Sustainable from the first to the last shot: Andermatt Swiss Alps opens the golf season
May 19, 2021
On Saturday, May 22, the wait is over: The Andermatt Swiss Alps Golf Course once again invites golf enthusiasts to come play a round set against a spectacular mountain backdrop. The 18-hole par-72 championship golf course at 1,440 metres above sea level and covering more than 1.3 million square metres offers golfers formidable fairways – on plateaus as well as through hills and valleys. The GEO-certified golf course places great emphasis on nature conservation and the sparing use of resources. In addition to the challenging course, guests will be delighted by 52 water elements and ponds, goats as landscapers and more than 100 species of birds and dragonflies – all in keeping with the sustainability concept “Andermatt Responsible”.
With over 1,890 hours of sunshine per year, the region around Andermatt Swiss Alps counts among the top 10 sunniest locations in Switzerland. As a year-round destination, Andermatt Swiss Alps welcomes mountain enthusiasts, outdoor fans, gourmands and homeowners – more precisely: “Welcome home”.
An ecological golf course with GEO certification
In 2020 the Scottish-like 18-hole par-72 championship golf course was named Switzerland’s Best Golf Course by the World Golf Awards for the fourth time. In September 2020, the golf course also received GEO certification from the Golf Environmental Organization for its harmony with nature and sustainable operations – one of the first golf courses in Switzerland to achieve this distinction. “We are very proud that the Andermatt Swiss Alps Golf Course met – and even exceeded – all criteria in the areas of nature conservation, resource management and social integration,” explains Stefan Kern, Chief Communication Officer of Andermatt Swiss Alps. The 52 water elements and ponds on the ecologically designed golf course serve to regulate the water supply and at the same time are home to a wide variety of animals, like dragonflies and frogs. The tees and greens are drained in parallel through a layer of filter gravel and drainage pipes. Owing to a sophisticated nutrient programme that includes organically and bacterially enriched products, Andermatt Swiss Alps uses conventional pesticides only very sparingly on the golf course. In addition, fertilisers and pesticides are not allowed near the water elements.
Sustainable commitment for fauna
This also makes the fauna on the golf course very happy: Over 118 species of birds and 12 species of dragonflies call the Andermatt Swiss Alps Golf Course their home. “We conduct a variety of actions to monitor biodiversity on the golf course,” says Daniel Speer, Golf Manager of the Andermatt Swiss Alps Golf Course. “Because we have increased the number of perches for birds, their diversity is growing around the golf course, and the number of dragonflies has risen further as well.” Today, the meticulously tended areas on the edges of the water elements, with their specially created recesses, are also home to highly at-risk dragonfly species, like the black darter and the common damselfly. In addition, in the autumn of 2020, travelling goats helped out as landscapers to care for the conservation area. In 2021 butterflies are being studied. The efforts are being overseen by a monitoring group composed of representatives from environmental associations.
All-around sustainable golf operations
By doing away with PET bottles everywhere on the grounds, as well as through climate friendly catering at The Swiss House, which includes a variety of regional dishes under the label “KM zero”, Andermatt Swiss Alps is making a commitment to sustainable operations. “This year, we are now also offering guests unpainted pencils and tees – in packaging made of recycled cardboard,” explains Daniel Speer. And Stefan Kern adds: “Step by step, we are working on offering a top experience for our guests but also for nature.” This goes hand in hand with the campaign “Andermatt Responsible”, which stands for climate-friendly, sustainable tourism in the Andermatt region, with the goal of facilitating tourism operations in a way that preserves resources.
Andermatt Swiss Alps AG
Andermatt Swiss Alps AG, with registered office in Andermatt, plans, builds, and develops the year-round destination of Andermatt. In 2009 Andermatt Reuss came into being, with apartment buildings, hotels, and chalets. The Andermatt Swiss Alps Group also owns Andermatt-Sedrun Sport AG with its cableways, the catering brand Mountain Food, the Swiss Snowsports School Andermatt, an 18-hole, par-72 championship golf course, and the Andermatt Concert Hall. With the hotels, the sports infrastructure, the wide range of events on offer, and the properties, Andermatt Swiss Alps is pursuing the vision of becoming the “prime Alpine destination”. In doing so, it is committed to an intact environment and a sustainable future that will enable coming generations to have an extraordinary home. During high season, the Andermatt Swiss Alps Group has more than 1,000 employees working at the locations in Altdorf, Andermatt and Sedrun.