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GEA 2021 open for business

GEA 2021 open for business: Golf clubs and greenkeepers around Europe are invited to apply for the Golf Environment Awards 2021.

The GEAs recognise those in the golf industry that are breaking the mould and highlighting the wide-ranging environmental benefits of golf.

GEA 2021 open for business

GEA 2021 open for business

Entrants may apply for awards in four categories – Environmental Golf Course of the Year, Conservation Greenkeeper of the Year, Outstanding Environmental Project of the Year and Operation Pollinator.

This year we are excited to announce that, for the first time, a panel of judges, selected from across the golf industry, will choose the winners from this year’s entrants.

We are also pleased to introduce a new prize. A £750 grant will be awarded to each winner to invest into environmental and ecological projects at the club.

We encourage all clubs, however big or small, to enter. Entry is free and each entrant will be assessed upon their own merits. A shortlist of finalists will be chosen from categories’ entrants and each will receive a visit from an STRI consultant who will perform an onsite ecological and environmental assessment, using current social distancing advice from the government in relation to Covid-19.

Applications are being accepted up to midnight on 7 August 2020 to give entrants additional time to put together an application during the current pandemic.

Senior environment consultant, Sophie Olejnik, said: “We are so excited to be launching the 2021 Golf Environment Awards and, despite current circumstances, we want to remain positive and celebrate all that is good in golf. We hope that the addition of our new judging panel and prizes will entice more of you to enter and be part of the Golf Environment Awards family.”

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GEA 2020 winners revealed

GEA 2020 winners revealed: The winners of the 2020 Golf Environment Awards (GEA) have been announced at The Crown, Harrogate, in a ceremony hosted by STRI Group.

Environmental Golf Course of the Year 2020 – Warrington Golf Club

If you are looking for a golf course that has consistently shown innovative and direct solutions to reducing damaging environmental practices, then Warrington is the cream of the crop. From developing a team of experts Warrington has shown that a course can be sustainable in relation to inputs, environmental impacts and water usage, whilst also being ecologically diverse.

GEA 2020 winners revealed

Conservation Greenkeeper of the Year 2020 – Neil Sherman – Ipswich Golf Club, Purdis Heath

Neil Sherman has been a fundamental part of Ipswich Golf Club, Purdis Heath and that can be seen through its ecologically diverse and fantastically beautiful rough areas. Neil has performed positive and interesting work in renewing the heathland characteristics of the course and it is rare to meet a greenkeeper with quite as much ecological knowledge as him.

Outstanding Environmental Project of the Year 2020 – Dundonald Links

Amanda Dorans and the team at Dundonald Links have done something truly rare, they have created a partnership between not just multiple golf courses but multiple industries to create protected sites across Scotland. Not only that, that they have achieved amazing results in boosting numbers of the small blue butterfly.

Operation Pollinator 2020 – Banchory Golf Club

Banchory Golf Club has gone from strength to strength during 2019 vastly increasing the areas dedicated to wildflowers. Naturally seeded areas and also areas sown with species that are appropriate to the local region are both present. STRI ecologists saw a diverse range of invertebrate species that can only be explained by a course that has been managed appropriately.

Home Unions National Award 2020 – Market Harborough Golf Club

Market Harborough GC are the inaugural winners of the Home Unions National Award. The club management and greenkeeping staff have driven environmental and ecological conservation as a combined force. This has manifested itself through the sustainability group which have created policies, action plans and projects that have importantly started to create direct improvements on the course.

STRI head of ecology, Bob Taylor, said: “The Golf Environment Awards were set up 25 years ago to showcase golf’s positive environmental footprint amongst a backdrop of social negativity. It has been great to see the way in which such small beginnings have now swelled to what is a major movement, delivering and working towards ecological and environmental best practice throughout the length and breadth of the UK.

“I’m delighted to see there was so much enthusiasm and passion for ecology and the environment in golf at the 2020 GEAs. Every year the awards get bigger and better in providing aspirations and goals to both individuals and golf clubs delivering sustainable working.

“A huge congratulations to the winners and finalists of this year’s awards. You are all doing sterling work and, in doing so, are becoming a valuable part of your local communities.”

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2020 GEA finalists announced

2020 GEA finalists announced: The shortlisted finalists for the 2020 Golf Environment Awards (GEAs) have been announced.

The GEAs, which is celebrating its 25th anniversary in 2020, recognises golf clubs and individuals that strive to undertake environmental best practice. Past finalists’ projects have ranged from simple but effective, to grand scale schemes.

2020 GEA finalists announced

Ecology consultants from STRI spent August and September visiting qualifying clubs that applied for the awards before painstakingly whittling them down to 17 finalists and five Home Unions finalists.

Four finalists have been named in three GEA categories – Conservation Greenkeeper of Year, Outstanding Environmental Project, Environmental Golf Course of Year and Operation Pollinator, while five golf clubs have been selected for the Environmental Golf Course of Year category. Another five worthy finalists have been identified in the new Home Unions National Awards category.

Representatives from the finalists will attend the glittering awards ceremony on 22 January 2020 at the Crown Hotel in Harrogate, during BTME week.

