The island destination of Madeira has taken its sustainability credentials to new heights, with all three golfing venues embracing the tourist board’s long-term commitment to preserving the environment.
Clube de Golf Santo da Serra has become the latest club in the idyllic Portuguese islands to implement a new eco-strategy, following Palheiro Golf and Porto Santo Golf in making a series of course improvements to enhance the overall playing experience for members and guests.
At the centre of Club de Golfe Santo da Serra’s improvement plan is the installation of a new state-of-the-art irrigation system – reducing its water consumption by around 66 per cent so that just 750m³ a day is now needed to help ensure optimum course conditions all-year round.
In addition, the club has renovated the four on-course lakes that it uses for irrigation, installing an interconnecting system between all of them to improve access to water so that all areas of the 27-hole layout can easily be watered whenever necessary. It is estimated that the combined capacity of the lakes is around 40,000m³, a volume that will reinforce the storage capacity of the Lagoa do Santo system.
Porto Santo Golfe recently strengthened its association with nature when the island that it is named after became a UNESCO biosphere reserve – one of 25 new locations named in the World Network of Biosphere Reserves.
Designed by Seve Ballesteros and host of the Madeira Islands Open in 2009 and 2011, the club is the perfect example of the harmony between human activity and wildlife. Dotted with lakes and natural habitats within the course, the northern route of the course is set atop fantastic cliffs and near the stunning Porto Santo beach. Diverse marine life thrives nearby, including the loggerhead sea turtle and the rarest seal in the world, the Mediterranean monk seal.
And Palheiro Golf is also working hard to deliver increased sustainability in and around the golf course. As well as registering with the Golf Environment Organisation, the venue has dramatically reduced the carbon footprint of the course by using a black sand endemic to Madeira in all its bunker, while future plans include the purchase of new golf-course maintenance machinery and updating its irrigation system.
Located approximately 1,000km from the European mainland – and just 500km from the African continent – the islands enjoy an amazingly mild climate, ranging from 25°c in the summer to 17°c in the winter, with very mild average temperatures and moderate humidity, making it the perfect year-round destination for a golf break.
Golfers from the UK and across northern Europe headed to Madeira in increasing numbers last autumn to enjoy its world-class golf courses and many other attractions.
The best way to enjoy the archipelago’s golf is with a Madeira Golf Passport which, providing holders with an unrivalled golf experience, is available to both individuals and groups and can be booked on a three or five-round basis.