The Nantucket Golf Club

Nantucket, MA


Nantucket Golf Club Image


Nantucket Island is home to a variety of unique plant, animal and cultural resources and therefore one of the most scenic and naturally diverse landscapes in North America.

An exhaustive site analysis process identified critical environmental issues to be addressed while planning and constructing the Nantucket Golf Club in Massachusetts. The design process generated a final golf layout and construction plan that avoided and/or minimized environmental impacts on plant and animal species. Rare plant species and grassland communities were actually enhanced, improving overall animal habitat. Creation of the Nantucket Golf Club became a model for subsequent projects attempting to blend world - class golf facilities with unique natural environments. Golf and the environment can co-exist, without compromising the integrity of either land use.

The starting point was consultation with numerous environmental experts, interaction with local environmental and special interest groups, the involvement of a variety of governmental agencies with jurisdictional authority over the property and input from the general island community.

The final plan achieved the desire of a world-class golf experience, while also accomplishing the following environmental objectives:

By implementing a thoughtfully designed program, increased the total acreage of rare, “Sandplain Grassland” and “Coastal Heathland” vegetative communities

No net loss of wetlands

A “Secondary Rough” component, comprised primarily of native grasses, was created to buffer the routinely maintained and “in-play” areas of the golf course, from the undisturbed, adjacent grasslands and wetlands.

An on-site, “rare plant nursery” was developed to accommodate transplanting of “State – Listed” rare plant species during construction, as well as to promote future propagation of rare plant seeds.

An Integrated Golf Course Management Plan was developed to reduce reliance on chemical methods of disease and weed control, as well as to establish appropriate thresholds dictating future use of herbicides and pesticides on the golf course.

Groundwater monitoring wells were established throughout the project site.

The golf course architect and golf course builder worked together to achieve the desired design intent and meet the environmental objectives for the project. During construction of the project, the golf course builder was diligent in maintaining delineation and protection of the sensitive environmental areas. Over 80 acres of the site were protected by fencing and remained in a completely undisturbed condition. 



Greg Muirhead, ASGCA

GCBAA Earth Shaping News 


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