Quality management on golf courses

Silver certification on 21.04.2021

What is behind the term golf and nature?

For years now, industry and the service sector have been using programs such as the ISO 9001 quality or the ISO14001 environmental assurance system. These programs are part of the standard of good business management worldwide.

In 2005, the German Golf Association (DGV) developed a management system for golf facilities under the term "Golf and Nature" (G&N), which includes both quality and environmental aspects. The G&N program contains all relevant aspects that contribute to ensuring quality in the management of a club and the environmentally conscious use of natural resources on a golf course.

"Golf and Nature" is a practical guide to safeguarding the entire spectrum of maintenance measures on a golf course in a sustainable and future-oriented manner. The operation of a golf facility encompasses many aspects. For example, safety issues play a major role in the use and maintenance of machinery and equipment. Through the conscious use of water, fertilizer, seeds and pesticides, costs can be kept within limits, while at the same time conserving natural resources and the environment, which are becoming increasingly important for us humans.

How does the certification process work?

Depending on the scope of the measures taken and their sustainable implementation over a certain period of time, certificates are awarded in bronze, silver and gold. While the DGV still awards bronze independently, silver and gold status must be confirmed by an external, independent company. The DGV uses the Deutsche Gesellschaft zur Zertifizierung von Management Systemen mbH (DQS) for this audit.

Of the approximately 700 golf facilities in Germany, 146 clubs (as of March 31, 2015) are already participating in the G&N program. Of these, 62 clubs have achieved the gold certificate, 33 the silver certificate and 51 the bronze certificate. In the fall of 2014, Golfclub Altenhof had also enrolled in the G&N program. Already in February 2015, the club was awarded the bronze certificate. Altenhof is now one of 12 facilities in Schleswig-Holstein participating in the G&N program.

What does the program include?

"Golf and Nature" can be divided into four main areas:

  • Nature and Landscape: documentation on area conditions, conservation requirements, natural habitats, landscape features, and cultural and historical sites.
  • Maintenance and play operations: play quality, water management, documentation of fertilizer and pesticide use, maintenance plan, turf culture, and coordination of play and maintenance.
  • Occupational safety and environment: legal environmental and occupational safety, waste disposal, machine maintenance and cleaning, accident prevention and emergency plans.
  • Public relations and infrastructure: philosophy and mission statement, staff qualifications and infrastructure.

What does Golf Club Altenhof e.V. expect from this program?

  • Cost savings through conscious use of resources such as fertilizers, sprays and water

  • Motivation and further training of employees

  • Reduction of liability risks for the club through strict adherence to safety-relevant aspects

  • Site-appropriate and goal-oriented orientation of care management

  • Emphasis on nature conservation and resource orientation as values of our golf club

  • Objective of "responsibility for nature and the environment" vis-à-vis the local population

  • Quality management means a high level of ambition

In summary, "Golf and Nature" means for the Golf Club Altenhof e.V.: Optimal playing quality, protection of resources, up-to-date environmental management and legal security united in a systematic concept.

Peter Finck (Course Representative)