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Golf course habitat project to be expanded in Hesse

The Hessian Golf Association is expanding its Golf Course Habitat project. “In 2022, we ramped up this measure from zero to 100, which has earned us a lot of acceptance from golfers,” sums up HGV President Christofer Hattemer. “In 2023, we want to motivate more golf facilities to participate and also conduct recertification at the first golf facilities.”

Free introduction to the topic of biodiversity

30 clubs are now participating in this joint campaign by the Golf Association and the Hessian Ministry of the Environment, which aims to further promote biodiversity on the extensive areas of golf courses. For the golf courses, participation in the “Golf Course Habitat” project is free of charge. A consultant from the Hessian Environmental Committee visits the site and analyzes its potential for improvement in terms of biodiversity projects that are straightforward to implement and involve little or no cost. 24 clubs have already received such an advisory visit.

As a result, deadwood piles are often created as new habitat, riparian edges are optimized in planting, and the handling of dead trees is discussed. Better placement of nesting boxes or trimming of scattered fruit trees are also often an issue.

Golf facilities that participate in Habitat Golf Course again in 2023 will go through a recertification process. In addition, successful participation in the project is confirmed by a certificate from the Hessian Ministry of the Environment, which is presented at a joint event with the responsible State Secretary Oliver Conz.

Water management becomes top issue

Independently of the topic of biodiversity, however, the topic of water management 2023 is also an essential complex that the association intends to tackle. “The drought of the past few years has shown us that we need to continue to think about how we can reduce water use on golf courses,” Hattemer sums up. A change in the mood among golfers is certainly discernible: While dark green, heavily watered fairways and greens were expected a few years ago, the majority of players have now become accustomed to drier playing surfaces. “In many areas of Hesse, the water table has dropped significantly, and we as golfers must also respond to this with sensible measures.”