GC Husumer Bucht: The game of golf is guided entirely by the wind

There is rarely a quiet evening mood over the Husumer Bucht golf course: “Storm Course” is its name, based on the famous Husum writer Theodor Storm. But somehow you are reminded of the English word “storm” when you talk about the character of this golf course: “In terms of climate technology, this is a challenge in terms of maintenance,” says head greenkeeper Marten Schurig, commenting on the location near the Lake. “Due to the constant wind, we always struggle with dehydration here.” One thing is certain: at GC Husumer Bucht, many of the golf courses are British-style. In any case, the course strategy provides for a flat ball flight and a long roll-out phase of the ball.

Targeted golf & nature in silver

The GC Husumer Bucht is one of the newcomers to the “Golf & Nature” program of the German Golf Association. In 2020, the first certification phase was completed with bronze, and now the goal is silver certification. With lush plantings covering the 74-hectare site, the golf course is ideal for biodiversity programs. 40,000 trees and shrubs have been planted since the course was first planned to be built in 1987. Native orchards can be found between the tracks. The typical North German knicks, which birds like to use, are plentiful here. The golf club has planted a total of seven hectares of forest. Kingfisher and Woodcock have settled down. Anyone who does a round on the flat golf course and tries to keep their ball in play on the quite narrow lanes in strong winds is a challenge.

But that is also reminiscent of places in Great Britain: the game is guided by nature. On a damp, windless day, the lanes are comparatively easy to play. On a blustery day and dry ground, maneuvering the ball onto one of the small greens seems almost impossible.

For the greenkeeper Marten Schurig, the system does not offer much luxury: The sprinkler system meets the basic requirements, which is why Schurig’s approach to water management is relatively simple. “Fairway irrigation is not an issue here. We get by with little water for greens and tees.”

According to Nico Nissen, who is responsible for organization at the Schleswig-Holstein Golf Association, the Golf & Nature program can help to prioritize important quality management tasks, especially for smaller facilities such as the GC Husumer Bucht . After all, basic projects such as a decent workplace, good electricity and water supply and the maintenance of machines are just as much a part of Golf & Nature as measures to promote environmental protection. Club manager Florian Fleischmann sees it the same way: “For us as a golf course, the issue of environmental protection and nature conservation is important because it is becoming more and more important.”

Dry periods are increasing

After all, here, too, people are increasingly struggling with the consequences of climate change: “We’re missing spring completely now,” Schurig stated. “In the meantime, we are playing handicap here until November. And in spring, the transition from the cold to the dry phase occurs without gradations.” Schurig has been here at the facility for 15 years, actually he comes from Saxony. But he has learned to appreciate the far north – storm included.