At first glance, sustainability initiatives can seem at odds with the expectation of luxury associated with country clubs. But with some strategic and creative thinking, going green can add value to memberships. Here are five ways sustainability can elevate country club members’ golfing, dining, and experiences:
Feature Native Wildlife
Consider ways your club can actively strengthen the local environment. Incorporating local trees and plants into landscaping will provide more resources for the surrounding wildlife to thrive. Pollinator-friendly flowers, trees that provide animal shelter and food, and plants that are non-toxic to animals are great ways to start. Place educational plaques throughout the club’s grounds so members can take pride in their club’s unique landscape.
Be Smart About Water
By incorporating more local vegetation that thrives naturally, your club can also scale back on the resources spent on landscaping and watering. Your golf course does not need to look like The Masters to provide a scenic golf experience for members. A recent survey by the GCSAA proved that simple changes like pruning tree roots, mowing smaller areas less frequently, mulching landscaping beds, and keeping turf slightly drier greatly reduces water usage. This puts less strain on environmental resources as well as a club’s financial resources, leaving more budget for other amenities.
Rethink Your Restaurant Menu
“Zero-Waste” might not be a realistic goal for many food and beverage operations (check out our blog on Zero Waste Restaurants), but there is always room for improvement. Incorporate often discarded ingredients into recipes, like broccoli stems, citrus peels, and uncommon meat cuts. Procure ingredients locally and seasonally to support a supply chain that uses fewer resources. Offer smaller portion sizes to cut down on table scraps. The wine industry is also going through a sustainability movement, so you could even incorporate those labels into your wine menu. A strategic and thoughtful menu can create a dining experience that members will appreciate.
Make it Easy for Members
When asking members to go green, be sure to make it as easy as possible for them. For every waste bin present, have a recycling bin available nearby too. Denote which is which, and what items are suitable for recycling. Invest in water refill stations so members won’t have to rely on bottled water. Members will be happy to do their part if clubs make it easy.
Partner with Private Club Recruiters
A Country Club can only go green if they have hospitality management talent who can think strategically and outside the box. Our Private Club recruiters can find a range of leaders including Executive Chefs, Golf Course Superintendents, Food and Beverage Directors, and General Managers who can transform your club. Contact us to learn how.