What the Isle of Wight lacks in quantity, it definitely makes up for in quality. With just 8 golf courses in the Isle of Wight, it was still a difficult decision due to the exceptional level of ecological sustainability. This area has unique wildlife which is being preserved and promoted by the hard work of greenkeepers.

Shanklin & Sandown Golf Club

Shanklin & Sandown Golf Club is an 18 hole heathland course that was established in 1900 and sits in a prime position on the Isle-Of-Wight. Micah Knight has been leading the green keeping Team since 2020 and is taking the club into the future.

In the past, drainage has been a problem on the course. Over time, the current drainage on the 18th fairway has silted up, so during 2022, a more efficient and modern ‘rope drainage’ system has been installed on problem areas that has resulted in a significant improvement. The challenges ahead are to meet the sustainability programme from the R&A and to optimise the playing quality of the course without impacting the natural conservation and nature within the course.

With the challenges of environmental regulations, a programme of work is underway to minimise the use of chemicals on the course by utilising recognised best practice in course management. The club is updating its irrigation system which will enhance more effective use of natural water on the course and reduce waste. With new machinery purchases in the last year, as well as new planned equipment, new working practices will help to make the course a higher quality environment with improved soil that is firm, airy and dry. An additional plan to enhance the natural growth of local heather, new tree planting and grasses will add to not only improving the course, but adding a better environment for natural grasses and fauna to bloom as well as improving a quality environment for wildlife to live and breed.