The Links golf course at Fancourt has retained its prestigious designation as a Certified Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary, cementing its world-class reputation for environmental excellence and sustainability and making it one of only two courses in South Africa and 905 across the world to have achieved this outstanding global benchmark.
The Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary Program for Golf Courses is run by Audubon International, a US-based non-profit organisation that facilitates and promotes the sustainable management of land, water, wildlife and other natural resources in all places people live, work and play. It is designed to help golf courses plan, organise, implement and document a comprehensive environmental management programme and to recognise outstanding achievements in this respect.
The rigorous certification process requires golf courses to demonstrate that they are maintaining a high degree of environmental quality in key areas, including environmental planning, wildlife and habitat management, outreach and education, chemical use reduction and safety, water conservation and water quality management.
The golfing hallmark of Fancourt estate, The Links is a private golf club for the exclusive use of its members and accompanied guests, with limited tee times being made available to guests of Fancourt Hotel and the estate’s luxury boutique hotel, The Manor House at Fancourt, who meet minimum reservation requirements.
“We are delighted that The Links has retained its position as a Certified Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary as this is a testament to the enormous commitment the team at The Links and Fancourt has to sustainability and environmental best practice,” says Mark Fincham, golf director at The Links at Fancourt. “It’s a tremendous achievement and something we are incredibly proud of.”
Links courses are the oldest style of course in the world and originated in Scotland. They are typically characterised by their coastal location and undulating surface and feature tough grasses that result in a harder playing surface on fairways, allowing for what is known as a “running” game, meaning that the golf ball runs out much further after landing on the harder surface than on a more soft, normal turf course.
Inspired by this, South African golfing icon Gary Player, course designer Phil Jacobs and Fancourt’s owner Dr Hasso Plattner collaborated to transform what was an old airfield into today’s world-leading golf course and champion of environmental best practice. The Links at Fancourt is currently ranked as the No 1 golf course in South Africa by Golf Digest magazine and ranks 43 on Golf Digest US’s list of the world’s greatest golf courses.
The Links has showed a consistently strong commitment to its environmental programme since its initial certification in 2011 and subsequent recertification processes and has been commended by Audubon International for its achievements, particularly in its efforts to provide a sanctuary for wildlife on the golf course.
Visit the Fancourt website www.fancourt.co.za for more information.