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Certification and Awards

For golf clubs, or individuals within them there are ways of gaining recognition for excellent environmental and sustainability achievements.  Recognition is an excellent way of demonstrating to your members, visitors and local communities that sustainability is at the heart of your vision for a successful future.


GEO Foundation, supported by The R&A and BIGGA and Scottish Golf, provide the OnCourse® platform to help clubs record, monitor and promote the work they do to foster nature, conserve resources and support the community.

Spanning all key issues including habitat and biodiversity, water, energy and materials, turfgrass, pollution prevention and community outreach, and covering course, maintenance facility and clubhouse, OnCourse® enables staff, volunteers and external advisors to work collaboratively to:

  • Review and document their best practices.
  • Collate and track key performance data.
  • Create and share their highlights.
  • Engage members and the community using ready-made communications materials.
  • Create an annual Sustainability Report and Webpages.

For further info you can find out more and register at www.getoncourse.golf

GEO Certified®

GEO Certified® is golf’s most comprehensive and widely recognised eco-label.  Once the OnCourse® platform is complete, GEO Foundation will assign a specially accredited ‘Independent Verifier’ who will assess the submission against the Standard during a site visit and provide helpful ideas about good opportunities for future improvement. Once awarded GEO Certified®, communications guidance and materials are provided to help promote the achievement with staff, golfers and wider community.

You can find out more about the benefits of becoming GEO Certified® here.

Golf Environment Awards (GEAs)

Since 1995 the aim of the Golf Environment Awards (GEA) has been to recognise, reward and promote outstanding individuals and golf courses, no matter how big or small, for the time and effort they have put into protecting and preserving their unique surroundings. The GEAs are managed and administered by STRI and each entry is independently judged, not on the scale of project nor their financial investment, but on what the golf course has achieved and how it’s achievements have benefited the surrounding environment and local ecology.

Applicants to the Golf Environment Awards can choose from four categories to enter:

1.Environmental Golf Course of the Year Awarded to golf clubs that brilliantly demonstrate efficient management across each of the following areas: Nature Conservation Management, Turfgrass Management, Waste Management and Water Management

2.Conservation Greenkeeper Award Awarded to outstanding individuals who make significant contributions to the success of the clubs environmental and ecological management and hence make a fundamental positive impact on the surrounding landscape and biodiversity.

3.Outstanding Environmental Project of the Year Awarded to golf clubs who have implemented a successful environmental project, with clear objectives and targets on its contribute to a better environment and are making sound progress in fulfilling the goals of the scheme

4.Operation Pollinator Award Awarded to golf clubs who consistently deliver outstanding ecological habitat creation and management. 

A winner for each of the three GEA categories and Operation Pollinator is announced at an awards evening each January during BTME in Harrogate. The three big winners are rewarded with a trip of a lifetime to Europe and the chance to visit some of the world’s leading golf facilities and sites of specific ecological interest. The winning golf clubs and runners-up receive considerable publicity in national and regional media in addition to their individual prizes.

5.The Home Unions National awards. For clubs in each region of the UK, these new awards are designed to encourage clubs, just starting their ecological and environmental journey, to enter the GEAs

Entry to the awards is completely free, and Scottish Golf would encourage every eco-conscious golf club to consider submitting an application, no matter how big or small.

The shortlisted finalists for the 2020 Golf Environment Awards (GEAs) have been announced with Scottish clubs and greenkeepers represented in all categories.

Environmental Golf Course of the Year – Nairn Dunbar Golf Links

Conservation Greenkeeper of the Year – John Milne – Rothes Golf Club, Richard Mullen – Banchory Golf Club and Les Rae – Montrose Golf Club

Outstanding Environmental Project of the Year – Dundonald Links and Craignure Golf Club

Operation Pollinator – Banchory Golf Club and St Andrews Links Trust

Home Unions National Awards – Scotscraig Golf Club

For more information on the Golf Environment Awards please go to: www.golfenvironmentawards.com

BIGGA Awards

Each year BIGGA provides the opportunity for its members to be recognised for their incredible hard work and dedication throughout the year.  BIGGA’s annual awards acknowledge the achievements of its members and are handed out at the BIGGA Welcome Celebration, held at BTME in January each year.

The categories are:

Outstanding Contribution of the Year sponsored by Jacobsen. In recognition of the growing number of members who undertake voluntary work each year for the betterment of the association or any number of charities. The winner may be someone who has raised significant sums for charity or given fantastic support to greenkeepers or the industry.

Championship Performance of the Year sponsored by Rigby Taylor. This award isn’t just restricted to those clubs who host majors or European Tour events. A team may have done incredible work to get the course fit for professional events such as the EuroPro Tour or Ladies European Tour, or they may have hosted amateur events, such as a national or important local event. All nominations will be considered on merit.

Greenkeeping Project of the Year sponsored by Baroness and Kubota. This award recognises those greenkeepers or greenkeeping teams who have undertaken a specific project, completed within the 2019 calendar year. However, projects can be long-term, beginning in a previous year. This can be construction, renovation or repair and the possibilities are endless.

For more information about the BIGGA Awards, contact Rachael Duffy at [email protected]