As part of Turfhuggers efforts to bring articles and view points from around the world, I'd like to introduce to you one of our newest contributors, James Hutchinson. James is a 38 year old step father to James and husband to Lynsey. Since 2007 James has been the Assistant Greenskeeper/Eco-Coordinator at Fairhaven Golf CLub in Lytham where he's helped them win spots in BIGGA's Golf Ecology Competition in 07 (Best British Newcomer) and 08 (North England), and more recently in 09 (North England Winner) and 10 (Conservation Greenkeeper of the Year) within the STRI's Golf Course Environmental Awards. James has been awarded scholarships from both BIGGA and the R&A which have helped him earn a FdSc in Sportsturf Science degree from Myerscough, where he just started another 2 year degree.
Wildflowers on a Golf Course?
My question to you is this: Can wild flowers and golf course rough co habit the same space without the need for controversy? I believe they can.
I have a few small ecological projects at my place of work, and one is the introduction of wild flowers into our rough grassland. It has been a three year long project and it is now producing stunning results such as the attraction of honey bees and numerous butterfly types such as this photograph of a small blue on an ox – eye daisy flower.
The project had an initial outlay of £70 ($112 CDN or $114 USD) and is now totally sustainable. The resulting seed heads are collected and scattered elsewhere on the golf course. There is slightly more involved than this brief blog question but the outcome can help to slow down what seems to be a worldwide decline of bees, one of which is shown in this photograph!
I understand that a project such as this could not take place on the ‘in play’ areas of a golf course, but why not the ‘out of play’ areas?
Have you implemented similar projects on your course?
I look forward to hearing your comments.
... Once you've commented, check out some more from James including his Three Year Project on the Introduction of Wild Flowers into an Ecological Rough which James wrote during his time at Myerscough College (embedded below or go here to view in full screen) and this interview An Environmental Haven from the British and International Golf Greenkeepers Association Limited.