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Greenkeeper and Green Convenors Support

Adapting to our changing climate

The warmer wetter winters, dryer hotter summers and more extreme weather patterns have brought with them added difficulties including:

  • Surface water flooding, drainage problems.
  • Drought and water scarcity.
  • Increase in turf pests and diseases, changing turf growing seasons.
  • Biodiversity loss globally and locally.
  • Coastal erosion and riverbank flooding.
  • Building and Heritage deterioration.

By having a Course Management Policy and Course Development Plan focussed on sustainable turf management practices, clubs can improve the quality of their playing surfaces.

For more guidance contact [email protected].


From coastal links and parkland courses, woodland and heathland, wetland and dune habitats, our golf courses support many habitats and species and protect Scotland’s natural heritage.

It is important that our golf courses integrate well with the surrounding landscape and work with the topography and vegetation to ensure the views, vistas and quality of the playing experience are maximised.

Protecting and improving the greenspace, nature and biodiversity on and around the golf course can help clubs maximise their ecological value, making the most of their beautiful and interesting natural landscapes, attracting and retaining more members and visitors.

Course Development

The quality of golf course design contributes significantly to a golfer’s experience and enjoyment of their game. There are several key elements where the design of a golf course contributes, in this respect:

  • The views throughout the course, and beyond. The impact and visual aesthetics of hazards, water features and bunkers and of other obstacles, trees, out of bounds, significant rough and topography of the golf course. The visibility from each of the tees throughout the golf course
  • The options for playing a variety of golf shots and club selections.

Golf clubs often strive to improve or upgrade their golf courses, some through minor changes or developments e.g. bunker alterations; tee relocations, others more significant e.g. green reconstruction, introduction of water hazards which may alter the strategy for playing the hole. Where such changes are being considered by a club, it is recommended that professional advice is sought, particularly before committing investment into making course changes.

Worldwide, new golf course developments are sometimes criticised for their disturbance to wildlife and damage to habitats with the negative impact this can have on an area’s biological diversity and water resources.

Here in Scotland we believe that new golf courses, if carefully located in the right place, designed, constructed and managed well, can have a positive impact on the environment and the community’s social and economic well-being.

Sustainability should be considered at the planning, design and construction stages of course development projects. These will assist you in identifying what best practice is in terms of course development and increase your understanding of the mutual benefits of taking an environmentally sound approach.

In partnership with The R&A, the British and International Golf Greenkeepers Association (BIGGA) and with access to a network of agronomy and ecology experts, Scottish Golf can help provide best practice advice, support and training to help make your course more sustainable.

Key Organisations

For more guidance contact [email protected].