Golf Environment Awards judge, Rowan Rumball, said: “This year was exceptionally difficult, and we have had some amazing and very worthy entrants. I have seen some superb projects and many clubs are now looking beyond the confines of their own club boundaries.”

Head of Ecology at STRI, Bob Taylor, said: “I cannot believe it’s 25 years since we first set up the Golf Environment awards. Moreover, the awards have become the leading accolade for ecological and environmental excellence within the golf industry. Many golf greenkeepers tell me the awards represent something to aspire to, they provide an opportunity to market the good works they do. For me the awards represent a growing community that all come together at the awards celebrations discussing works and passing on ideas. Anyone is welcome to attend the awards, and one thing is certain you will leave inspired by the great work clubs are doing.”

All finalists receive free entry into the Foundation Award in Amenity Horticulture course, recognised by BASIS, and managed by STRI, as well as CPD points. The lucky winners of the GEAs will also be able to enjoy a European Golf & Environment Trip of a Lifetime to Portugal.

The Golf Environment Awards 2020 finalists are:

Environmental Golf Course of the Year

  • Warrington Golf Club
  • Kington Golf Club
  • Saunton Golf Club
  • Effingham Golf Club
  • Nairn Dunbar Golf Links

Conservation Greenkeeper of the Year

  • John Milne – Rothes Golf Club
  • Neil Sherman – Ipswich Golf Club (Purdis Heath)
  • Richard Mullen – Banchory Golf Club
  • Les Rae – Montrose Golf Club

Outstanding Environmental Project of the Year

  • Trevose Golf & Country Club
  • Dundonald Links
  • Craignure Golf Club
  • Clitheroe Golf Club

Operation Pollinator

  • Cumberwell Park
  • Banchory Golf Club
  • Ufford Park Woodbridge
  • St Andrews Links Trust

Home Unions National Awards

  • Market Harborough Golf Club
  • Scotscraig Golf Club
  • Ashburnham Golf Club
  • Bingley St Ives Golf Club
  • Diss Golf Club

The winners will be announced at the Golf Environment Awards Ceremony on Wednesday 22h January 2020, at The Crown Hotel in Harrogate. Tickets for the awards, which includes a three-course meal and drinks, go on general sale on 14 Nov. Please email enquiries@strigroup.com for further details.

STRI would like to thank all the golf clubs that entered but didn’t make the final shortlist.

A huge thank you also goes to Golf Environment Award partners and sponsors who continue to support and promote the awards year-on-year, without them the awards simply would not be possible. The R&A, BIGGA, The Golf Club Manager, Tillers TurfRansomes JacobsenWiedenmann, Aquatrols and Syngenta.

For further details about The Golf Environment Awards and how to purchase tickets please visit https://golfenvironmentawards.com/

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GEA Winners Announced

GEA Winners Announced: The winners of the 2018 Golf Environment Awards (GEA) have been announced at The Crown, Harrogate, in a ceremony hosted by STRI Group and the R&A.

 Environmental Golf Course of the Year 2018 – Carnoustie Golf Links

GEA Winners Announced

Conservation Greenkeeper of the Year 2018 – Stephen Thompson (John O’Gaunt Golf Club)

Outstanding Environmental Project of the Year 2018 – Abergele Golf Club

Operation Pollinator 2018 – Kingsdown Golf Club

STRI ecology consultant, Sophie Vukelic, said: “A huge congratulations to the winners and finalists of this year’s awards, you each showcase what sustainable management is within golf. The golf environment is a better place with you all working to protect it”

The annual Golf Environment Awards provide the platform from which the golf industry can demonstrate environmental excellence in all its forms. Established in 1995, the awards have gone from strength to strength and in 2018, attendees to the awards almost tripled in numbers.

Carnoustie Golf Links were awarded Environmental Golf Course of the Year for their incredible work within the local community and their continued environmentally conscious practices in all areas of golf course management. Each decision at the golf facility considers the impact on the environment and each member of staff is trained to work in such a way.

Conservation Greenkeeper of the Year was received by Stephen Thompson of John O’Gaunt Golf Club for his passionate dedication to nature conservation within golf. Stephen has extensive biodiversity records for both courses at his club, enabling him to tailor the management of the mosaic of habitats accordingly.

Abergele Golf Club won Outstanding Environmental Project of the Year for their Tir Gwylllt (Wild Land) area. Darren, his team of greenkeeping staff and several members have created a wildlife haven from materials ready to hand or donated. The project is a remarkable example of people pulling together to create something spectacular.

Operation Pollinator was awarded to Kingsdown Golf Club where Tom Freeman had introduced extensive native wildflower areas with the help of local primary school children. Not only did this Operation Pollinator project provide for nectar and pollen loving insects, it also provided a great golf education to the younger generation.

STRI is indebted to lead partner, The R&A, and the sponsors – Ransomes Jacobson, Aquatrols, Syngenta, Tillers Turf and Wiedenmann and would like to thank them for their continued support. The R&A’s involvement in the GEA Awards does not elicit its endorsement for the sponsor’s products or services.

Fancy having a go yourself? The entries for the 2019 Golf Environment Awards are now open and we encourage all golf clubs, big or small, to enter and show off their hard work. Enter today at www.golfenvironmentawards.com

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