Tomorrow, if we are lucky, we’ll get a gold certificate from the German Golf Association at work. The certificate will attest , that we are excellent at “Golf & Natur”.

Originally, this certificate was designed to help golf courses to improve their “green thumb” and environmentally friendly work practises. Which struck me to be somewhat pointless, because we live of the green. Apart from sportive skill itself, the experience of nature is # 1 reason for most people to play golf. So why on earth would we not strive to do everything, to keep our main source intact?

However, the image of the sport in Germany was and is very bad and for some weird reason, the public looks at golf courses as environmentally unfriendly. Maybe, because they can’t believe, one can maintain perfect grass surfaces without overuse of chemicals. Whereas in fact, surrounding agriculture is a lot worse in that respect. Considering this, we joined this program many years ago and have, over time, achieved the bronze and silver certificate already. But one has to re-audit and further improve on the program’s goals, if one wants to get gold and keep it.

By some miracle, the certificate has shifted to become a managerial program more than an environmental program since it was first established. These days it deals with work safety, organization, flow of information and other related topics more than with establishing procedures that protect and enhance the environment. Which is an outright pity, I think.

After we – the head greenkeeper and I – have spent countless hours, sampling and documenting many of our daily procedures and routines, I am still uptight about tomorrow’s audit and it’s outcome.

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