Biodiversity a strong theme for the Schleswig-Holstein Golf Association

Biodiversity remains a core topic for the Schleswig-Holstein Golf Association in 2023. For Germany’s northernmost golf association, the promotion of biodiversity is a building block of the successful management of a golf facility. “We want to approach the clubs at the start of the season and make them aware of this topic again, which is of course also strongly related to the Golf & Nature project of the German Golf Association,” explains Nico Nissen as Golf & Nature representative of the Golf Association.

Golf courses are excellent in promoting biodiversity

In this context, numerous golf courses in Schleswig-Holstein already deliver excellent work when it comes to the creation of flowering meadows, the promotion of heath areas or other habitats. The promotion of biodiversity is just one part of the large topic area of sustainability. But for the golf courses, it is so important because they have many possibilities to protect fauna & flora due to their mostly large extensive areas.

Also, therefore, the office manager of the golf federation Schleswig-Holstein Kolja Hause, one is already for some time with the Ministry for the Environment in Schleswig-Holstein in contact, in order to speak about possible cooperation. However, it is essential, Hause said, that there are no disadvantages or significant additional work for the golf courses in the context of possible cooperation.

Grants for Golf & Nature

How strong the federation’s commitment is with the topic of Golf & Nature, also proves the fact that one will subsidize 2023 again the certifying in bronze with 500 euros. In addition, Nico Nissen will conduct a free initial meeting with interested clubs to go over the project process, necessary documentation, and upcoming questions. The main aim is to disprove the prejudice that certification at Golf & Nature involves an enormous amount of work. “A good 25 % of all golf courses in Schleswig-Holstein are now certified under Golf & Nature,” says Nissen. “In doing so, it’s important to recognize that facilities gain significant standing, especially when working with government agencies if they can demonstrate that they are well positioned in terms of occupational health and safety, conservation, and all regulations.” This argument has, for example, also prompted the Mittelholsteinischer Golf Club Aukrug 2022 to commit to the project of “Golf & Nature”.

According to Kolja Hause, the variety of activities on the golf courses with regard to the promotion of biodiversity needs even more communication to the general public “In 2023, we will therefore hold a theme week for the first time, which will focus on the biodiversity projects of the clubs in terms of communication,” explains the office manager. From May 8 to 12, the most important social media channels will be used in cooperation with the journalist Petra Himmel to report on all the advantages that golf offers in the area of biodiversity.

Networking of groundskeepers

With more challenges facing golf courses in the wake of weather extremes and the planned tightening on pesticide use, they will also hold a course maintenance meeting in 2023, which was a success when it debuted in 2022. The exchange of experiences and the transfer of knowledge all will become increasingly important for golf facilities in the future. The 2023 program, Hause finds, offers a whole range of assistance to golf clubs looking to increase their focus on all things green.