New sustainability standards for golf courses presented

With the publication of the new Sustainable Golf Development Standard, the GEO Foundation, Europe’s largest golf certifier, has set new benchmarks for the development, design and construction of golf courses. The second edition sets out guidelines that are effective immediately on a total of 46 pages.

On the one hand, it is about the sensible selection of the site, the necessary implementation of studies on the negative effects on the ecology or the observance of regulations during construction and design. Since the new standards do not refer to a single country, but apply globally to the development and construction of golf courses, the information is very broad and does not contain any guideline values or specific building materials. However, it is pointed out, for example, that the use of petrol in carts should be avoided or that largely recycled materials must be used on the golf course.

DACH region with extremely high standards

With regard to the development of new golf courses in German-speaking countries, the requirements, which also include the protection of fauna, flora and sensitive landscape structures, are likely to be largely met anyway, since otherwise approval is usually hardly possible. While in Germany, Austria and Switzerland approval procedures for golf courses usually include a statement on nature conservation anyway, golf courses in other parts of the world, whether in the USA, South America or Asia, often have far fewer specifications for landscape and nature conservation.

The new standards were developed by a seven-person group of experts, including representatives from the American Society of Golf Course Architects, the Society of Australian Golf Course Architects, the European Institute of Golf Course Architects, golf course construction, the European Commission and Wetlands International. The determination of the standards was based on the ISEAL Alliance’s Code of Good Practice for Standard Setting .