Environmental education on the golf course

More and more golf courses are addressing the issue of environmental education on the golf course. A high level of interest in environmental and climate protection, is a good start for environmental workshops on the golf course. This is a topic that particularly concerns young people at the moment.

According to the representative study “Future? Youth ask! – 2021”, for which the German Federal Environment Agency (UBA) and the German Federal Ministry for the Environment (BMUV) commissioned surveyed more than 1,000 young people aged 14 to 22, this area of life is one of the four most important issues for young people in Germany. 85 percent of the young people surveyed think environmental and climate protection is important.

Wittelsbacher Golf Club: Nature excursions during school project days

The Wittelsbacher Golf Club (WBGC) has also recently included the topic of environmental education in its offerings. Visitors are not only introduced to the fauna and flora of the renowned course in Upper Bavaria during open days, but recently also during project days for children and young people.

Most recently, there was a nature excursion in the form of an “environmental lesson” for 7th grade students on the square south of the Danube as part of the project days of the Neuburg Descartes Gymnasium. During three project days, the first hour of each day was spent exploring nature on the golf course. “We want to show the children what a wonderful environment a golf course is in,” says WBGC Managing Director Korbinian Kofler.

The children learn as much about natural areas and biotopes as they do about forest structures during the nature excursion led by Kofler and a long-time and knowledgeable member. Bird mapping, honey bees, pheasants, rabbits and bats. “We can explain very well and vividly here what biodiversity entails,” Kofler says. “It’s nice to be able to showcase the natural spectacle that is the golf course.”

“Ambassador for diversity”

A classic for Kofler is the point in the program where the young naturalists are asked to estimate, in front of a large oak tree, how many children are needed to “hug” this gigantic tree trunk together on the estate. Once the necessary six to seven children have been found, Kofler says the participants are often seriously impressed by the large dimensions of a tree trunk. Likewise, Kofler experiences shining children’s eyes and interested questions during other nature observations. “The beauty of it is that the kids don’t tune out for a second,” the WBGC executive director says of his experience during the “environmental lesson.”

In the golf courses offered following this lesson, the Wittelsbacher Golfclub is then indeed concerned with getting children interested in golf and the club. With the nature excursions, however, the vice president of the Bavarian Golf Association hopes for something completely different. “We’re not making any promises, but we want to create awareness of a golf course. It is our intention to have someone leave our golf course as an ambassador for diversity on a golf course,” Kofler said.

The GC Erding-Grünbach recently experienced a lot of curiosity about the environment from young people. On July 18, 2023, the club north of Munich had organized an environmental education day for children from the surrounding elementary school and kindergarten as part of its 50th anniversary. From beehives to stories about tree and plant species, the kids got to see the full nature program in action. A jar of honey and information on environmental projects such as the Blühpakt Bayern and GolfBiodivers were then added.