Look across a golf course and it’s hard not to be struck by the serenity of the land that stretches beyond the human eye. What you may not realise, is that with the help of good design, a golf course can even support nature and enable it to flourish.
Many of the 34,000 golf courses worldwide are making significant contributions to biodiversity – through the sheer range of life that they host – from plants to birds, and invertebrates to amphibians. In fact, as human impact on lands surrounding golf courses have intensified, golf courses have increasingly become safe havens for wildlife. Some might even consider them urban islands of biodiversity surrounded by cars and concrete.
"Environmentalists frequently portray golf courses as ‘chemical wastelands’, but golf courses can be community assets. Not only can they elevate property values, create jobs. They can also provide green spaces, filter air, purify water, and create wildlife habitat."
Greg Norman, a famous Australian golfer
Spring City Golf & Lake Resort
To see how golf courses preserve and contribute to biodiversity, look no further than the golf courses in Spring City Golf & Lake Resort (Spring City), Kunming, China, owned by Keppel Land.
What was once a dry mountainous region that suffered inadequate surface drainage and extreme erosion of the soil, Spring City now offers a premier integrated golf resort in Kunming, Yunnan’s capital and largest city. Consistently voted as one of the best golf courses in China, the development not only boasts two championship golf courses, but also luxury resort homes set against the breathtaking backdrop of the Yang Zonghai Lake.
In building the golf resort, indigenous flora, such as the region’s eucalyptus trees and wildflowers, were carefully preserved during and after construction to ensure that the ecosystem remained balanced and intact. Songbirds, butterflies, rabbits, squirrels, insects, and different species of trees were planted to encourage wildlife growth.
In fact, there are more than 300 plant species in Spring City, most of which are native to the Yunnan province. They can be found on a 1.7-km nature trail, which features information boards to help increase public awareness on the importance of preserving the local biodiversity.
For more information on Spring City Golf & Lake Resort, click here.
Ria Bintan Golf Club
Located near the northern coast of Bintan Island, Indonesia, the Ria Bintan Golf Club is one of the most beautiful golf courses in the world. Designed by Gary Player, a famous retired golfer, the 27-hole championship course is also internationally recognised for its contribution to the environment.
Both the Ocean and Forest Courses at the Ria Bintan Golf Club are constructed around existing natural contours, so as to preserve wildlife corridors. Such an integrated design also ensures that the theme of being “at one with nature” is experienced throughout the entire resort.
For its efforts to preserve biodiversity, the club became the first course in Indonesia to receive the highly acclaimed Certified Audubon International Classic and Cooperative Sanctuary certification from the world-renowned green champion, Audubon International.
For more information on Ria Bintan Golf Club, click here.