Nairn Dunbar Golf Links


Nairn Dunbar Golf Links were announced as 2021 Golf Environment Award winners by the Golf Environment Awards, Environmental Golf Course of the Year by Greenkeeping Magazine and Environmental Golf Course of the Year 2021 by Pitchcare.

See the environmental practices they’ve adopted below:


  • Recycling of as much waste as possible 
  • Solar Panels on south facing roof of clubhouse 
  • Installation of Motion sensor detection light switches
  • Reduced amount of paper used in office very few letters and envelopes used emails, website, Facebook,
  • Heating controlled by thermostat to set consistent temperature when necessary
  • Low maintenance sand scrape added at 1sttee area 
  • Pollinating Flowers added to beds surrounding clubhouse which the bees love
  • Pollinating flowers grown by membership rather than buy from garden centre.
  • Hand weeding or power washing slabs, chuckies etc rather than using glyphosate 
  • Electric buggies are now used instead of petrol powered
  • Pc computers set to sleep mode when not in use
  • Saving and re using packaging if possible
  • Old furniture offered to local charities to upcycle or give to people in council housing on benefits etc
  • Electric dispensing hand towels
  • Heaters and radiators un-obstructed to reduce thermostat usage
  • Installation of new wall insulation to help store heat in facility
  • Double glazing windows throughout premises
  • Cycle to work grant offered to all employees
  • Electronic banking used to avoid unnecessary trips to the bank
  • Electronic payslips now in operation 
  • Email advertising instead of flyers etc 
  • Projector installed to allow the reduction of brochures and programmes during events
  • LED/ energy saving lightbulbs installed throughout clubhouse and maintenance facility will be next during winter 2020


  • Electric hot water taps used throughout maintenance facility and on course toilet block
  • Reduction in fertiliser output by 75%
  • Recycling of waste through on course bins (three sections to each bin)
  • Water courses throughout course housing many birds, animals, amphibians and insects 
  • buffer zones introduced with natural roughs along all ditch edges meaning less fuel and time spent strimming edges allowing natural grasses to flourish
  • Bird boxes placed on trees throughout course
  • Brash piles created when clearing woodland
  • Installation of Hedgehog hotel
  • Installation of log pile
  • Installation of Motion sensor detection light switches
  • Reduced amount of paper used in office very few letters and envelopes used emails, website, Facebook, social media etc 
  • Heating controlled by thermostat to set consistent temperature when necessary
  • Reduction of fungicide output from 120L a year during previous management to zero applications in last 3 years 
  • Cultural methods used to control pests and diseases (spiking and sand topdressing has been successful for control of worms) 
  • Installation dune face which now houses a sand martin colony
  • Migratory bird survey in conjunction with RSPB 
  • Reduced cutting regime (semi-Rough reduced from 24 hours a week to 3 hours, fairway widths reduced) 
  • increased naturalised areas throughout course encouraging natural grasses wildflowers and wildlife
  • Took part in the Big Butterfly count 2020
  • STRI visit once per year to advise on maintenance so we have useful data and do not carry out unnecessary practises (including soil and tissue analysis)
  • Installation of sand scrapes and allow natural regeneration planting wildflowers to encourage butterflies and mining bees.
  • Coppicing of trees rather than removal to encourage new growth
  • Removal of non-native tree species allowing native trees to flourish
  • Installation of petrol and diesel tanks to avoid unnecessary trips to petrol station 
  • Heaters and radiators un-obstructed to reduce thermostat usage
  • Hand weeding bunker faces etc rather than using glyphosate to burn off
  • Water conservation in facility only use amount needed
  • Reduced organic matter levels from 12% to 5 % which will promote firm and fast links surfaces. Incorporating Fine grasses bents and fescues into surfaces which will in turn need less management (measuring and monitoring carried out regularly)
  • We are the only site in the UK for the Rare Solidago sempervirens L. (Salt-marsh Goldenrod) 
  • Wildflowers flourishing throughout course orchids, burnett rose etc 
  • Rough management programme in place cutting, scarifying collecting to thin out roughs to remove dense grasses and provide habitat for fine grasses and wildflowers (enhancing biodiversity)
  • Promotion of heathers throughout course
  • Double glazing windows installed in maintenance facility and toilet block
  • Weather data used to plan maintenance (wetting agents applied during rainfall instead of using irrigation system)
  • Limited use of irrigation system (Just enough to keep plant healthy)
  • Introduced environmental plan/policy
  • Reduced stress, increasing heights of cut
  • Screen our own soil and sand rather than buying in where possible
  • Topdressing using indigenous sand rather than buying which was transported around 200 miles to our site
  • LED/ energy saving lightbulbs used where possible
  • Extension of wetlands 
  • Electric dispensing hand towels
  • Promotion of sensitive landscapes such as dune systems 
  • Ensure all mowers are kept clean, maintained and reels sharp so not do damage turf causing disease outbreaks
  • Involving the community by creating a nest box project where they can build a bird box from our recycled sleepers and have it placed on a tree. Invited to a ringing session with RSPB if the box becomes occupied
  • Involving the membership with volunteering with course maintenance to help build relationships and better communicate why certain tasks are done on the course. They will also feel they are giving something back 
  • It is our intention to involve the local school, craft and design and department art department to help build different nest boxes and signage throughout the course. 
  • Encouraged all staff to get involved with on course habitat projects 
  • Encouraged all staff to continually develop and improve skills and knowledge.
  • Improved professional image of all staff by improving education and new formal logo workwear
  • Aim to work closely with local group “green hive”
  • Have encouraged all staff, management and members to read golf course R&A 2030 to help then what we are trying to achieve and understand the term sustainability more.
  • Work closely with RSPB Darrell Stevens and Aigas staff naturalist Ben jones to monitor, survey and wildlife and habitats throughout our site. 
  • Now on year 4 of our bird ringing project to track movements, sex, age, of migratory birds have had one recaptured in Manchester and another in Spain.
  • Encouraged members to log wildlife sightings and location so we can monitor many different types of wildlife on the course
  • Consult BIGGA Ecology James Hutchinson regarding best practise.
  • Working with forestry commission Scotland to seek advice regarding tree thinning work to provide an open woodland habitat.
  • Working towards becoming GEO certified
  • Have enquired about new hybrid machinery to reduce repair, fuel costs and reduce the hydraulic oil and the chance of spills and damage to surfaces.
  • Trained staff to carry out in house servicing of machinery rather than paying contractors to travel to site and carry out work. 
  • Volunteering to help local football club and putting green when time allows using our technical knowledge and expertise to help improve local facilities.
  • Have a local wildlife photographer use the site for taking photos of wildlife and has asked to install motion sensor wildlife cameras to capture footage
  • Purchase as many goods from local trade rather than buying from large companies saving on postage and unnecessary packaging.
  • Recycled sleepers from local railway improvement project to create on course bins and tee signage
  • Internal promotion of trained staff to deputy course manger allowing local talent to flourish. 
  • Communicate to the community to ensure they know that we are more than just a golf course, explaining what we do to encourage wildlife and natural habitats and sustainable practises throughout the site.
  • Have had local academy pupils volunteer as part of the duke of Edinburgh award 
  • Invited Scottish Natural Heritage on site to discuss the management of land bordering SSSI site


Nairn Dunbar Golf Club, Lochloy Rd, Nairn IV12 5AE



Tel: 01667 452741