The prestigious awards, which reward both individuals and golf courses for their commitment to environmentally sustainable projects, are managed and administered by STRI, based in Bingley, West Yorkshire.
Criteria for the judging process are not based on the scale of financial investment or project size but on what a golf course has achieved and how it is demonstrating positive environmental benefits.
The awards recognise the individual golf courses and course professionals who are making real improvements to their local environment and the quality of life for the future throughout the UK.
The coveted awards are supported by a group of sponsors committed to supporting and promoting proven sustainable projects within golf clubs and STRI is proud to announce the addition of two new sponsors, Tillers Turf and Wiedenmann.
These two companies join the existing sponsors, Ransomes Jacobsen, Farmura, Syngenta, Greenkeeping, Golf Monthly, Operation Pollinator and BIGGA, who are all taking an active role in achieving environmental change for the better.
Last year, a revised new awards format was introduced with three winning categories; Environmental Golf Course of the Year; Conservation Greenkeeper Award and Outstanding Environmental Project of the Year.
Originally launched in 1997, the awards continue to be supported by Justin Rose, the US Open Championship 2013 winner, winning Ryder Cup team member and official ambassador of the Golf Environment Awards.
Looking ahead to entries for this year’s awards, Bob Taylor, STRI’s head of ecology, said:
“We’re expecting a bumper crop of entries for the 2015 awards and, after introducing the new format last year, anticipation amongst the golf industry is very high.
“The standard of entries seen last year was very impressive and we’ve seen the competition year on year becoming increasingly fierce.
“We’re delighted to welcome two great companies, Wiedenmann and Tillers Turf, who join us as commercial sponsors for the awards alongside Farmura, Ransomes Jacobsen and Syngenta.”
The winners each year receive a trip to Europe and the chance to visit some of the world’s leading golf facilities and sites of specific ecological interest.
The current winners recently enjoyed a trip to Portugal in April as part of their prize and attended the GEA Champagne Reception at Wentworth this week, along with the finalists, sponsors and STRI staff.
Winner of the Golf Course of the Year 2014, Frank Clarkson of Dundonald Links, said:
“We were obviously delighted to be the recipient of the prestigious Golf Environment Awards Course of the Year 2014.
“We were honoured and humbled to sit amongst some of the country’s finest examples of golf clubs who embrace best practice.
“I wholeheartedly encourage golf courses to enter the awards – the benefits to club and team morale are tremendous.”
Entry to the 2015 STRI Golf Environment Awards is now open.
Entry is free and details can be found on the website www.golfenvironmentawards.com