.
Calibration and testing of sprayers All spraying equipment is tested and calibrated to ensure maximum spraying efficiency and minimal waste. Boom sprayers are MOT'd annually.
Use of shrouded sprayer and anti-drip nozzles Sprayer have the 3 sets of the latest anti-drift nozzles to allow us to be as efficient and effective as possible.
Non-chemical weed control Chemical weed control is only used when really necessary with physical treatments such as pulling, verti-cutting and grooming the more preferred methods.
Use of organic and biological products to improve plant health and resistance. Organic fertilisers are used as a source of nutrients throughout all three courses as is the use of seaweed which provides a supply of iron to the turf and also acts as a soil hardener and turf conditioner.

Waste Management

No waste audits have been undertaken at this golf facility.

This golf facility manages key waste streams as follows:

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

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

Activity Description
Separation of recyclable materials Separation of recyclable materials is undertaken before materials are provided to a local registered contractor.
Establishment of recycling centers The Carnoustie Golf Links are looking to establish an on-course centre for processing organic waste in the near future.
Returning clipping to fairways and walkways Return clippings to walkways. Returning too many clipping encourages poor turf health and requires larger inputs of aeration, top-dressing, irrigation and fungicide in order to recover and maintain.
Education of staff and customer education Constant communication with staff takes place regarding waste material and responsible use of materials. Golfers are provided with bins throughout the course to separate recyclable materials.

Pollution Control

With SSSI and SAC designations placed on the area to the south of Carnoustie Golf Links and this area also being a RAMSAR listed habitat for migratory birds, it is essential that outputs and waste generated from the Carnoustie Golf Links are kept minimal and are not able to damage this land in any way. The presence of the Barry Burn acting as a form of drainage through the course eventuating in the ocean is also a feature which needs to be treated with caution in regard to waste products. There are several precautions taken at Carnoustie to avoid waste water discharge into groundwater supplies or waterways, for example the provision of a no-spray buffer zone around water courses and the careful disposal of waste water that has been in contact with machinery. There is still room for improvement however, and these areas have been identified in recent ecological reports, such as the need for a soil waste recycling site to aid in solid waste disposal as well as an increase in awareness throughout the Carnoustie Golf Links community, including staff and members, regarding sustainable pollution prevention.

Water Analysis

This golf facility monitors water quality with the following frequency:

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

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 Septic Tank Yes
Wash Pad On-Site Treatment Plant N/A

Hazardous Materials

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

Secure Storage Registered Uplift
Detergents true false
Cooking Oils false false
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 All hazardous products are stored on covered, sealed, impervious areas.
Maintenance of equipment on covered, sealed impervious areas All equipment maintenance tasks are carried out on covered, sealed impervious areas such as within sheds.
Mixing of pesticides and fertilizers in covered areas Mixing of fertilisers is done in a covered area within a shed.
Mixing of pesticides and fertilizers over impervious surfaces All mixing of pesticides and fertilisers is done on impervious surfaces. Mixing of pesticides is done within close proximity to the waste-to-water treatment plant.
Installation of above-ground fuel tanks All diesel fuel and oil storage tanks are above ground and are funded to prevent leakages and spillages.
Installation of sufficient secondary containment for fuel All fuel tanks are bunded themselves with further concrete bunding outwith.
Provision of containment booms and absorbent materials Washdown water is treated using an above-ground Hydroscape system using ozone purification to filter outgoing waste water.

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 Spraying is timed to occur in dry periods so that run-off increase due to rainfall is not a threat.
Establishment of vegetative buffer strips around water bodies All water-bodies have bordering vegetation made up of species such as common reed and soft rush as well as other scrub.
Establishment of emergency spillage response plan No emergency spillage response plan exists at present, however if a spillage occurs in the process of mixing pesticides a waste-to-water treatment system is in place to deal with this.
Controlling erosion and sediment discharge Silt removal occurs within water-course after a license for this has now been acquired from SEPA. The banks of the Barry Burn are kept stable to prevent any erosion.
Establishment of pesticide-free zones A 2 metre no-spray zone is implemented around watercourses and water-features in order to reduce chemical run-off.


The Carnoustie Golf Links has a strong relationship with its stakeholders as well as the surrounding local community. It works in cohesion with the Carnoustie Resort located adjacent to the golf course. Additionally, the Carnoustie Golf Links works with local community groups an schools on certain projects and is continually becoming involved in community relations through attending meetings and dialogue with relevant groups/people. Carnoustie Golf Links is free-land and open to public access. Because of this, a number of pathways and open areas have been provided by the Golf Links to accommodate the public and signage has been established to ensure cooperation between golfers and the public. Carnoustie has previously worked with community groups representing responsible dog ownership to increase the number of dog waste receptacles and benefit not only the community but the course as well.

Employment & Education

Typical staffing levels at this golf facility are:

Full Time Part Time Seasonal
Club Management 10
Course Management 32 2 8
Retail & Leisure 4 1 1
Caddies 1
Other 7 1 9

This golf facility does not have a sustainability working group.

