Golfers Rhyl on creating the ‘first carbon neutral club’ in Wales

A GOLF club celebrating its “rescue” will have to close for 12 months but will reopen with a new club that will have a “zero carbon footprint”.

Earlier this year, members of the Rhyl Golf Club felt dejected and said the Awel y Môr offshore windfarm project posed a “real threat” to their existence.

Two options were on the table.

Plan A which involved placing two transitional junction boxes of two 20 meter by five meter concrete slabs in the middle of the golf course – across the fourth, fifth and sixth fairways. Members said this would cause “constant disruption”. and access rights, as this is a major national infrastructure project.

Plan B was similar, but the junction boxes would be placed half a mile inland across Lyons Robin Hood Holiday Park and the railway line through Dyserth Bends.

Mike Pritchard, head of marketing at Rhyl Golf Club, said at the time that if Plan A went ahead “the course would be unplayable” and he saw “no viable future”.

Now the future looks much brighter.

Mr Pritchard said: “Recent negotiations have been positive and as a result we will restructure and refit both the course and the clubhouse to accommodate the Sea Defense programme. When we resurface we aim to be the first carbon neutral golf club in Wales (if not the UK). »

Mike added: “Through the Journal’s support and backing from the wider community, we have good news to say that ‘people power’ has saved our Rhyl Golf Club. The two big challenges, the Sea Defense program and the construction of the Awel Y Mor wind farm, have both been ‘managed’ to enable us to keep Rhyl’s only golf course alive for the foreseeable future.

“We have the opportunity to build a new club that will have a zero carbon footprint. We will lead the way in Wales and possibly the UK, with the first self-sufficient energy and water scheme to any golf club.

“We want Rhyl to be on the map as a frontrunner and an ambassador for climate change.

“Not only will we use solar energy for lighting/electricity, but also geothermal energy for heating and rainwater harvesting, as well as boreholes for water.

“We want to give back to Rhyl where we can and we will be the first sports venue to have electric car charging facilities on site.

“The new clubhouse will be more 21st century.”

The 12-month closure will take place from April 1, 2023. The club will reopen with the new course and clubhouse on April 1, 2024.

Asked where players will go during the shutdown, Mike said: “We have offered a range of options; Some will play other courses – discussions will be ongoing in time, some will take time off and just be able to play the occasional golf. Others will form golf societies and travel or explore new or different courses.

“The response from members at our EGM was very positively received and all are seizing the opportunity. The unanimous opinion was that this bump in the road is worth what they will come back for.”

Mike said the possibility of creating the “first carbon neutral golf club in Wales” was “a no-brainer”.

“Phoenixing from the ashes of the old club which relies on the whims of the energy industry where costs and supply fluctuate beyond our control,” Mike commented.

“We don’t want to lose the legacy, but we have to build a club for the current generation and the next generation of golfers. It gives us a chance to educate those who want to be part of the green revolution but need to learn more and support the fight against climate change and I’m 100% in favor of creating a sustainable planet for those who come later.

“We have a duty to ensure that we reduce harmful emissions and be self-sufficient. We will do this by having solar energy for light and energy, geothermal energy for heating and rainwater harvesting and boreholes for our water needs We will move away from the use of fossil fuel resources to operate the new pavilion.

“We want to give back to the community and we also hope to be a net contributor of electricity.

“My plan is to be the first golf club in the region to support electric car charging and our design and plans will be to create ‘the future state of golf’.

“We are currently in the process of looking for architects to bring our design vision to fruition and then we can lay the groundwork for further support in the form of grants and for those in the energy industry who wish to be part of and support this exciting future program.”

Michael C. Ford