Hessian Golf Federation: Expansion of project Habitat Golf Course
The conclusion is positive: According to HGV President Christofer Hattemer, the Golf Course Habitat 2023 project, in which the Hessian Golf Association is cooperating with the Hessian Ministry of the Environment for the second year, has been a success so far. “We are continuously pursuing the project and have demonstrated great sustainability here,” he concludes. The ongoing contact and support of the clubs by employees of the environmental committee of the Hessian Golf Association ensures that the topic of “promoting biodiversity” is not forgotten. “At this point, it must be clearly stated that numerous topics such as property tax, rationalization, contribution increases and general costs are present in golf clubs and that the project Habitat Golf Coursemust therefore be brought to the forefront again and again.”
This is associated with success: 34 Hessian golf courses are now participating in Habitat Golf Course and 14 have already been certified. GC Wiesbaden will receive the next award in March. The participating clubs are characterized by the diversity of their projects, which can be completely different depending on regional circumstances.
Classic measures to increase biodiversity on golf courses include, for example, the construction of deadwood areas or cairns, the planting of orchards or the introduction of strip mowing in the meadows and rough areas beyond the fairways. However, the improvement of biodiversity through the use of seeds typical of the region is now also common practice at various golf courses in Hesse. The renaturation of the edges of the water areas, the erection of Benjes hedges or the installation of raptor perches complement the programs.
“The Hessian Golf Association has anchored nature and environmental protection in its statutes,” says Hattemer, underlining the association’s decision to position the sport of golf for the future by maintaining the golf courses in a way that conserves resources and protects the environment. “This focus is always a key point in discussions with the authorities.” In view of the fact that golf courses are repeatedly subject to critical scrutiny when it comes to renewing water abstraction permits, for example, it is essential to communicate the sustainable nature of the sport to the general public.
Premiere for the Hessian Bee Week
The golf course habitat project will therefore continue as in previous years and will even be slightly expanded in 2024. The HGV will launch the Hessian Bee Week for the first time in 2024. The association is based heavily on the South German Bee Week, which was previously organized by the golf associations in Bavaria and Baden-Württemberg. “Our aim here is also to generate constant attention for the topic of bees without overburdening the golf courses in terms of organization.” However, the feedback from golfers on the activities of the golf courses in terms of environmental protection and nature conservation is generally positive. The golf course habitat project, initiated in 2022, is now well established and an integral part of golf in Hesse.