Golf Course Environmental Management Plan

Remuera GC - Opportunities to make ecological enhancements

Project: The SSDM New Zealand Golf Course Environmental Management Review

Client: Remuera Golf Course

Timeframe: June 2012 - on-going

In June 2012 Remuera Golf Course adopted the SSDM New Zealand Golf Course Environmental Management Review. Previous to this SSDM had successfully completed 3 pilots of the review system on a range of golf courses in the Auckland region.

The review system is unique in the fact that it's criteria have been developed specifically for use within New Zealand (i.e. in consideration of the unique climate, geography, indigenous flora and fauna and typical resources of New Zealand golf courses). During the development of the review system it had been reviewed and endorsed by New Zealand Forest and Bird. SSDM has also consulted with representatives from Landcare Research who have advised  on the appropriate methods and scientific rigour required to implement the review and on-going ecological enhancements of the golf course.


The system underway at Remuera focuses on 3 key areas for the next 12 months:

  • Managing the microbiological 'health' of the rootzone
  • Enhancing the watercourses (including the planting up of riparian habitats and creation of buffer zones)
  • Establishing 'native grass' areas on the golf course (i.e. enhancing the diversity of out-of-play areas)

The SSDM New Zealand Golf Course Environmental Management Review is summarised as follows:

Step 1: Initial Environmental Review of the golf course (generating a score that establishs the current benchmark)

Step 2: Consultation between SSDM and the Golf Course Superintendent and/or a nominated Club Representative - to identify and focus on 3 key goals for the first 12 months

Step 3: Establishing an active Environmental Management Plan folder for the club, offering the club on-going support (as and when required) towards the  achievement of the identified goals (support includes: assistance with environmental funding applications, provision of further consultation on best practice/methods and a 6 month meeting to review progress to-date)

Step 4 : Carry out second Environmental Review of the golf course ( to enable the objective measurement of success and document the progress made towards achievement  of the 3 key goals)

The above process is perpetual, each year 3 key goals will be identified and worked towards as part of the overall Environmental Management Plan for the golf course.

The benefit of the SSDM New Zealand Golf Course Environmental Management Review is that it enables any golf course (irrespective of size or resources) to establish and measure their environmental goals objectively whilst working towards their greater goals regarding the overall ecological enhancement of their golf course. Embarking upon a holistic Environmental Management Plan can be a daunting prospect for any golf club. The SSDM New Zealand Golf Course Environmental Management Review enables the club to divide their overall ecological goals for the golf course into smaller "bite-sized" (and more manageable) projects. 


Some future goals at Remuera include:

  • A gradual reduction in annual nitrogen and phosphorus inputs
  • Enhancement of watercourses to encourage a wider diversity of birdlife
  • Installation of systems to filter out phosphate from ground water existing the golf course
  • A review (and subsequent reduction) of golf course wide mowing regimes


 For more information on SSDM’s environmental consultancy contact us

Remuera GC - Identifying locations around the course where longer grass can be graduate between tree habitats and bunker banks Remuera GC - Working on the benchmarking and enhancement of soil microbiology across the greens