It was another green week on the European Tour at the 2016 KLM Open with The Dutch becoming one of 63 golf courses in the Netherlands to receive the Golf Environment Organisation (GEO) Certified® eco-label.
The European Tour, through The European Tour Green Drive, and the Royal Netherlands Golf Federation (NGF) are both dedicated to inspiring golf clubs, golf courses and golf events to take responsibility for their environment, and supported The Dutch to become GEO Certified® in preparation for last week’s KLM Open.
GEO Certified® is independently assessed international eco-label for golf clubs, it demonstrates their commitment to nature protection, resource efficiency and community value.
The Dutch is home to a significant amount of flora and fauna. On last inspection more than 300 species were recorded, including the rare Little Owl which calls the Linge landscape home, and is nesting in the dykes at The Dutch.
The Dutch was playing host to its first European Tour event since opening its doors in 2011. A member of the prestigious network of European Tour Destinations, the signature Championship course was designed by Europe’s 2010 Ryder Cup-winning Captain Colin Montgomerie, with assistance from European Golf Design.
Jonathan Smith, GEO Chief Executive, said: “The team of The Dutch have shown a real commitment to creating positive social and environmental value through the club. With the European Tour’s Green Drive and the NGF’s own commitment to driving sustainable golf the KLM Open is a wonderful occasion to celebrate this achievement. We look forward to continuing to work together to drive sustainability both in and through golf.”
Organisers of the KLM Open and the European Tour are actively engaging with sustainability methods, the ultimate aim is to have all European Tour venues and events operating and participating in a sustainable partnership with the GEO, an international not-for-profit programme which works with the golf industry to encourage sustainable practices through partnerships, practical guidance and credible standard and certification programmes.
The initiative was praised by KLM Open Tournament Director Daan Slooter, who said: “We are incredibly proud that The Dutch has become GEO Certified®.
“This proves once again that sustainability is not just an aspiration of avid golfers, but also of commercial organisations that recognise the professional value of this.”
Largely due to the efforts of head greenkeeper Niall Richardson and his team, The Dutch has become one of the top courses in the Netherlands just five years after opening.
“We are always striving to optimise the quality of nature and the environment, as golf courses can play an important part in maintaining and developing the environment,” explained Niek Molenaar, the director of The Dutch.
Event locations are selected based on sustainability, effective use, responsible collaboration with the local community and landscape. Along with good sustainable solutions for energy, transport, waste, and temporary infrastructure are also factored into their decision-making.
Fredrik Lindgren, Head of Corporate Responsibility at the European Tour, said: “Today we celebrate the work and dedication that the team at The Dutch have put in to become GEO Certified and what better stage to do it than at KLM Open – Netherland’s own celebration of golf with their best players pitted against world class opposition. Every week golf brings people together at clubs and large sport events like KLM Open. In that fashion The European Tour and NGF came together to support The Dutch, and promote golf’s ability to provide quality social time spent in nature.”
European Tour www.europeantour.com
The Dutch www.thedutch.nl
Golf Environment Organisation www.golfenvironment.org