Muscat: Al Mouj Golf, regarded by many as one of the Middle East’s finest golf courses, has for the second time retained its designation as a "Certified Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary" through the Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary Programme for Golf Courses, an Audubon International programme.
Al Mouj Golf was first designated as a Certified Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary in 2014 becoming the first golf course in the Middle East and North African (MENA) region to be certified.
Al Mouj Golf has now achieved this distinction three times, thanks to the eco-friendly management approach of the wider team and the practices they have adopted toward the maintenance of the club as a habitat for a diverse range of wildlife.
These efforts have been escalated by the Al Mouj Golf team, who have conducted regular assessments of the facility to ensure it has once again been recognised for the third time by Audubon International for environmental stewardship in 2020.
Al Mouj Golf is now just one of 200 golf clubs to be Golf Environment Organisation (GEO) certified worldwide and less than 20 courses to be certified by both GEO and Audubon, meaning that Al Mouj Golf is just one from approximately 20 courses worldwide to be certified by both organisations.
Commenting on this achievement was Nasser Al Sheibani, CEO of Al Mouj Muscat: "I am incredibly proud of the team at Al Mouj Golf for successfully retaining the natural heritage of our golf course, as well as being recognised by Audubon for a third time. This is a significant environmental and sustainability achievement in balancing such a wonderful lifestyle asset with nature. Maintaining the biodiversity of the grounds at Al Mouj Golf is central to providing golfers with a world-class facility. Thanks to the efforts of the Al Mouj Golf team, we were able to become the region's first achievers of this outstanding certification back in 2014. By continuing this success and retaining this certification, Al Mouj Golf continues to put Oman on the map as a leading party in environmental protection and management."
“Al Mouj Golf is honoured to be certified by both Audubon International and Golf Environmental Organisation for our environmental, sustainability and commitment to the greater community” said Steven Johnson, Course Superintendent at Al Mouj Golf “Both programmes are internationality recognised for their cutting-edge approach to sustainable golf course management practices and these certifications ensure Al Mouj Golf’s maintenance programmes are at the forefront of world golf.”
The Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary Programme for Golf Courses, endorsed by the United States Golf Association, provides information and guidance to help golf courses preserve and enhance wildlife habitat, and protect natural resources. Golf courses from the United States, Africa, Australia, Canada, Central America, Europe, Mexico, and Southeast Asia have achieved certification in the programme.
"Al Mouj Golf has shown a strong commitment to its environmental programme. They are to be commended for preserving the natural heritage of the area by protecting the local watershed and providing a sanctuary for wildlife on the golf course property," said Christine Kane, CEO at Audubon International.
"To reach certification, a course must demonstrate that they are maintaining a high degree of environmental quality in a number of areas," explained Kane. These categories include environmental planning, wildlife & habitat management, outreach and education, chemical use reduction and safety, water conservation, and water quality management. Courses go through a recertification process every three years.
The Greg Norman designed course is nestled along a two kilometre stretch of the Indian Ocean in the Sultanate of Oman, with the Hajjar mountains standing tall over the lush green grass, bunkers, natural dunes and water hazards found at Al Mouj Golf. Winners of the 2019 IAGTO sustainability award for community value, Al Mouj offers a unique biodiversity with the 173 different bird species being an integral part of this.