The EGA's February 2017’s Champions of the Green are the team at The North Berwick Golf Club, Scotland, their positive impact on the local community.
An ancient because of links course, The North Berwick Golf Club was founded in 1832, although, records of golf on the site go back to the start of the 17th Century. In 2016, the club gained the GEO Certified® mark, recognising their commitment to the sustainable management of the club. Among the many highlights of the independent verification report for this prestigious eco-label was the club's positive work within the local community.
Situated in the center of the seaside town of North Berwick, the club's draw with tourists has long benefited the town's hospitality industry. Listed as one of Golf Digest’s top 100 courses in the world, the club welcomes 11,000 visitors each year.
“We feel very honored to have such great support from the people of North Berwick” said Christopher Spencer, Managing Secretary at The North Berwick Golf Club. “The hospitality of the town is one of the great draws to the course. We’ve been delighted to support events and groups in the town throughout the club’s history, and, in 201, we established a community fund to allow us to continue and to grow this support for the local community.”
Through The North Berwick Golf Club Community Fund, awards ranging from £250 to £1,920 were given to 11 local organisations in 2016.
“The first year of the community fund has been very popular and a great success. We’re already looking forward to receiving applications for the 2017 fund, which will open in the summer. Not only does establishing the fund allow us to give back and thank the town for their support, it allows us to openly demonstrate the positive value the club itself brings to North Berwick and it strengthens the bond between the community and the club.”
Along with the community fund the club prioritises the use of local suppliers in the clubhouse, hiring local staff and is an active member of community groups. Their youth work was also highlighted in their GEO Certified® report. Along side the famous 18-hole West Links Course, The North Berwick Golf Club hosts a nine-hole par three Children’s Course, which is popular with tourists and local families alike. Club professional, Fraser Malcom, also works with the local school, providing tuition to pupils once a week.