National recognition for Ipswich
GOLF: For the second time in seven years Ipswich Golf Club has won a prestigious national award.Purdis Heath has been voted the best golf course in the country for its work towards preserving its natural environment and wildlife.
FOR the second time in seven years Ipswich Golf Club has won a prestigious national award.
Purdis Heath has been voted the best golf course in the country for its work towards preserving its natural environment and wildlife.
Ipswich were the winners in 1995 – the first year the contest was staged and it coincided with the club's centenary.
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The competition rules stipulate that once a club has won the award, it is not eligible to enter for the next five years.
Last year, in its next attempt, Ipswich won the South East region section and finished runners-up to the overall winners, Broadstone GC in Dorset.
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The £5,000 prize money from the 1995 success had been used by Ipswich to build two polytunnels for growing stocks of gorse, broom and heather for planting on the course as part as the heathland restoration programme.
In this year's competition Ipswich faced stiff opposition from two other Suffolk clubs, Aldeburgh and Thorpeness, as well as from more than 50 other clubs competing across the UK.
Each club that enters is judged on its wildlife and habitat management as well as other issues such as the correct use of fertilisers and pesticides and disposal of waste materials.
The Sports Turf Research Institute judge said that he was greatly impressed by the Ipswich heather restoration programme with the work on the area in front of the 13th tee being singled out for particular praise.
He was also pleased that the whole site – including the woodland and lakes –is being managed in a way that is sympathetic to the environment and wildlife that inhabit the course.
Originally sponsored by Amazone, the running has now been taken over by the British and International Golf Greenkeepers Association (BIGGA) along with the R & A.
The presentation of the cheque and plaque for display in the clubhouse will take place at the BIGGA exhibition at Harrogate in January.
Two of the Ipswich greenstaff, Neil Sherman and Mike Dickens, whose duties incorporate those of conservation officers, will receive the award.
Also attending the ceremony will be course manager Norman Fenwick, secretary/manager Neill Ellice and president Mike Robinson.