The annual Golf Environment Awards (GEA) provide a platform from which the golf industry can demonstrate environmental excellence. The winners of the 2018 Golf Environment Awards (GEA) were announced during BTME in Harrogate, in a ceremony hosted by STRI Group and Lead Partner, The R&A. Established in 1995, the GEA have gone from strength to strength and at the 2018 awards ceremony the audience almost tripled in number.
Carnoustie Golf Links were awarded Environmental Golf Course of the Year for their incredible work within the local community and their continued environmentally conscious practices in all areas of golf course management. Each decision at the golf facility considers the impact on the environment and each member of staff is trained to work in such a way.
In winning the prestigious award, Carnoustie saw off stiff competition from the other three finalists in the category; Aldeburgh Golf Club, Dundonald Links and Warrington Golf Club. With 2018 seeing Carnoustie host The Open for the eighth time in its history from the 19th-22nd July in mind, Michael Wells the Chief Executive Officer at Carnoustie Golf Links said that: “In what is a huge year ahead for Carnoustie, we’re thrilled to be off to a flying start with the honour of receiving of this award.”
Conservation Greenkeeper of the Year was received by Stephen Thompson of John O’Gaunt Golf Club for his passionate dedication to nature conservation within golf. Stephen has extensive biodiversity records for both courses at his club, enabling him to tailor the management of the mosaic of habitats accordingly.
Abergele Golf Club won Outstanding Environmental Project of the Year for their Tir Gwylllt (Wild Land) area. Darren Anderson, his team of greenkeeping staff and several members have created a wildlife haven from materials ready to hand or donated. The project is a remarkable example of people pulling together to create something spectacular.
Operation Pollinator was awarded to Kingsdown Golf Club where Tom Freeman had introduced extensive native wildflower areas with the help of local primary school children. Not only did this Operation Pollinator project provide for nectar and pollen loving insects, it also provided a great golf education to the younger generation.
A big bonus for The R&A comes from the fact that both Darren and Tom are R&A Greenkeeping Scholars.
A further development for the awards is the support and promotion that will be provided by the national governing bodies of golf in England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales.
Entry for the 2019 Golf Environment Awards is now open and The R&A encourages all golf clubs, big or small, to enter and show off their hard work. Enter today at www.golfenvironmentawards.com