GC Memmingen successfully joins Golf and Nature.

The Memmingen Gut Westerhart Golf Club in Germany received the second award of the year. In May, the golf course was honored with the “Blossoming Golf Course” award from Bavaria’s Environment Minister Thorsten Glauber, and the golf club has now received the “Golf&Nature” Bronze certificate from the German Golf Association (DGV). Gunther Hardt, head of the “Biodiversity” working group at the DGV, presented the award. “Great job! Great work!” Hardt praised all the honorary club members who worked actively for this award. After all, 17 folders of documents on greenkeeping, permits and occupational safety had accumulated. “No pain, no gain,” says Dr. Hardt.

How is a golf course certified?

The participating golf course carries out an inventory based on the DGV guidelines from “Golf & Nature”. A development plan is then drawn up. It is important that the plant itself defines measures that help it develop in an environmentally friendly and sustainable manner. There are three levels of award – bronze, silver and gold. The quality certificate was introduced in 2005 by the DGV. Of the almost 730 golf courses in Germany, not even 200 are certified because, according to Hardt, those responsible often shy away from the costs and the assessment process. “Anyone who takes part is fit for the challenges of the future.” The certificate is divided into four main areas: nature and landscape, care and play, occupational safety and environmental management as well as public relations and infrastructure.

“We would have liked to have taken part in this program earlier, but unfortunately the organizational framework of the club didn’t allow it,” says Christian Montén. The amount of time required, at least at the beginning, was incredibly large, according to the club manager: “Since we golf courses are always short in terms of staff, we had to proceed according to priority and only started the program after it was clear that we needed active support from volunteers get club members. According to Montén’s estimate, the bronze badge required around 500 hours of work. The club manager: “The documentation requirement was much more complex than expected, which also applies to the follow-up work.”

Nevertheless, the effort for GC Memmingen Westerhart was worth it. Numerous projects have proven to be really useful from Montén’s point of view: “The area “wild bee identification” and the result is certainly something that we are particularly proud of. But also the area of nesting boxes, honey bees and workshop construction with oil separators is something that is particularly close to our hearts.”

Text: Jürgen Rasemann