Island of Ireland golf courses make Europe’s green list
July 2023 - Tourism Ireland
Eight golf courses on the island of Ireland have been ranked in the Top 100: Best Sustainable Golf Courses in Europe.
Boasting some of the world’s greatest golf courses, the island of Ireland has long been a top golfing destination. Now those who want to ensure that their golfing experience is in line with their sustainable travel ethos can choose to visit courses that are actively protecting the environment.
The ‘Top 100’, recently published by Today’s Golfer profiles clubs that are working to deliver fantastic golf whilst also caring for their local landscapes and biodiversity, conserving water, energy and materials, actively strengthening their communities and taking action to reduce adverse climate impacts.
The eight golf courses from the island of Ireland that feature on the list of Europe’s most environmentally conscious and socially responsible golf courses were chosen for a range of reasons including protecting habitats for flora and fauna and actively reducing their carbon footprint.
Portstewart golf course on Northern Ireland’s spectacular Causeway Coast ensures that sand banks are made accessible for nesting sand martins helping them stay safe from predators.
Belvoir Park course in Belfast is also focusing on safeguarding the flora and fauna that live on the course which is situated within a designated Site of Special Scientific Interest.
And at Royal County Down, voted the number one course in the world for three years in a row, a Biodiversity Management Plan is benefitting a number of species. By allowing their bunkers to have rough, natural edges they are providing a habitat for mining bees and marsh fritillary butterflies.
Two golf courses made the list because of their efforts to reduce their carbon footprint. Portmarnock in Dublin, which will host the 121st Women’s Amateur Championship in June 2024, is moving away from fossil fuels, and now more than a third of its maintenance and golf cart fleets are electric/hybrid, powered by a new solar panel installation. And at Ballyliffin, County Donegal on the Wild Atlantic Way, locally sourced liquid seaweed fertilizer is used on the greens to cut the CO2 footprint.
Royal Dublin, another internationally respected links course, has introduced beehives around the course in an effort to re-establish the Irish black honeybee. Meanwhile, at The Island, Dublin, ranked in Ireland’s top 10 courses, a new habitat has been created to encourage wildlife and pollinators back to the area.
The last Irish course to make the list has a socially responsible ethos. Grange golf club has raised €10,000 for homeless charities in Dublin as well as over €20,000 for cancer charities.