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Positive deviance of sustainable golf

The Spanish Biogolf project
The project is founded and promoted by the FIDA, a Nature Conservancy organization in the Madrid area, supported by the Spanish Golf Federation and the municipality of Madrid. Also the Open de España is communicating the initiative. The aim of the Biogolf project is to preserve biodiversity on and around golf courses. It started with a pilot at the Centro Nacional de Golf in Madrid.

The public opinion is often focused at the negative impacts of golf courses such as the intensive water usage and the impact on the environment. However, golf courses could also serve as recreational areas that bridges urban areas with the natural environment. Golf courses can form an important reservoir for biodiversity and with the Biogolf project, the Spanish organizations want to emphasize the positive effects of golf courses on the environment. 

The Centro Nacional de Golf is build on former waste dump and is located close to the natural area of Muro del Monte del Pardo. The course therefore moderates in between a protected area and the city of Madrid.

Hacking to create a healthy bird population

The Biogolf project introduces birds, such as owls and falcons, that are raised in captivity back into the wild by using the ‘hacking’ method. Young falcons are trained to reach their hunting capacity by giving them exercise and experience. Once the birds are confident and independent, they are released into the wild. With the installation of nest boxes around the golf course, breeding space is created for birds of prey and for insect-eating birds. The underlying thought is that a healthy bird population controls the amount of insects that are attracted to the numerous water hazards at the golf course.

The Biogolf project is providing nest boxes for bats and nocturnal animals such as owls. Also invasive species are controlled, more vegetation is provided at the waterside and the habitat for amphibians and reptiles is increased. This makes the Biogolf project an outstanding example on protecting the biodiversity at a golf course.

 
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A Sustainable Golf Program: Golf & Natur

Improved quality, better play, greater future
Golfclub München Eichenried, home of the BMW International Open in 2011, showcased some interesting sustainable initiatives. Last year, the golf course achieved silver certification in the German 'Golf & Natur' program. Golf courses are increasingly working on environmental issues such as water management and biodiversity. The largest golf event in Germany started to become more aware of its environmental impact and the golf course is now one of the 100 golf courses in Germany that are participating in the 'Golf & Natur' initiative.
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Benchmark your golf course today!

Compare your golf course with top courses from around the world
Sustainability is arguably the most important issue affecting golf development today. A sustainable golf course is not only more efficient, it also ensures a better reputation. The Sustainable Golf Project benchmarks global golf courses on sustainability in order to help golf courses gain insight into how to become a (more) sustainable golf course.
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What is the Sustainable Golf Project?

In the past, sustainability was viewed as a giant risk factor. Today it is a true business opportunity for eco-efficiencies and reputation improvement as well as a source of innovation. Since 2010 the Sustainable Golf Project is helping golf courses and events turn their footprint into profit.
 
 

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