About This Website

I believe that awareness and appreciation of the natural environment in its myriad manifestations can bring an additional layer of enjoyment for golfers.  All of us should heed the advice often attributed to the great Walter Hagen – “You’re only here for a short visit. Don’t hurry.  Don’t worry, and be sure to smell the roses along the way.”

 

In order to “to smell the roses,” you must begin to take an interest in the plants that can be seen on your golf course. My aim is to introduce you to those plants by providing information on their names, what they look like, where they can be found, when they are best seen, together with some interesting, odd or amusing comments.

The plants described on the website include ones that are “wild flowers” in the lay sense and others (grasses) that are flowering plants in the botanical sense and some others that are categorised as “non-flowering” plants.  I should also mention this is not a botanical survey – I have only recorded the incidence of plant species and did not estimate their frequency of occurrence.

 

Like on other golf courses, you are unliklely to find wild flowers  on the  fairways, greens and tee boxes at Castlewarden. Many can be found in the rough but the real “plant diversity hotspots” are non-golfing areas such as those shown in the “Course Map” page.

Observing and recording plants at Castlewarden and putting this website together were tasks that have grown out of my life-long interests in plants.  For practically all of my working life my work was focussed on agricultural plants, especially those plants that underpin world food supply, but now, in retirement, I have shifted my focus to those plants that I regularly encounter when indulging in one of my other interests – playing golf.     (About the Author)

There are also some more grandiose reasons why we as golfers should take an interest in our natural surroundings. Golf is a sporting activity that has a heritage and culture that is deeply rooted in nature but, increasingly, urbanisation and an ever-growing disconnect with nature is threatening the golf-nature linkage. This is ominous when it is widely perceived by non-golfers (the majority !) that golf is bad for the environment.  Furthermore, it is only by understanding the interactions between golf and the natural environment that one can devise course management strategies that reduce chemical use (costs!) and enhance sustainability – environmental and economic imperatives that we dare not ignore in these challenging times.