Golf At Goodwood’s greenkeeping team has realised its ambition of gaining the coveted GEO (Golf Environment Organisation) Certification, for its commitment to sustainability across both The Park and Downs courses.
GEO Certified is the symbol of great golf environments worldwide, designating that a golf facility has met a credible standard in sustainability across six key areas. To be eligible for certification, the greenkeeping team had to submit an extensive application that evidenced work in nature, water, energy, supply chain, pollution control and community.
Goodwood’s green keeping team, led by grounds general manager Phil Helmn, set out to achieve the GEO Certification knowing that it would not just safeguard the environmental future of the courses, but also be of benefit to members and customers and the local community. After independent verification, the GEO concluded that Golf At Goodwood should receive certification because of its “outstanding work to minimise impact on the environment through the introduction of biomass heating, solar panels and enhanced monitoring on water consumption.” It continued, stating that “the club has also undertaken numerous natural environment projects providing enhancements to habitat in line with the surveys and advice commissioned by the facility.”
The application took 12 months to complete and involved a holistic approach, with the greenkeeping team working with different departments across the Goodwood Estate, such as forestry, finance, repairs & maintenance, Home Farm and parks & gardens.
Russell Carr, Deputy Head Greenkeeper on The Park course, was credited by Helmn as being the man who pulled all of the resources and information together to submit the application to the GEO. He said; “We’ve introduced a sustainability ethos into our thinking with our regular team meetings and it has been great seeing each team member embrace it. We’ve been proud to see the team working towards certification and they have almost become competitive, bringing back photos of the wild flowers and animals that they spot while out on course.”
Helmn was particularly proud of the work his team had put in and said; “Work towards this certification started four-and-a-half years ago. It’s about protecting the planet, looking after our local community and working with the supply chain to broaden this thinking. We look after an awful lot of greenery and feel personally responsible for protecting theses spaces for the good of our planet and for the benefit of future generations. The Greenkeeping team has done – and is continuing to do – a wonderful job.”