Quartet of Golf Courses Honoured in 2019 IAGTO Awards

Monday 22 October 2018

Four golf venues in Italy, Portugal, Oman and New Zealand have won accolades in the 2019 IAGTO Sustainability Awards.

The IAGTO Sustainability Awards represent the pinnacle of a strategic partnership between global golf tourism trade association IAGTO (International Association of Golf Tour Operators) and non-profit golf sustainability body, the GEO Foundation, and recognise excellence in environmental and social responsibility.

IAGTO 2019 Awards 6439x3691They were announced as part of the annual IAGTO Awards at a gala dinner attended by 1,200 international golf tourism delegates at the Ljubljana Exhibition & Convention Centre at the end of the 21st International Golf Travel Market (IGTM) in Slovenia’s capital, Ljubljana.

 Northern Portugal’s Vidago Palace becomes only the second Special Award recipient.

The other three 2019 IAGTO Sustainability Awards winners are:

IAGTO Sustainability Award for Resource Efficiency: Gardagolf Country Club, Italy

IAGTO Sustainability Award for Community Value: Al Mouj Golf, Oman

IAGTO Sustainability Award for Nature Protection: Jack’s Point Golf Club, New Zealand

 Jonathan Smith, GEO Foundation Chief Executive, said: “Once again we have found ourselves reviewing an outstanding and inspiring set of golf facilities dedicated to sustainability in and through golf. The winners this year highlight the fact that sustainability takes many forms within golf in different locations and has the potential to improve the land and the lives of people who come into contact with it. We would like to congratulate the winners and thank all the facilities which always make these awards such a difficult, but enjoyable decision-making process each year. ”

IAGTO Chief Executive Peter Walton added: “I am delighted with the impact that our Sustainability Awards have made over the five years since 2014. Our focus on resource efficiency, nature protection and community engagement is designed to both encourage best practice in these specific areas and also allow us to flag up some of the really tremendous achievements that so many of our member golf courses are making in all aspects of sustainability. Since we teamed up with the GEO Foundation back in 2012 more than 180 of our golf courses have enrolled in GEO’s new OnCourse® programme and we are committed to keeping environmental sustainability, economic viability and sustainable growth at the heart of the golf tourism industry.”

2019 IAGTO Sustainability Awards Winners GEO citations:



Vidago Palace: Special Award for Outstanding Commitment to Sustainable Golf

“This year for only the second time, in an occasional special discretionary award, Vidago Palace Golf Course, in Portugal, is celebrated as a club which has displayed an exemplary and ongoing commitment to sustainability, showcasing the exceptional contributions or actions which have resulted in the facility’s recently renewed GEO Certified® status among other media coverage, national and international recognition and awards participation. Vidago Palace has been selected due to its outstanding and inspiring work as a minimal impact golf course, in harmony with its natural environment. The facility’s commitment and practices to use resources efficiently, enhance the already sensitive landscape and provide positive community value are also highlighted through this award.”

Al Mouj Golf, Oman: IAGTO Sustainability Award for Community Value

“For its outstanding charitable work and social inclusivity programmes, Al Mouj Golf in Muscat, Oman, wins this year’s Community category for demonstrating just how beneficial golf can be to local people and tourism, and how valuable the game is to businesses in the greening of the industry’s supply chain. Annual charity events for autism helps raise significant money and awareness; flexible golf days and membership categories make golf available to all; coaching and junior programmes encourage the next generation of players; multi-functional facilities place golf side by side with other healthy pursuits and lifestyles; and supporting local farmers with native vegetation waste for camel feed – all of which makes Al Mouj a clear leader and champion for sustainability in golf.”

Jack’s Point Golf, New Zealand: IAGTO Sustainability Award for Nature Protection

“Jack’s Point Golf, in New Zealand, wins the 2019 Nature category due to its extraordinary preservation of the breathtaking natural landscape. Completed in 2008, the course construction was so sensitive that only 5% of the entire 3,000-acre site will ever be touched. A range of natural materials were utilised, with recycled on-site materials incorporated as much as possible, including local wood and stone. Man-made structures were sited appropriately below sight lines and away from natural bluffs and elevated areas. The legislation was in place to ensure the open grassland habitat and rocky terrain (appropriately named ‘The Remarkables’ mountain range) will always be protected and the club is absolutely committed to the preservation of the environment. Wetland habitats were created and existing ones regenerated with improved water quality, previously degraded by pollution from livestock farming. The course has its own irrigation supply and wastewater treatment system.”

Gardagolf Country Club, Italy: IAGTO Sustainability Award for Resource Efficiency

“Following a hugely successful Italian Open this year, where sustainability visibility was at the forefront, Gardagolf Country Club has been selected as the Resources category winner for 2019. A new ultra-modern irrigation system was recently installed for precise and minimal applications to the required playing surfaces only. Over the past year, course management has been free of any pesticides, in preparation for an increasingly organic approach to turfgrass health. Energy consumption is closely monitored, which greatly assists in resource management decisions and future investments in technology. Course management also keeps a keen eye on increasing no/low maintenance out-of-play areas to boost the available space for habitats and biodiversity.”

Over 1,500 golf facilities worldwide have participated in GEO’s OnCourse® programme dedicated to sustainability, with 244 GEO Certified® facilities in 29 countries to date.

The 2019 IAGTO Sustainability Awards shortlist in full:

Mission Hills Haikou, China

Prince's Golf Club, England

Le Golf National, France

Golf de la Sainte Baume, France

Golf du Rhin, France

Terre Blanche Golf, France

Golf de Servanes, France

Golf d'Hardelot, France

Is Arenas Golf & Country Club, Italy

Terme di Saturnia Golf Club, Italy

Golf Club Varese, Italy

Golf della Montecchia, Italy

Golf Club La Pinetina, Italy

Golf Club Carimate, Italy

Gardagolf Country Club, Italy

Moon Palace Golf & Spa Resort, Mexico

Remuera Golf Club, New Zealand

Royal Wellington Golf Club, New Zealand

Jack's Point Golf, New Zealand

Al Mouj Golf, Oman

Belas Clube de Campo, Portugal

Vidago Palace Golf Course, Portugal

Gleneagles, Scotland

Castle Stuart Golf Links, Scotland

Machrihanish Dunes Golf Club, Scotland

Carnoustie, Scotland

Dundonald Links, Scotland

Kingsbarns, Scotland

Turnberry, Scotland

Lumine Golf Club, Spain

Oliva Nova, Spain

La Galiana, Spain

Club Golf d'Aro Mas Nou, Spain

PGA Catalunya Resort, Spain

Emirates Golf Club, Dubai

Dubai Creek Golf & Yacht Club, Dubai

PGA National, Florida

• For comments and press releases from 2019 IAGTO Sustainability Awards winners and the overall 2019 IAGTO Awards press release, click on www.iagto.com/awards.

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