Golf Course Architecture: Issue 53 JULY 2018

29 Tee Box Sustainable principles drive Black Forest project SIX PILLARS OF SUSTAINABILITY The expansion of Golf Resort Oeschberghof was based on six key pillars of sustainability. Some highlights of each are as follows: Nature The landscape character was preserved, while improving landscape ecology and promoting new habitats for endangered species. Water Storage lakes throughout the golf courses increase local rainwater harvesting, with fairways shaped to maximise collection of surface run-off water. Energy The design minimises the need for fossil fuels, with initiatives including solar panels on the maintenance facility roof. Supply Chain The development maximised the use of local, recycled materials and strives for long term zero waste operations. Pollution Control Tow minimise pollution risks to soil, water and air, fairways were sandcapped and buffer zones were created. Community Dog walking, jogging and riding trails run through the golf courses, and there is a public restaurant in the middle of the site. To read more, download a PDF presentation from Christoph Städler at: Golf Resort Oeschberghof has five loops of nine holes, all of which return to the clubhouse Photo: Städler Golf Courses Golf Resort Oeschberghof, on the outskirts of Donaueschingen in Germany’s Black Forest, has reopened following a massive project to overhaul its existing 27 holes and add 18 new holes, overseen by golf course architect Christoph Städler of Städler Golf Courses. Städler employed a sustainability- first approach to the design process. “Sustainability is really in my heart,” he said. “There has been comprehensive implementation of features from all six pillars of the sustainability matrix: nature, water, energy, supply chain, pollution prevention, and community” (see box). Established in 1974 by the co-founder of supermarket chain Aldi, Karl Albrecht, the development originally comprised a private villa, hotel, and 18-hole golf course designed by Karl Grohs. Nine holes were added later. Städler, assisted by his design partner Dirk Decker, created a masterplan and won the contract to extend the third nine to an 18-hole East course, add a new nine-hole West course, renovate the existing 18-hole Old course and upgrade the practice range and short game facilities. The resulting courses have differing characteristics. The East is open, with long vistas of the Black Forest backdrop, and is bisected by the Pfohrbach stream with a rich biotope buffer that runs to a lake that dominates the back-to-back par three sixteenth and seventeenth hole. The renovated Old course, the most challenging at the complex, is more parkland in style, flanked by mature trees and on flatter terrain that is easy to walk. The new nine-hole West course has been designed as a fun, par-34 mix of open and parkland holes, with many opportunities and some surprising design features. For example, the middle of the sixth fairway features two circular prehistorical burial mounds which were left untouched during course construction. Among the highlights of the sustainable approach, all existing valuable landscape structures, the biotopes along the Pfohrbach and all existing hedges, trees and bushes, were preserved and integrated into the design. During construction, all earth movements were carried out using GPS-controlled bulldozers and excavators. “Almost to the centimetre according to the height plans,” said Städler. “Almost no earth had to be moved twice to achieve the intended modelling. “Probably the most remarkable achievement in terms of sustainability is that so much rainwater is collected through a sophisticated system of drainage, connecting pipes and storage ponds that the use of groundwater, as is the case on most golf courses, can be completely relinquished.” The reopening took place in June, and was a “great success,” according to Städler. “Resort guests and members are really very happy about it.”