Nairn Dunbar crowned as 'Environmental Golf Course of the Year'

Nairn Dunbar Golf Club is celebrating a notable success after claiming the 2021 ‘Environmental Golf Course of the Year’ accolade.

The greenkeeping team at Nairn Dunbar GC with their award. From left to right, assistant greenkeeper Graeme Robbins, course manager Richard Johnstone, assistant greenkeeper Michael McInnes and apprentice greenkeeper Ryan Knox.

The Highland club beat off the challenge of three other finalists - English venues The Springs GC in Oxfordshire and Northamptonshire County GC and Hong Kong Golf Club - in the category in the annual Golf Environment Awards.

Nairn Dunbar had been nominated for the same award among five clubs last year, with course manager Richard Johnstone who is continuing to engage in education with the aim to become one of the most qualified in the UK, and his team delighted to go one better.

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“It is great to see that all the work we are doing as a club is being recognised as we strive to achieve environmental sustainability, provide a positive contribution to wildlife and continue to maximise the playing experience for members and guests,” said Johnstone.

A host of projects were highlighted by the judging panel, including the course being a haven for wildlife, a sign of a healthy environment.

Working closely with the likes of The British and International Golf Greenkeepers Association, the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds and STRI, tree and gorse thinning has revealed the natural topography and also allowed natural grasses to return, restoring the links effect to the overall course.

Nairn Dunbar, where leading Scottish pros Russell Knox and Kelsey MacDonald are honorary members, are also working with the R&A to help promote Golf Course 2030, an industry initiative to address the challenges posed by climate change, resource constraints and regulation on golf course conditioning and playability.

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