Minthis Golf Club has demonstrated its groundbreaking work in sustainability, not only in Cyprus but worldwide, with the most prestigious honour in the golf travel industry: The 2021 IAGTO Award for Outstanding Contribution to Sustainability.
This global award by IAGTO (International Association of Golf Travel Operators), delivered in partnership with GEO (Golf Environment Organization) for Sustainable Golf, recognizes golf clubs around the world for their ongoing commitment to fostering nature, conserving resources, taking climate action and strengthening communities.
In 2019, Minthis Golf Club was the recipient of the Sustainability Award for Resource Efficiency after becoming the first GEO Certified® course in Cyprus. Since this time, the club has built upon its GEO Certification with an array of sustainable practices including native planting and notable habitat areas combined with simple and strategic turfgrass management to ensure the course is a unique golfing environment and valuable natural landscape. A focus on water efficiency and sustainable sourcing complements an emphasis on energy efficiency in the clubhouse and on the course. The combined sustainability efforts are also helping the facility to take real climate action, with a reduction in emissions of 20% over four years as measured by its Sustainability Scorecard from GEO Foundation.
John Kemp, Education and Support, GEO Foundation, said “GEO Certified Minthis is a shining example of sustainable golf in action. Located in Paphos, Cyprus, the course only uses recycled rainwater and greywater for irrigation. A variety of fresh produce is grown on the land and used by the resort chefs, including grapes, olives, apricots and mint. Several beehives deliver delicious local honey.
Away from the course, the resort is involved in conserving the Minthis Monastery, church and gardens, which are open to the local community. The stunning clubhouse was designed with sustainability in mind using locally sourced natural materials, LED lighting, solar panels for hot water and much more. The resort also has a CSR programme that includes the protection of bees, with 100,000 bee-friendly plants and local trees added to the area to support this ongoing initiative.
The eco-friendly, holistic approach and authentic resort philosophy is continuously evolving and being carefully implemented by the dedicated team at Minthis, who have recently gained additional support from a newly appointed Minthis Environmental Officer.
Innovative sustainability has always been a key pillar of the resort and nature is an ever-present element as it is part of a “Natura 2000” protected site. This year, Minthis Golf Club also commissioned a local expert to advise and help create a new golf course environmental study. It includes for example the mapping and description of habitat types for natural vegetation, a list of flora in the natural habitats and identification of important species, as well as a list of birds passing through the study area during migration periods and birds found nesting on the golf course.
RESOURCES and NATURE
The previously awarded, sophisticated onsite water recycling management strategy has been improved upon with the completion of the beautifully remodeled irrigation lake in May 2020. This has doubled in capacity to 3800m3 and with this enhancement, the Golf Club is able to store enough grey water and recycled rainwater to sustainably maintain the course each day throughout the year. In addition, the control system for the pump station has been replaced with the innovative Grundfos MPC control panel to ensure a steadier water pressure flow. Going forward to improve the quality of the grey water and subsequently the soil conditions of the golf course, the Golf Club invests also in a new filtration system for the pump station. Finally, in order to prevent water logging in the winter months and to divert excess water to the storm drains which feed the main reservoir, significant drainage work has been carried out on the front nine fairways. This has led to much improved playing surfaces in the winter months as well as the recycling of extra rain water.
The exciting upgrade to USGA specification sand greens was also completed in 2020 and the 18-hole championship golf course reopened with 18 brand new greens, new bunkers and a new layout in spring 2021. The greens have been seeded with 007 Creeping Bent Grass, known for its heat-tolerance and enhanced resistance to weed invasion and turf disease, benefitting the long-term sustainability of the golf course. The fairways and rough feature Bermuda and Kikuyu grass, which are relatively drought tolerant and compatible with the Cypriot climate. Taking our unique microclimate at 550m above sea level into consideration, the course is over-seeded with winter rye grass every fall to ensure desirable winter playing surfaces.
More vineyards have been planted over the last two years to make use of non-playing areas and to increase the on-site production of wine. Minthis is producing its own white, rosé and red wine which can be bought and consumed at the Clubhouse. Carobs are also harvested in autumn on the golf course to produce carob syrup, followed by the much-awaited November olive harvest with its delicious olive oil.
Native areas with local shrubbery and native grasses have been planted and increased to encourage wildlife. It has the additional benefit of reducing mowing maintenance, CO2 emissions and fuel consumption. Another biological improvement has been achieved with the increased use of bio-stimulants and wetting agents. In 2019 the green keeping team also moved into a new state of the art, eco-friendly golf course maintenance facility.
Perched on a tranquil hilltop among five million square metres of breathtakingly beautiful protected Cypriot landscape lies Minthis. From award-winning luxury residences, villas and suites conceived by world-renowned architects Woods Bagot; to golf, fine dining, wellness, nature and adventure pathways, this authentic residential retreat redefines holistic living.
Nature is an ever-present element at Minthis being part of a Natura 2000 protected site. The 18-hole championship golf course is the first GEO Certified® Golf Club in Cyprus and moulds itself to the landscape, passing walnut and fig trees, olive groves and the historic 12th century monastery. It is a beautiful and demanding course for all seasons with breathtaking views of the Troodos Mountains and beyond. Designed by legendary golf architect Donald Steel in 1994 and renovated by renowned course designers Mackenzie & Ebert, the course is a flawless example of their philosophy that golf courses should fit into the terrain, be in keeping with their setting and focus on the details.