As sustainability continues to gain momentum and importance across a number of different sectors, the golf industry is no exception. These 5 sustainable US golf courses are currently adopting creative and innovative approaches to implementing sustainable, eco-friendly practices, serving as wonderful inspiration for others in the golfing space.
1. Bandon Dunes Golf Resort, Oregon
The Bandon Dunes Golf Resort has taken significant measures to safeguard the local flora and fauna throughout its establishment. The resort deeply appreciates the untamed coastal environment’s inherent beauty, fully embracing its worth and maintaining it through a “less is better” approach to practices such as fertilisation, mowing and watering. They have their own on-site water treatment plant that recycles all of the water used on the golf course. By implementing a stringent walking policy and utilising solar panels, the resort is 95% carbon-free from actively minimising their carbon emissions.
The golf resort is also part of a campaign to eliminate single-use plastic, with the intention to eventually transition to a fully plastic-free system. If your club is gradually making the transition to plastic-free, our 100% sustainably-made Bamboo Golf Tees are a great switch to make - they come in 8 different sizes to cater for any shot and even the ink we use to print the tees with is fully biodegradable, making them safe for the surrounding flora and fauna!
2. Vineyard Golf Club, Massachusetts
Situated on the stunning island of Martha’s VIneyard, The Vineyard Golf Club is one of America's few truly organic courses. Opening in 2002, it was the island's first course in over 30 years and is a world-renowned golf course for it’s environmental efforts. The club has been successful in convincing players that a golf course can still be playable and beautiful with wilder-than-usual greens, thus saving on constant maintenance costs. Making it a priority to replace traditional pesticides with bio-stimulants and composted fertilisers has helped protect the island's single-source aquifer.
They are constantly exploring new and innovative methodologies to approach and implement in the course. If as a golf club, you’re looking to host a tournament or update your current signage, here at The Bigger Ball we create custom, wooden golf signage inclusive of display boards, tee markers and whatever else you and your club may require. Being completely sustainably sourced, this is a great option for any future course or hole developments.
3. Collier’s Reserve Golf & Country Club - Naples, Florida
Encompassing a whopping 450 acres along the Cocohatchee River, the Colliers Reserve Country Club is widely recognised as the world's first-ever Audubon Signature Sanctuary. Designed by Athur Hills in the 1990’s, it’s a course with unmatched natural beauty, and protecting the local flora and fauna has always been a top priority.
With nearly 450 species of flora and fauna combined on site - as well as sightings of gopher tortoises, eagles, bobcats and the occasional black bear - the Colliers Reserve Country Club is a truly stunning course full of nature to enjoy a game of golf amongst. In 2004, the club formed the Natural Resources Group (NRG), a group which actively promotes environmental education and fosters a deep appreciation for nature within their community.
4. Barona Creek Golf Club - San Diego, CA
Nestled within the stunning rolling foothills of San DIego, The Barona Creek Golf Club stands as one of California’s most alluring and captivating golf courses. They actioned a large-scale oak restoration project, transplanting more than 170 native oak trees. Architects Gary Roger Baird and Todd Eckenrode designed dry creek beds that mimic natural landscapes and promote biodiversity. These drainage areas create new habitats, while the open spaces between them act as wildlife corridors.
Additionally, Baird and Eckenrode constructed 12 acres of lakes and streams dedicated to irrigation. These bodies of water feature vegetated shorelines that offer wildlife cover and have emerged as a sanctuary for migratory birds. Remarkably, within a short span of time, the bird species count surged from 62 to 134 - so wonderful to see!
5. Los Robles Greens Golf Course - Thousand Oaks, CA
Los Robles Greens Golf Course is a showcase for golf course sustainability, playability and quality. Partnering with the city of Thousand Oaks, they’ve won awards following the renovation of their course in 2017. Driving their conservation efforts was the removal of more than 30 acres of unnecessary turf grass, replacing them with drought-tolerant plants to better suit the dry climate. This has enabled the use of less fertiliser, fossil fuels and pesticides on the greens, a win-win.
Alongside this, they completely redesigned their water irrigation system, saving an estimated 1 million gallons of water each month and an annual estimated reduction of 25%. This highlights the importance of adapting your course to suit its natural climate and surroundings as it truly provides an array of cost effective, low maintenance benefits. If you’re needing sustainable golfing accessory options, The Bigger Ball has you covered with wide-range of sustainably made golf tees, bags, and customisable signage and bag tags to support you on your journey towards a more eco-friendly golf course.