The Old Collier Golf Course

As the first Audubon International Certified Gold Signature Sanctuary Golf Club in the world The Old Collier Golf Course in Naples, Florida has shown a great level of commitment to sustainability of wildlife environments.

Built on pristine land just a few miles from the Gulf of Mexico and close to the Cocohatchee River it provides an ideal location for a world class course, and a valuable habitat for many animals including over 100 species of birds.

During course construction these wildlife habitats were not forgotten. 159 acres of the development were enhanced to encourage wildlife with 77 acres being used to create turf areas ensuring a sustainable wildlife haven. This alone was a great achievement, but the commitment did not stop at course design, it continued through to other areas. Utilising 100% recycled plastics (to create many aesthetic aspects of the course such as benches and bridge surfaces), reducing chemical use, efficient energy management and recycling water to name but a few.

“Respect for the land has been a guiding force for Collier Enterprises for generations and we felt that this needed to translate into our plans for The Old Collier Course. The Audubon Certification allowed us to ensure that we were preserving nature and providing sustainable habitats whilst creating a magnificent golfing experience.”

“Golf course management is part of a complex environmental system and our Audobon philosophy drives us to scrutinise every aspect of our operations and how our practices and policies affect the system.”

The impact of grinders should not be underestimated.

“For example, at even a simple level, using Express Dual and Anglemaster system made grinding so easy we were able to grind faster than we could lap. It was then an easy decision to stop our old lapping practices and eliminate the waste from lapping paste at source, which makes this aspect of our mower maintenance more environmentally friendly.”

“Less obvious was the indirect impact of the grinders on inputs such as chemicals: fertiliser and pesticides, and water for irrigation. A good sharpening programme improves quality of cut leading to a healthier grass plant. The turf then requires less inputs to achieve the same quality of appearance and playing standard. So we achieve a top class playing conditions and it costs us less money to do so. An example of a win-win and totally consistent with our Audobon objectives.”

Tim Hiers, CGCS
The Old Collier Golf Club