How wildflower meadows on your golf course create a win-win situation

16 Feb 2022

How wildflower meadows on your golf course create a win-win situation

On average, approximately 50% of the land a course sits on is used for golf. That means there’s often an opportunity to do more with the areas that aren’t in-play and creating wildflower patches or meadows can be an easy and valuable action to take.  

According to research from Cambridge University, at least 37% of bee and 31% of butterfly species are in decline across Europe alone. And it’s a similar story across North America and other parts of the world. This is important because pollinators are an essential part of our food production. According to the UN, almost 75 per cent of the world’s crops that produce seeds and fruit for human consumption rely on pollinators.

In the UK, only around 2% of the meadows that existed in the 1930’s remain today. As custodians of large living landscapes, golf has space to make a difference, creating better environments for golfers and wildlife alike. By planting wildflower meadows, golf courses can also save time and money through less maintenance and fewer inputs such as water. More and more golf courses around the world are leaning into this win-win situation. 

Golf Club Klosters, Switzerland

Here are just a few examples of clubs that can inspire you to provide more habitat for pollinators through planting wildflower meadows: 

Sam Reid, Head Greenkeeper at GEO Certified The Grove shares his thoughts: “After looking at OnCourse we decided to seed wildflower varieties on our out of play areas in 2016 and the results have been very encouraging. We currently have 1.5Ha established over the course and estate on areas that would otherwise have no use. It has transformed the areas into a wonderful space that provides pollination, habitats and a backdrop golfer’s and guests love.” 

One of the many great things about embarking on your sustainable golf journey is that there are always new ideas to bring into your day-to-day practices, and many of them are simple and low or no cost. 

There is a growing group of club and course managers who are stepping up this year to Do One Thing #ForSustainableGolf and then another and another, building momentum for a more sustainable future and a better reputation for golf. Here are three ideas to get you started: 

If you enjoyed this article, you may also want to read how to save time and money through naturalization

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