The RSSGCD programme, the first and only programme of its kind in the golf industry, is a major initiative from the EIGCA to elevate the standards of golf course development. Endorsed and verified by the GEO Foundation, the programme equips participants with the skills and knowledge to respond to the ever-increasing demand for existing and new golf facilities to be designed and operated in environmentally sensitive ways. All EIGCA members who successfully complete the RSSGCD are accredited and added to the EIGCA Sustainable Design Register, which demonstrates their industry-leading expertise and experience in sustainable golf course design.
Christoph Städler, President of EIGCA, says: “I am delighted that two further members have successfully completed the case study element of EIGCA’s sustainability programme, RSSGCD. This is a great achievement. They have now been added to the EIGCA Sustainable Design Register and can proudly call themselves Sustainable Design Leaders. Marc and Ken are excellent representatives of EIGCA’s commitment to educating members on sustainable golf course design. I look forward to when more members progress through the stages and complete the RSSGCD programme to strengthen EIGCA’s position as a leader in golf course sustainability.”
Marc Westenborg MEIGCA is principal of Westenborg Golf Design and has been a golf course architect for over 20 years. His RSSGCD case study was on Rockliffe Hall Resort in Durham - a project that included an 18-hole golf course and a 5-star hotel & spa restored from a derelict 18th century mansion. The combination of the site’s history and course being constructed on a relatively flat and environmentally weak piece of floodplain farmland, allowed for many of the sustainability linked initiatives to be realised, from the restoration of a historic hall and massive ecological gains, to significant community benefits.
Of his achievement, Marc says: “I have always strived to ensure my work is as sustainable as possible and my work on Rockliffe Hall demonstrated this. The RSSGCD course taught me a wide range of new and unrealised sustainability techniques that I look forward to incorporating into future projects. A huge thanks to all those who put in an incredible amount of hard work and knowledge in preparing the RSSGCD webinars, as well as a thank you to those in the EIGCA involved and my assessor Matt Johns.”
Ken Moodie MEIGCA is a Past-President of EIGCA and established his own firm, Creative Golf Design, in 1998. His RSSGCD case study was a new 18-hole links golf course for the Marine Golf Club on the island of Sylt, in Germany. The development included: protecting areas of native flora in the layout of the holes; reducing the fertility of the site by removing the nutrient-rich, top layer of topsoil to support native fine grasses new wild flower habitats; using site materials, including natural sand deposits, to construct the greens and tees, and site turf to revett the bunkers; creating a water harvesting system to gather rainwater into a storage reservoir for irrigation purposes; and employing a local construction company for the bulk earthworks and the supply of some machines and labour.
Ken says: “The RSSGCD programme was hard work and time consuming but very rewarding. Some of the course content reinforced my existing knowledge and things I already practiced, yet I learnt about new areas such as clubhouse design, renewable energy, efficient mowing practices and electric vehicles, with helpful data to back it up which I will draw on in the future. I am now more aware of the choices available when writing a specification for a project and will ensure that materials are renewable and locally sourced wherever possible.”