Hoylake’s sustainable sand save

Hoylake 17th Hole

Royal Liverpool Golf Club, venue for The 151st Open, has saved 53,000 miles of road travel and over 40 tons of CO2 from entering the atmosphere by sourcing sand from its own dunes.

More than 4,000 tons of sand were mined from scrapes and rank vegetation at the GEO Certified course, removing the need for 140 articulated lorries to transport its equivalent from a Scottish quarry.

James Bledge, Links Manager at Royal Liverpool Golf Club, says the fairways at Hoylake need around 800 tons of sand a year and the greens require 200 tons of sand for top dressing.

“Everything you see around you here, from the divots to divot mix, this is all recycled compost mixed with sand that has been mined from our ground. All the sand from the ground we screen and use for top dressing.

We want to be able to use everything we can from here on site, it just makes perfect sense,“ Bledge told Sky Sports.

This week at The 151st Open, Bledge and his team are using a fleet of lithium-ion battery-powered pedestrian green mowers and all-electric ride-on mowers to cut tees and surrounds.

“If there’s an electric machine that will do the job, we’re interested in that. Climate change is a real thing and we try to keep an eye on that and make sure that it doesn’t become a problem,” said Bledge.

The sand sourcing project was made possible by the renovation work done to create ‘Little Eye,’ Hoylake’s new 136-yard par three 17th hole.

Royal Liverpool worked closely with Wirral Council, Natural England and the Cheshire Wildlife Trust to ensure renovations did not negatively impact wildlife or the local ecology; such as the rare Natterjack Toad, which are sighted at Hoylake.

The R&A’s Greenlinks programme is working to ensure that sustainability is prominent at The 151st Open.

A new Sustainable Golf Hub manned by Greenlinks sustainability volunteers is in place at the practice range, to communicate The Open’s commitment to running a sustainable championship. 

Golf & Nature, a partnership project with the RSPB, the UK’s largest conservation charity is a main feature at the hub.

Since 2021, The Open has been powered by solar panels and sustainably sourced biofuel.

The Open Water Initiative provides free water stations for spectators to refill bottles, which the R&A says has avoided the use of almost 400,000 plastic bottles since it began in 2019.

Golf fans were encouraged to use low-carbon transport options to travel to Hoylake for The 151st Open, as part of a campaign by Sky Sports and Sky Zero, aimed at reducing the carbon footprint of large sporting events in the UK.