Golf News for Wednesday, May 15, 2013 | Courses

North Carolina's Bald Head Island Club recognized for environmental excellence

The Bald Head Island Club has achieved designation as a "Certified Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary" through the Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary Program for Golf Courses. Joseph Bradley Pope, assistant superintendent at The Bald Head Island Club, led the effort to obtain sanctuary designation on the property and is being recognized for Environmental Stewardship by Audubon International. The Bald Head Island Club is the 24th golf course in North Carolina and the 1010th in the world to receive the honor.

"The Bald Head Island Club has shown a strong commitment to its environmental program. They are to be commended for their efforts to provide a sanctuary for wildlife on the golf course property," said Joellen Lampman, associate director of environmental programs for 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 Lampman. These categories include: Environmental Planning, Wildlife & Habitat Management, Outreach and Education, Chemical Use Reduction and Safety, Water Conservation, and Water Quality Management.

"We are honored to receive this designation," said Robert Norton, general manager of The Bald Head Island Club. "When we renovated the golf course in 2010, a major goal was to enhance this magnificent layout and its surroundings in ways that would make it an even better natural habitat for all kinds of coastal wildlife. We made sure the course would be in tune with the island's natural environment by adding natural and native sand areas and installing a new irrigation system that requires substantially less irrigation water and fertilizers. The course turned out beautifully and the changes we made add to the enjoyment of golfers who get to observe fox, deer and alligators, and a wonderful assortment of birds including osprey, eagles, red tail hawks, ibis, great blue heron, and white heron while they are playing."

The Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary Program 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, New Zealand, and Southeast Asia have achieved certification in the program.

The Bald Head Island Club is the only golf course and golf club on Bald Head Island, a barrier island located two nautical miles off the coast of southeastern North Carolina. Accessible only by ferry from Southport, N.C., or by private boat, the 12,000-acre resort island has 14 miles of beaches, tidal creeks and an ancient maritime forest, and its transportation options are limited to golf carts, bicycles and pedestrian traffic.

The golf course was originally designed in 1974 by George Cobb who created the famous Par 3 Course at Augusta National in consultation with Bobby Jones and Clifford Roberts. In 2010-2011, award-winning golf course architect Tim N. Cate used Cobb's original drawings as his blueprint, preserved the routing of the course, and created sweeping vistas of dunes and the ocean, while enhancing its environment naturally and beautifully. In addition to the golf course, the Club offers a 10-acre practice facility and many other amenities.

Equity memberships in The Bald Head Island Club are available with the purchase of real estate or boat slip. Golf packages are available and playing privileges are extended through vacation rentals on Bald Head Island.

Audubon International is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization based in Troy, N.Y. In addition to golf courses, Audubon International also provides programs for businesses, schools, communities, and new developments with the purpose of delivering high-quality environmental education and facilitating the sustainable management of natural resources. For more information, call Audubon International at (518) 767-9051 or visit

Jamie Wilburn or Lei Gainer, LHWH
843) 448-1123
Joellen Lampman, Associate Director of Environmental Programs
(518) 767-9051, Ext. 114