International honour for Jack’s Point Golf Course

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Jack’s Point Golf Course near Queenstown has received the prestigious International Association of Golf Tour Operators (IAGTO) Sustainability Award for Nature Protection presented at an international ceremony last night in Slovenia.

Jack’s Point was selected by the International Association of Golf Tour Operators’ sustainability partner, the Golf Environment Organisation (GEO) to receive the 2019 Nature Award.

Jack’s Point Golf General Manager, John Griffin says the team are thrilled to have been recognised for their long-term commitment to sustainability and nature protection.

Griffin explained “we are delighted to have achieved this international recognition for our ongoing work to preserve our unique natural environment at Jack’s Point.

“Simon Forshaw, Jack’s Point Course Superintendent has been instrumental in leading the team’s sustainability and nature protection initiatives since the start of the course build in 2005. It is very much thanks to his efforts that we are privileged to have received this award today.”

Jonathan Smith, GEO Foundation Executive Director says Jack’s Point Golf Course won the 2019 Nature category due to its extraordinary preservation of the breath-taking natural landscape. The winners this year highlight the fact that golf has the potential to improve the land and the lives of people who come into contact with it.

“Completed in 2008, the course construction was so sensitive that only five per cent of the entire 3000-acre site will ever be touched. A range of natural materials was utilised, with recycled on-site materials incorporated as much as possible, including local wood and stone. Man-made structures were sited appropriately below sight lines and away from natural bluffs and elevated areas.

“Legislation was in place to ensure the open grassland habitat and rocky terrain (appropriately named ‘The Remarkables’ mountain range) will always be protected and the course is absolutely committed to the preservation of the environment. Wetland habitats were created and existing ones regenerated with improved water quality, previously degraded by pollution from livestock farming. The course has its own irrigation supply and waste water treatment system.”

Golf course designer John Darby says the focus has always been on protecting the natural environment at Jack’s Point, with the surrounding 35 kilometres of hiking trails and extensive wildlife habitat driving their design ethos.

Darby advised “we made some ground rules for ourselves very early on – one was to make sure 95% of that area was kept as open space for everyone to enjoy.

“We devoted the very best of the land to the golf course. And that land also contains the trail network, which is quite unlike most developments where the very best waterfront land is given over to development. In this case we decided it should be given over to a wider use that could be shared and used by everyone at Jack’s Point, not just the lucky few on the lake.

“We wanted to retain the natural character around the course, so we threaded the holes in between the scrubland and native pastureland, we even kept the sheep grazing in and around the course. This way we created a course that related to the past history of the land and introduced a new use, but one that was sympathetic to the natural environment, but also to the individual as well.”

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