A strategy to accelerate the sustainability of turf management

Golf De Rigenée


Written by: Olivier Descampe, Christophe Descampe and Lucas Mercelis

Since 2018, regulations in Wallonia (Belgium) have imposed limitations on the use of fungicides and herbicides for turf management. Despite adapting to these restrictions, the impact has been significant, requiring a 20% increase in maintenance efforts. Turf disease outbreaks further impact the club's reputation and economic standing.

In response, we have developed a strategy grounded in a deeper understanding of nature, emphasising four key pillars: course layout optimisation, data monitoring, prevention analytics, and additional maintenance.

To reduce disease susceptibility, we strategically modified the course, including cutting and replanting over 100 trees around greens to improve air circulation (Pic #1). Through collaboration with a Software As A Service (SAAS) entrepreneur, specifically MAYA, we monitor crucial ground and turf indicators, correlating them with weather data and disease occurrences specific to our location (Pic #2).

Leveraging analytics, we crafted a decision algorithm to proactively initiate prevention activities (Pic #3). This has led to a significant increase (+20%) in course maintenance workload, necessitating appropriate adjustments in recruitment (Pic #4).

While addressing this unique challenge, we have capitalised on the opportunity to introduce more sustainable turf management initiatives. For example, leveraging data monitoring enables us to enhance water management efficiency.

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