Københavns Golfklub (Royal Copenhagen Golf Club)

Case Study Details

Københavns Golfklub (Royal Copenhagen Golf Club), Copenhagen, Denmark
Date of Opening:
Golf Course Architect:
Tom Mackenzie
Mackenzie and Ebert Limited
Royal Copenhagen GC

Royal Copenhagen GC

KGC has been on its present site in the Danish Royal Family’s deer park, the Dyrhaven, since the late 1920s. The course sits in one corner of the 1100 hectares of park and occupies around 65 hectares. The Park Authority has strict rules on how the course and club can be run and as a result this is a remarkable place to play golf.

Key Theme: Landscape and Ecosystems

The long rough in the course is completely protected as it is used by the 2000 deer for foraging and also because large areas of it have been undisturbed for hundreds of years. Cutting is prohibited and greenkeeping staff are not allowed to drive in it. Special permission is required to do any work which might have an impact upon it. It is botanically rich acid grassland with ant hills and it is excellent habitat for small vertebrates and invertebrates.

The course is overlooked by the royal hunting palace, the Eremitage Palace and the whole area is a protected landscape. The golf has to sit comfortably within this and the Club keeps course furnishings to an absolute minimum, using only tee markers, flags and bunker rakes. There are no bins, no ball washers and almost no signs, so the landscape remains uncluttered. There are various Viking burial mounds around the course which add to the richness of the area.

Other Themes

Energy & Resources

Low resource Turfgrass: Fescues are encouraged in the management of the greens as there is a ban on general pesticide use of amenity areas on publicly owned land in Denmark. The greens were dominated by Poa annua until recently but cultural practices are being used to change the species composition, as fescue turf is far more sustainable, requiring much lower levels of fertiliser and water and being significantly more disease resistant. The native grasses grow on the fairways. Irrigation is limited to greens and tees, so the course changes with the seasons.

Transport: The club uses a public car park that sits outside the park fence which is served by the local bus system which in turn connects to the local train station. The low input regime means that pollution potential is dramatically reduced.

Waste: All golfers have to carry their own litter out with them. The Club uses composted green waste in its top-dressing and divot mix.

People and Communities

The course sits within a totally public park with walkers, cyclists and horse riders walking all around the course. Annually, a horse race is run which goes along a historic route through the park.

The structure of Danish society means that many activities require permission from the local commune and the Park Authority, so the general public is fully aware of any significant work that is planned and has the right to comment. EIGCA

Golf Course Design
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