The Grove in Hertfordshire has been awarded GEO Certified status in recognition of its commitment and efforts to achieve the international standard for sustainable golf course operation.
GEO Certification is assured by GEO Foundation for Sustainable Golf – the not-for-profit organisation dedicated to delivering programmes that help people on the ground to evaluate, improve and credibly communicate their sustainability work. It confirms that the Troon-managed facility satisfies all the certification criteria; meeting a credible standard in the areas of nature, resources, climate and community, and is committed to continual improvement.
The Grove’s certification process was led by Golf Course and Estate Manager Phillip Chiverton, Head Greenkeeper Sam Reid and Head Gardener Natasha Geldenhuys.
Brad Gould, Director of Golf at The Grove, commented: “We are very proud to receive GEO Certified and thank Phillip and Sam for leading this vitally important work. The Grove continues to show how an approach to fostering nature, conserving resources and strengthening the community is fundamental to running a profitable and highly respected golf facility.
“Achieving this international recognition underlines a truly exceptional team effort that encompasses many ongoing practical, social and environmental initiatives that are widespread across our golf operation and beyond.”
GEO Foundation’s Richard Allison, Manager of GEO Certified Facilities, added: “The Grove has demonstrated a comprehensive commitment to advancing sustainable golf on the site. There’s also an appetite to extend this beyond the course and grounds through its sustainable purchasing policy and elimination of single-use plastics. It’s fantastic to see such a cohesive sustainability strategy being implemented across all business areas. Congratulations to everyone involved in achieving GEO Certified status.”
The Grove’s Sustainable Golf highlights:
- Rainfall compensation systems automatically shut down irrigation if rainfall reaches a pre-determined rate (water savings of up to 30% annually).
- Soil moisture levels are constantly monitored and computer-controlled allowing accurate delivery by volume and location across the golf course.
- Minimised areas of managed turf reduce mowing, irrigation and use of chemicals – The Grove actively uses organic fertilisers and more bio products on its golf course.
- Investment in making the golf course irrigation system more efficient with new nozzles directing water to essential playing surfaces only.
- Collaboration with Hertfordshire & Middlesex Wildlife Trust to create 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 close to the 5th hole, creating a perfect environment in which newts, frogs, water vowels and dragonflies can thrive.
- Ongoing investment in renewable energy programmes.
- Management of woodlands, removing bad trees, creating new habitats for wildlife and replanting where appropriate.
- Continual promotion of the physical and mental health benefits of golf, and the wider opportunities it gives to engage with nature.
- Ongoing investment in training and education of the greenkeeping team.
- Active procurement of locally sourced products and services.
The full GEO Certification Report can be viewed HERE.