The county of Cheshire covers over 900 square miles and is mostly made up of small rural towns, however, it is formidable for golf clubs. With over 75 golf courses and the home of The Open Championship over 11 times, this was a difficult decision for our team to choose our finalists.
Prestbury Golf Club
Prestbury Golf Club makes the most of its position, taking advantage of the dramatic changes in elevation afforded by the hilly terrain on which it is located. The course drainage is exceptional due to a combination of the nature of the site and its sandy subsoil. We spoke to David Holmes (General Manager of the club) who summarised just some of the ecological accolades that have been achieved through the work of Mark Crossley (Golf Course Manager).
The club is now (started 2022) working with Mersey Forest planting 000’s of whips in an unused 5 acre field that the Club owns. Mersey Forest have set out a tree planting programme to make best use of indigenous trees that will support the local ecosystem.
The club was a finalist in the STRI Environmental Awards 5 years ago and has been doing various things in relation to minimising environmental waste. An environmental audit was conducted last year and some of the recommendations in it have already been implemented and others are being put in place at the moment. The course has a ‘waste to water’ system where microbes are turned into clean water, but the aim next winter is to replace this with a reed bed which is a natural way of cleaning the water before it enters streams. The courses Ecology Committee have successfully eradicated Himalayan Balsam from the course, regenerated heathland and changed the grass sward composition of the greens from Poa to Browntop. Improvements to the pond on the 8th hole have also had a significant effect on the course aesthetics.
In 2022 they have started the transition over to electric and hybrid powered machines including Toro Electric greens ride on mowers and also two Toro Hybrid fairway mowers, this move will help in further reducing their carbon footprint.