Summer tour of State Secretary Baumann at Freiburg GC

From theory to practice: State Secretary Dr. Andre Baumann learned how tedious the implementation of intervention and compensation areas is in the daily work for golf clubs during his visit to the Freiburg Golf Club. While the politician was inspecting the plants on the valuable rough grassland of the golf course at hole eleven, club president Georg-Wilhelm von Oppen referred to the positive results of years of work. “Actually, for years, we did nothing but mow once a year and then haul the clippings away.”

However, the Freiburg GC has now been using the turned seeds of this mown material, so-called hayrush, to convert species-poor compensation areas outside the site for years. The development of these meadows is continuously followed via monitoring. However, it is clearly visible from the trial strips that the areas with seed from the rough grassland meadow on the Dreisam River develop significantly better.

For Dr. Andre Baumann, who has now visited various golf courses as part of the Baden-Württemberg Golf Association’s Habitat Golf Course project with the state’s Ministry of the Environment, the rough grassland meadow on the Dreisam once again shows the potential that golf courses have in promoting biodiversity. “This point is always underestimated by outsiders. The fact is, however, that a maximum of 40 percent of the complete area of a golf course is intensively maintained, and thus large areas are available for extensive management,” explained Dr. Gunther Hardt, Chairman of the Biodiversity Working Group of the German Golf Association.

No financial support for golf facilities

But what happens to the upgraded compensation areas when they have actually become first-class herb meadows after a longer period of time? The return of the land to the lessor, in most cases farmers, is not possible at the moment, because golf courses have to provide the compensation areas for a longer period of time. While there are funding opportunities for high-quality meadows in agriculture, this is not yet the case for golf courses. “Here we have to continue to work on understanding in politics for golf,” Hardt summed up. “That’s another reason why it helps, of course, when top politicians like those here today get a sense of the situation on the ground.”

A conclusion that was heard in similar form from President Dr. Georg von Oppen: “From this visit today, you can see that the Ministry of the Environment is definitely interested in the concerns of golf courses and has recognized their value in promoting biodiversity.” For the GC Freiburgaccording to von Oppen, this support is essential, because as a golf course, which is partly located in a water protection area, one has to document again and again that, on the one hand, resources are handled very carefully, and on the other hand, the use of pesticides is minimal and only in consultation with the authorities.