GC Odenwald: 72 hectares of pure nature
Pure nature, unobstructed views, pure relaxation – that’s what golfers experience when they stand on one of the tees of the 18-hole course at GC Odenwald. In the thoroughly hilly terrain of the Hessian club, which Vice President Kersten Preussler dubs a “sporting challenge,” the view almost never falls on residential or industrial buildings. The principle of the “Golf Course Habitat” project, which is being carried out bythe Hessian Golf Association in cooperation with the Hessian Ministry of the Environment, can be easily implemented here: The 72-hectare golf course proliferates with huge hedges, fallow areas, forest edges, watercourses. Away from the fairways, fauna & flora have developed magnificently for over 40 years.
Upgrading together with the HGV
And yet: Even this facility can be upgraded in terms of biodiversity, which is why Preussler has been working on new projects together with HGV consultant Bodo Rüdiger over the past year. The facility has created additional deadwood areas, planted scattered fruit trees, and also taken care of enhancing about 7,000 square feet of wildflower meadows. If you let your eyes wander, you will see the perches for the birds of prey distributed between the tracks, and with a bit of luck you will also discover one or two small amphibians in the piles of stones.
Stepping stone biotopes that help insects and small animals migrate between their habitats are always present here. Given the size of the hedge structures, which have developed greatly since the facility was built in 1980, it’s no wonder that you’re accompanied by birdsong every time you strike. Rare species such as the red-backed shrike are also native to the GC Odenwald. The beekeeper, who keeps six hives here and initially feared that he might have to feed them because of a lack of food on the golf course, has long since been converted. The honey from the golf course in the Odenwald is very well received.
Like many other golf clubs in Hesse, this facility also has problems with water. After the extreme drought year of 2022, the requirements for water withdrawal have become more stringent, are linked to the water levels of a stream. This has significant implications for the golf club. The construction of a storage pond is pending in order to always have water available in an emergency storage tank. The investment is substantial, but unavoidable.
Factor nature an advertising medium
After all: At this point the foresight of the previous board members of the GC Odenwald makes itself positively felt. “We’ve actually always made an effort to have the club own the land, gradually buying up small plots of land,” Preussler explains. Therefore, the land is almost completely owned by the association, which creates much better financing conditions for larger construction projects.
The future of the GC Odenwald seems to be secured by this, especially since the factor “nature”, which can be used here, attracts more and more golfers. Breathe out, relax, tee off – in this case, the golf course habitat is also good for people.