Environmental Golf Course of the Year: The Grove
The Grove, based on the outskirts of London, has been named ‘Environmental Golf Course of the Year’ at the Golf Environment Awards.
The venue, which has recently been awarded GEO Certified® status, fought off strong competition from some of Europe’s leading golf destinations to win the prestigious accolade.
Its Head Greenkeeper, Sam Reid, explains how The Grove implements sustainable practices:
Managed and administered by STRI, the awards reward and recognise outstanding golf courses, no matter how big or small, for the time and effort they have put into protecting and preserving their unique surroundings, with clear objectives and targets.
Phillip Chiverton, Golf Course and Estate Manager at The Grove, said: “This GEA award, which underlines a huge team effort at The Grove, recognises how we continue to successfully introduce environmentally sustainable management projects across and around our 18-hole golf course, and throughout the gardens and wider estate.
“These projects are achieving an increase in habitat varieties, significantly improving playing experiences for our daily fee-paying golfing guests, and providing a positive contribution to wildlife across the wider estate.”
The Grove and sustainability
Some of the many measures put in place at the Hertfordshire layout include:
- Rainfall compensation system creates annual water savings of up to 30%.
- Computer monitoring of soil moisture levels accurately deliver water by volume and location.
- Minimised areas of managed turf reduce mowing, irrigation and use of chemicals.
- Collaboration with Hertfordshire & Middlesex Wildlife Trust created areas of naturalised habitat, including River Gade chalk stream conservation, maintenance of native fescue grasses, and the introduction of wildflower areas (Operation Pollinator).
- New wetland area within woodland, creating new environments for newts, frogs, water vowels and dragonflies.
- Ongoing investment in renewable energy programmes.
- Active management of woodlands, creating new habitats for wildlife and replanting where appropriate.
The 18-hole rolling parkland golf course remains the only venue in the UK to have hosted a World Golf Championship event (in 2006, won by Tiger Woods). It has also hosted the DP World Tour’s British Masters in 2016.