Stepping up to the challenge of designing and constructing an ecological golf course for the Circle Resort 48Hour Challenge project


The project team, has just had the path to a solution laid out in front of them and will be collaborating with Giovanni Fili, Chairman and CEO of Dive Resorts. Giovanni and his company are currently in the process of constructing a sustainable resort in Norway which aims to achieve the same goals. It too has worked very carefully to be sensitive to the needs and planning processes of their local Norwegian municipality. I spoke with Giovanni and got his take on what it takes to develop an ecologically-minded golf course.

He pointed out that there are available technologies out there to make a more environmentally friendly golf course, water is the key to doing so. This includes thinking about precipitation, ground water and irrigation. This must be a consideration during both construction and operation. During Construction; it is important to create temporary canals to prevent erosion of topsoil and direct the water to where you want it to minimise runoff and wastage. They even employed a Geologist/Hydrologist to get scientific advice on where to place irrigation ponds to optimise water flow and use.

During operation, the two really important issues related to water is drainage and irrigation. It is possible to use a tank system connected to a network of pumps to circulate water around the course. Clearly the pumps need to be the best available, both highly energy efficient and powered by renewables. Getting as much water as possible from tanks located nearby to the course also helps to increase the environmentally-friendly credentials of the golf course.

In terms of irrigation, the course in Norway will use precisely targeted drip irrigation systems to ensure that as little water as possible is wasted in the process. In the Norway development, they have invested in extra control points at selected greens so as to be able to test water nutrient contents on a regular basis Giovanni made the point that water is both your enemy and your best friend on a golf course and that if you really want to be ecological you have to be prepared to invest in the best technology available as it is also the most sustainable.

In addition, the Norway course aims to enhance biodiversity and the delivery of ecosystem services in surrounding areas that are not greens or fairways. They are building on what was farmland and have tracked down records from the municipality of native vegetation that grew in the area 100 years ago and they will re-vegetate using a diversity of native species, this will have a positive ecological impact and ensure that the golf course supports the natural system rather than sucking the life out of it.

Finally, it almost goes without saying that you use battery powered golf carts, electric tractors and eco-friendly herbicides and fungicides….what a great partner for the Oskarshamn Circle Resort Project!


One Comment

  1. Pete
    Posted December 13, 2010 at 4:47 pm | Permalink

    Consider the new enivro-responsible Hybrid golf course…provides the same traditional golf game, played in half the time, with less cost & frustration, on land-saving, water & chemical reduced, walkable, mid-distance golf courses. It’s the new generation of smart eco-golf course design!

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