GC Freudenstadt wants to further promote biodiversity
GC Freudenstadt will continue to rely on the Habitat Golf Course project as one of the pillars of its success in the future. “Nature is, of course, one of the biggest assets on this golf course,” sums up President Gisela Gaiser. This is one of the reasons why the golf club, which was founded in 1929 and is thus one of the oldest in the Baden-Württemberg Golf Association, participates both in the Golf & Nature project of the German Golf Association and in “Habitat Golf Course” of the Baden-Württemberg Golf Association. In the latter, the Golf Association also maintains a cooperation with the country’s Ministry of the Environment. The aim of the cooperation is the sustainable promotion of biodiversity.
High habitat connectivity
Golf courses, with their large contiguous compensatory areas, can provide connectivity for important wildlife and plant habitats. Even with a rather manageable size for an 18-hole golf course, such as the 40 hectares in Freudenstadt, numerous different habitats can be found. “We have created deadwood areas, set up insect hotels, bee colonies on the site, three ponds and some biotope areas that are not allowed to be entered at all,” Gisela Gaiser lists. In addition, various perennial flowering meadows have been established in recent years. “Due to the fact that we are located at an altitude of 700 meters, choosing the right seed mix was not so easy,” notes groundskeeper Wolfgang Mäder. Here, with the help of the Freudenstadt city nursery, it was finally possible to find the right seeds.
Tree care and water management
Particularly in the case of the water areas, it is also a question of protecting them from scrub encroachment. “The various water ditches are professionally cleared by us every year,” Mäder points out of annually recurring square work. Gisela Gaiser, who refers to the numerous tasks of the golf club in the course of the tree care, also sums up that one is always in a good contact with the lower nature protection authority. “We will be replanting 21 trees this fall after having to cut down others for safety reasons.” In doing so, the tree selection is made in such a way that the challenges of climate change can be met.
Finally, during the extremely dry summer of 2022, the golf facility has already recorded on the golf course’s birch trees how hard some plants have struggled with the low water supply. The golf course has suffered noticeably from the drought, according to board members. “We don’t sprinkle our fairways anyway and only use the water for the greens and tees,” Gaiser notes. In addition, the golf course has started to gradually replace older sprinklers with modern models, which also helps to save water. Sustainable water management, according to the slogan at GC Freudenstadt, is undoubtedly a task that every golf facility has to face.
At least most of the drought damage on the fairways has since recovered. So the last weeks of the season can be used to the full. Especially in autumn, the site scores with its enormous tree population. Then the golf course habitat can be experienced in all its color diversity.