GC Bad Rappenau focuses on nature awareness

Nothing remains of the monotony of a sugar beet field. “There are hardly any sports facilities that do more for nature than golf courses,” says Melanie Appel, looking down at hole 9 of the GC Bad Rappenau. The 18-hole course is located on 72 hectares of rolling hills in Baden-Württemberg. The area is undeveloped, a landscape conservation area borders. If you are looking for peace, you will find it here. In the years since the club was founded in 1989, the facility has “somehow become a natural paradise of its own accord,” sums up the club manager.

Raise awareness among members

The “nature” factor in Bad Rappenau was never really considered as a topic. The numerous orchards, the large flower meadows between the holes, the streams and small ponds make up the character of the golf course. It was only with the project “Habitat Golf Course” of the Baden-Württemberg Golf Association, in which the GC Bad Rappenau took part, that the topic of nature came more into focus.

Above all, the topic of communication will be the task for the near future: “We still have to sharpen the perception of the topic among our members,” explains Gisela Müller, the chairwoman of the association, which takes care of youth golf, nature conservation and landscape conservation. Basically, the club with its historic clubhouse has a lot to offer in terms of biodiversity: the flower meadows between numerous holes are one of the features of the facility. They have not yet fallen victim to the tendency to mow any rough that is often found on golf courses. A cooperation with a local farmer saves the club the mowing work and at the same time ensures the promotion of plant and insect diversity.

To date, there has hardly been any time on the golf course for organizing biological surveys, bird counts, cooperation with nature conservation associations. “We have to do everything on a voluntary basis,” explains Müller. But there is a lot going on in this area: The young people are obliged to harvest apples once a year as part of a training session, a hornet’s nest was recently hung up and the cleaning of the overgrown stream is just as important as the professional pruning of the fruit trees. Instead of the dead specimens, which have to be removed, old native fruit varieties are to be planted in the future.

1300 euros collected for wild bee project

The results of the bird survey, which is currently being carried out in cooperation with the local NABU, should also be exciting. Due to the numerous large hedges, the unspoilt location and the large trees, the variety of birds on the site is great. The nest box campaign with a local special needs school also falls into this category. Storks don’t nest yet, but at least they use the nest.

The interest in the membership for the topic of nature on the golf course is obvious: During the Southern German Bee Week, 1300 euros were raised for a wild bee project that is to be created as a supplement to the honey bee program that is being carried out with a local beekeeper. The emaciation of a meadow area is also planned.

Plenty of projects for a club that is otherwise already well covered with everyday business and the Corona measures. According to Melanie Appel, the subject of “Habitat Golf Course” is becoming increasingly important: After all, the golf course scores with its peace and nature, especially with new golfers. A real competitive advantage over other sports.