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Environmental award for Royal St David’s course

THE 2015 winner of the Sports Turf Research Institute Environmental Golf Course of the Year is Royal St David’s Golf Club, Harlech.

They received their award at a glitzy gala dinner in Harrogate.

STRI is one of the world’s leading authorities on turfgrass, providing advice and expertise on the research, design, construction and management of both natural and artificial sports surfaces.

The awards highlight the UK’s best conservational projects being developed and managed by golf courses and reward the individuals that are making real improvements to their local environment and quality of life for the future.

The winners receive the trip of a lifetime to Europe and the chance to visit some of the world’s leading golf facilities and sites of specific ecological interest.

Each award winner showcased sustainability, best practice and presented a clear understanding of planning current and future environmental projects across the course. Each entry for the awards was independently judged on demonstrable environmental achievements and outcomes and the winners were selected following a rigorous inspection of 25 golf clubs across the UK by STRI’s team of experts.

Royal St David’s links manager Rhys Butler said: “To be recognised for our management of the Royal St David’s site is fantastic and we are truly honoured to have won this award.

“Environmental considerations and sustainability have long been a priority at Royal St David’s and it is for everybody’s benefit that we enhance the environment and improve the playing experience of the course. I am extremely proud of the team and the improvement we have made in restoring the links to its natural form whilst enhancing the ecology and wildlife on the site.”

Bob Taylor, STRI’s ecology and environment manager, said: “The standard this year was incredible and highlights the considerable contribution golf courses deliver to their natural surroundings. Environment and ecology issues continue to be a major factor for managers as they not only enhance landscapes but directly influence the quality and overall playing experience of golf courses.

“All this year’s winners have shown a remarkable level of commitment and energy in delivering high quality courses, as well as successfully improving their local environment. All of our finalists are showcasing excellence and best practice in the management of sustainable land management.”

Royal Birkdale’s John Kelly received the Conservation Greenkeeper Award.