Presenting two beautifully manicured Championship courses, Randpark Club has made tremendous progress in their focus on environmental conservation by taking into consideration the long-term sustainability of the environment and specifically, the management of water. Conservancy of the environment has been a core part of the philosophy of the club and they are in the process of getting the internationally recognised Golf Environmental Organization accreditation (GEO).
The two championship courses are regarded as Randburg’s Green Lung and the club’s water management, collection and storage system has one of the most efficient and effective overflow designs. All water used at the club is based on borehole and reservoir collection and storage, the only water used on the Randpark courses is what’s been provided naturally and stored for use. The management at the club has noticed a natural water purification process which can be seen by the quality of water leaving the club compared to when it entered.
“Randpark golf club is one of the most compliant golf facilities in relation to government regulations concerning water usage. Much has already been done to reduce water consumption. If all golfing facilities placed as much emphasis on water issues as Randpark does, the industry would be in a far better position to meet current environmental and sustainability criteria”, says Jock Tame, South Africa’s leading authority in organics with over 40 years in the landscaping profession.
They also implement a strict indigenous tree policy. Consequently, the few Bluegum trees that remain are in the process of being removed and only trees that are endemic to the area are planted. “Through the planting of indigenous trees, we aim to promote and encourage bird and small animal life and preserve the few natural out-of-play areas that we have”, says Roger Innes, head of course maintenance.
Twelve Bee hive units have also been installed across both Bushwillow and Firethorn courses. All units have been placed in safe areas to assist with biodiversity. Roger explains, “bees are vitally important pollinators in the environmental food cycle and they promote growth in expanding plant species”. Additionally, the course maintenance team have also installed a few owl boxes on the course and have had two pairs of successful breeding owls over the past few seasons. Owls are great hunters and extremely efficient at removing pests such as rats and mice without the use of poisons.
Randpark Club has also made numerous efforts in assisting their community with environmental maintenance projects and continues to deliver a great experience on and off the course. These include maintaining municipal areas such as Arend Park and Republic Road. “We are also assisting City of Joburg with the Kelland Wetlands rehabilitation project. This project is set to revive the wetland area and integrate it with the course and natural water streams,” says Francois Swart, GM of Randpark Club.
Another fantastic initiative implemented by the club is the elimination of nitrate-based fertilizers and the introduction of urea as a nitrogen source. “We aim to use 50% organically based fertilizers on our fairways. Nitrates leach easily and contaminate water sources. We also limit fungicide applications to greens and spray only when it is absolutely necessary”, explains Innes.
Tame says, “a hundred percent organic fertilizer product has been applied to the fairways of both courses as a base fertilizer. This fertilizer consists of vermicasts (humus) and biochar. The combination attracts and retains moisture increasing the efficiency and retention of irrigation water. The actual nitrogen application has been reduced from 180kg (norm for kikuyu grass) of actual nitrogen per annum to a maximum of 80kg. This reduces water consumption by approximately 20% by reducing soft growth associated with high nitrogen applications.”
Randpark Club has always displayed very responsible environmental standards, led the pace in conservation and sustainability, and furthermore seeks to minimize any additional adverse environmental or community impacts. They now aim to receive their GEO certification which is a suite of internationally recognised sustainability standards and certification for golf facilities and tournaments.
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About Randpark Club
Randpark Club has become the ultimate urban golf destination, with three uniquely different golf courses offering golfers of varying ability an unforgettable experience. Complemented by modern clubhouse facilities, a brewery, luxury hotel and spa, as well as a wedding chapel, the club provides a grand background of natural greenery, old-world elegance and urban sophistication that will transform any occasion into a picture-perfect memory. Located in one of Johannesburg’s green-belt areas, the magnificent views are matched by contemporary cuisine and friendly staff. Other facilities on offer include multiple meeting and conference opportunities, tennis courts and a running track.
Randpark Club website – http://www.randpark.co.za