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

Activity Description
Storage, application and disposal of pesticides Formal training takes place for most members of greenstaff in regard to pesticide use through NPTC.
Efficient water management In-house education occurs regarding water efficiency. Staff members are encouraged to be conscious of this through signage and meetings.
Management of accidents and emergencies There are 12 first aid trained employees and a total of 12 employees qualified to use an AED defibrillator. There are also a select few staff members assigned as fire wardens and naturally formal evacuation procedures are in place along with the execution of regular fire drills.
Management of habitats and vegetation External sources such as STRI are used to give advice on management of vegetation and habitats. This is then used to create awareness throughout staff members regarding these topics.
Waste minimization, separation and recycling Informal education processes are in place to encourage recycling from staff members. These include the use of signage to encourage minimal waste and the separation of waste materials.
Health & Safety Five health and safety officers, trained at an intermediate level, are present amongst staff. They provide annual health and safety updates and training to the rest of the staff.
Energy Saving An informal education process. Staff are encouraged to save energy through turning off appliances such as computer monitors etc. Signs are also in place to remind staff to turn off lights when not in use. PIR's are gradually being installed to minimise usage of lighting.
Understanding of landscape and cultural heritage Information regarding landscape and cultural heritage is provided to staff members as required.
Environmental management planning Ecological and environmental management plans derived from outside sources such as STRI are then used to educate and raise awareness amongst staff members. An environmental committee consisting of staff members, golf members and surrounding land-owners also meet annually.

Community Relations

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

Activity Description
Neighbours Carnoustie Golf Links is public land and the public living in the neighbouring town are well catered for with provision of dog walking paths and signs. The Golf Links also works in a mutual relationship with the Carnoustie Hotel.
Local Government The local government in the area are the owners of the land on which Carnoustie Golf Links is situated, therefore there is a strong relationship between the two parties and regular communication on a number of matters.
Local Environmental Groups Carnoustie Golf Links works closely with the Scottish Environmental Protection Agency regarding water quality and advice on how water quality on all three courses can be improved.
Local Community Groups The Carnoustie Golf Links has assisted local community groups in the past such as the local group for Responsible Dog Ownership where funding from Carnoustie Golf Links helped to put in place receptacles for dog waste disposal in the surrounding area.
Carnoustie Golf Links, in partnership with "Carnoustie Capers", produced a leaflet and new signage for dog owners who use the golf courses in order to improve responsible dog ownership.
Media The Carnoustie Golf Links is present on a number of social media outlets such as Facebook and Twitter, as well as through their webpage. They are often involved with the local newspaper in the area as well. There is a Public Relations Sub Committee made up of Links Trustees.
Local Businesses Carnoustie Golf Links employs the use of some local businesses as suppliers and therefore have developed some relationships with local businesses in the region.
Schools & Colleges Carnoustie Golf Links are well involved with local schools with green-staff volunteering to do educational talks at local schools on a regular basis.
In 2015 a Operation Pollinator Area was was established in the Golf Links with pupils from the three primary schools from within the town helping sow wildflower seed.

Land Use & Cultural Heritage

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

Activity Description
Maintenance of existing public paths All public paths and trails are thoroughly maintained by the Carnoustie Golf Links to ensure the safety and enjoyment of visitors from the public.
Creation of new paths and nature trails The opening of a new core path for Angus Council took place in 2013 on Carnoustie Golf Links. The path provides public access and makes its away around the course boundary along the coastline.
Installation of effective and welcoming signage Effective signage has been put in place, particularly for visitors to the public land, outlining where it is safe to walk and what dangers walkers should keep an eye out for (e.g.: golf balls).
Providing opportunities for other recreation (e.g. fishing) Carnoustie Golf Links provides access to the nearby beach for members of the general public where a host of recreational activities can occur. Responsible dog walking is also encouraged throughout all three courses.
Partnership conservation and access projects (e.g. community woodland) A partnership conservation project with the Botanic Gardens has been established involving the plating of sea pea along the beach front in order to spread the incidence of this plant.

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:

  • Sports Turf Research Institute

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

Activity Description
Historic Features (Hedgerows / Dykes / Moats / Cairns etc) Barry Burn – Strucural integrity maintained and eutrophication avoided.


This golf facility undertakes the following internal environmental communications:

Activity Description
Provision of newsletters, notice boards & poster display A regular newsletter that is distributed by the Carnoustie Golf Links features relevant news to the course as well as environmental news and updates.
Course guides / brochures A guide for each of the three courses is available which not only provides outlines to the holes but also gives relevant environmental information throughout particular holes.
Interpretation panels & course signage Awareness is given to golfers if spraying is in progress and signs are also in place asking golfers and public visitors to keep to paths to prevent any trampling of vegetation.

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

Activity Description
Supporting campaigns Carnoustie supports the campaign of Operation Pollinator by establishing wildflower areas and bee boxes.
Attending community meetings It is not uncommon for Links Management Committee members to attend community meetings and become engaged with local community groups.
Joint practical projects with community Carnoustie Golf Links assisted the town and local community with the creation and presentation of the town entrances.