PGA National Czech Republic in Oaks Prague continues to mark the industry with the publication of its inspiring and extensive sustainability practices.
The Troon-run site opened to impressive reviews in the summer of 2020 when it received the Best Golf Course in Europe at the 2020 World Golf Awards.
Having opened its doors less than a year ago, PGA National Czech Republic has placed sustainability at the forefront of its strategy from the start with impressive initiatives in place, as part of GEO’s Oncourse Program for Sustainability, aiming to increase biodiversity, promote sustainable grass, prevent pollution, reduce energy consumption and recycle all materials.
As land managers of 104 hectares, the team took responsibility for protecting the environment, helping to solve issues of importance to the local community and industry stakeholders. The team added 23.15 hectares of natural habitat over the past year to keep 76% of their land undisturbed to promote biodiversity.
The preference for a natural habitat, reducing the amount of turf maintained on the land greatly benefits their sustainable practices at all levels. First, it means a reduction in the use of fertilizers, chemicals and irrigation due to a reduction in the area of sod. With the turf that exists, it is a priority to manage the grasses best suited to the local climate and soils, in turn reducing the artificial substances necessary to ensure the strength and health of the turf. Naturalizing the off-play areas on the course has also helped reduce energy consumption by reducing the costs of pumping irrigation and fueling machines.
Another major goal is to avoid sending waste to landfill, which means finding ways to reduce, reuse and recycle all materials. By avoiding single-use plastic products such as bottled water, straws and cups, the team is able to successfully recycle 100% of plastic, 90% of metal, 90% of paper / cardboard and 100% of the grass clippings are sent to the compost. Other impressive numbers from last year included a commitment that 100% of irrigation water be taken from the current drainage system filtering rainwater.
Finally, community outreach is a core practice in their strategy, recognizing the importance of having a wider positive impact in the local area. The main objective is to serve the community by providing active recreation and skilled jobs for the benefit of people’s physical and mental health. The team is looking for innovative ways to make the property accessible to non-golfers; work in partnership with local organizations, promote lifelong volunteering; and to support local charities. Community and health initiatives led to 16 hours of staff volunteering, 50% use of local suppliers, two charitable initiatives, 99% of all rounds of golf traveled, and almost 51,000 hours spent in nature by golfers last year.
Jordan Fairweather, Golf Course Superintendent and Head of Property Management at PGA National Czech Republic, commented on sustainability practices: “In typical Troon fashion, we hold ourselves to the highest standards at the PGA National Czech Republic, recognizing our responsibility in implementing sustainability practices for the local community, longevity the golf industry and all stakeholders. We pride ourselves on our professional staff who carry out this work through a wide range of carefully planned and implemented operations, supported by many special projects and events, often involving expert advisors and partners.
Simon Doyle, Director of Agronomy in Europe for Troon Internationaladded: “At Troon, finding ways to reduce our inputs while producing good golf course conditions is at the forefront of our concerns, and it’s great to see our team at PGA National Czech Republic, Oaks Prague , do this and much more! “
The next goal of the PGA National Czech Republic is to achieve GEO certification, the most credible and respected mark of sustainability in golf around the world. They will be able to make a request as soon as the club house is completed, which is the last stage in the opening of clubs.