Altenstadt golf course: nature conservation begins in detail

“Golf and the theme of nature simply belong together” – Markus Rott, club manager at theAltenstadt golf course in Hesse, looks over the slightly hilly terrain and is satisfied. The 27-hole facility, which opened with 18 holes in 2003 and was expanded in 2019, is well positioned when it comes to sustainability. A photovoltaic system operates on the roofs of the driving range and some outbuildings, which also powers the heat pump heating system. The four charging points for e-cars are also operated via this. The topic of renewable energies was always important to club president Peter Vetter, who got the first ideas for the golf course in Altenstadt during vacations in Canada.

Seven storage ponds ensure water security

The same applies to the supply of water, which was a problem for many golf courses in Hesse during summer 2022. In Altenstadt alone there are seven storage ponds, which are interconnected and are quite sufficient for the irrigation of greens and tees. There is no fairway sprinkler system on the course. In the absence of precipitation, the color of the fairways just adapts to the weather conditions. According to Rott, this is a measure the members fully understand.

The Hessian Golf Association’s Golf Course Habitat project is present in many places at the Altenstadt Golf Club. A deadwood pile was created as well as one or the other flowering strip. “We’re always trying to take out areas that aren’t in play here and then seed them with perennial mixes,” Rott notes with satisfaction. In addition, the hardrough areas are comparatively large. Fruit trees were sown on the C-plot. Even own bee colonies can now be found hidden in a quiet corner.
“We just try to continue in that direction whenever possible when we tackle new things,” Rott explains. In Altenstadt, new projects are usually implemented by the company itself, which is why President Vetter was also sitting on a larger excavator during our visit in order to tackle the next smaller construction project.

The influence of the Canadian stays cannot be denied. Between the newly laid out holes of the C course, there is a large biotope between holes 7 and 8, through which a classic wooden bridge leads. A small red tee sits in the middle of the area, otherwise the wetland with its dense growth is actually somewhat reminiscent of places in North America.

Grass paper score cards

The total area available for biodiversity measures is not huge. 75 acres are well filled with 27 holes, the spacious driving range, a large putting green and the appealing clubhouse. However, the understanding of progress in detail make the golf course interesting. The scorecards in Altenstadt, for example, are made of grass paper. “This is one of those small projects that can be done well,” Rott thinks. “Of course, in the beginning, one or two members were not so happy with the writing quality, but in the meantime everyone actually liked it.”
“Habitat Golf Course,” Rott said, is a wonderful entry-level project in nature conservation and environmental protection for a facility like Altenstadt. The bureaucratic effort relatively small and can be easily managed even during the season in the hectic everyday life. At the same time, however, support from specialist consultants provides the necessary input for new projects, which can then be implemented individually. In small steps, but consistently!