The public perception of golf courses is overwhelmingly that they are bad for the environment. However, many golf courses actively promote nature conservation and harbour some of our rarest plant and animal species. Golf courses can now participate with sending in documentation qualifying for this Award.
The issues under consideration are not insignificant, given that there are over 6200 golf courses across Europe, covering 3000,000–380,000 ha and serving a golfing population of 4.84 million registered members (Statista – 2019). Just under 100 golf course and clubs belong to the Swiss Golf Federation and they occupy an area of approx. 5’238 ha or accounting for approx. 0,2% of the total land area in Switzerland.
Opinion is divided as to whether golf courses have positive or negative impacts on the environment. We see that public perceptions differ depending upon whether people are actively involved within the game. In a survey of 100 people in 2018, they found that 80% of respondents who played golf thought that courses were good for the environment, compared to just 36% of non-players.
Courses with forest remnants, heath, or meadow often sup- port higher biodiversity of mammals and birds, including species of conservation concern, than do nearby agricultural or urban lands Most newer golf courses are built on reclaimed land or farmland, but many older golf courses contain relict landscape types.
This Award is to build awareness and to honour the efforts and investments made by Golf Clubs towards our precious environment. A jury of 4 scene experts will examine the documents and award the prize!