Barcelona golf, a Biosphere destination for its level of sustainability and responsibility
Golf enjoys a unique and powerful opportunity to stand out for its great differences among other sports. Each golf course is different, beautifully framed by its own nature, and current trends point the way to the efficient and responsible use of resources for the conservation and development of the ecological richness and the landscape that surround all the clubs.
Barcelona Golf Destination is aware of this, and for this reason it supports and endorses each and every one of the initiatives of its seven associated golf courses, which seek to promote quality tourism, focused on improving its facilities and services for its players and visitors. These actions are the source of awards, recognition and official certifications such as Biosphere, placing Barcelona clubs among the world leaders in continuous improvement towards sustainability and the fight against climate change, guided by the 17 sustainable development goals of the United Nations 2030 Agenda, and the Paris Climate Summit Guidelines.
The most recent award was achieved by the Real Club de Golf El Prat, which received the Biosphere certification of commitment to tourism sustainability for the Barcelona Destination in June 2022. This distinction recognizes entities that are committed to management that is respectful of the environment, culture and the social and economic return of the city and the local districts of Barcelona.
This year, the RCG El Prat has presented its Yellow Course which has been renovated to become more efficient and responsible. Water from the water treatment plant continues to be used and other improvements are being made in this line. Added to this is the new fitting center and the expansion of the natural grass area on the driving range. The RCG El Prat has also obtained the Safe Travels certification, the first globally approved seal that recognizes destinations that carry out prevention and hygiene actions against Covid-19, with the aim of generating safe spaces for travellers.
The Club de Golf Terramar was actually the first course in Catalonia to get the Biosphere Certification for golf, in 2021, in recognition of its good environmental practices. Recycling, the elimination of plastics, the digitization of communications, inclusive communication and paper reduction, recycled water for irrigation and home automation for energy savings are some of the latest actions that have been carried out.
The CG Terramar successfully hosted the Estrella Damm Ladies Open presented by Catalunya a few days ago, showing the world the excellent conditions of its golf course. Through its Master Plan, almost completed in terms of big infrastructures, it has built a large central lake and transformed the design of holes 10, 13 and 15, recovering the par 72 of the course. In 2022, its projects revolve around the local flora and fauna, and the installation of charging points for electric vehicles.
As another example, the first day of the Ladies European Tour tournament concluded in a very special way, with several participating players, staff members and volunteers carrying out a collective cleaning of the Santa Margarida beach in Sitges, next to the course on the shores of the Mediterranean, with the support of the CRAM Foundation, dedicated to the protection of the marine environment.
Club de Golf Vallromanes acquired the IAGTO ‘Quality Assured’ certification in 2020, which guarantees an excellent experience and the use of good practices for all visitors and tourists who come to the club. In addition, that same year the club launched a program to eliminate single-use plastic bottles, for the consumption of water and drinks on the course, and since then it has not ceased in its commitment to environmental tourism sustainability in all the aspects. During the Covid-19 pandemic, it continued to develop aesthetic improvements and maintenance advantages, with a careful landscaping project and beautification of the layout.
This 2022, the year of its 50th anniversary, it has carried out improvements to the irrigation system throughout the course, drainage, renovation of bunkers, expansion of tees, and so on. The driving range now has lighting and a new tee line. In addition, the change in the management of the restaurant has increased the offer and quality of the menu. Its ongoing projects allow savings in energy consumption, double recharging of electric cars, and an improvement in waste treatment.
Club de Golf Barcelona has undergone an almost total renovation between 2019 and 2020, with the restoration of the fairways and bunkers around the greens, the replanting of the fairways with Bermuda Arden 15, improvements to the tee platforms, the replanting of fifty native pine trees, and the launch of the Barcelona Golf Academy.
The largest investment made in 2021 was directed to the rest of the facilities, with the start of the incorporation of solar panels (which will reach 600 units by the end of 2022), chargers for electric cars, the creation of six padel courts, the new summer swimming pool, the gym specialized in golf, improvements in WiFi coverage, etc.
Meanwhile, the club obtained certification as a Global Safe Site in August 2020, renewed six months later, and the Biosphere Sustainable Lifestyle seal in 2022, awarded for its commitment to tourism sustainability. At the same time, it is carrying out a study on the local fauna, which will provide a thorough understanding of the species that inhabit the countryside, and protect them as best as possible.
Finally, Club de Golf Montanyà was the first course in Spain to receive the Global Safe Site certification in 2020, for its model to avoid the risks of Covid-19, awarded by the prestigious security firm Bureau Veritas.
In 2022 it has carried out reforms in the irrigation system that allow it to improve its sustainable efficiency, it has acquired new maintenance machinery, and it is in the last phase of construction of the road network for the circulation of buggies and greenkeeping vehicles. Thus, it has managed to reduce energy and water consumption; and has carried out pruning and forest clearing operations to reduce the combustion hazards in the event of a fire and improve visual comfort and the player’s experience.
The biodiversity of this club is extraordinary, located at the foot of the Montseny Natural Park, a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, and it will soon be awarded the Biosphere certificate. Its next project is the construction of a 100KW photovoltaic station for self-consumption in its facilities.
The Barcelona golf courses are aware that each of their actions has an impact on the environment, and in this way they ensure that they act in a positive, sustainable and responsible manner, to the benefit of the environment and its users.
Miguel Ángel Buil
Editor of MyGolfWay.com