Environmental accolade for Mount Lawley’s Rod Tatt

12th Jul 2023

Rod Tatt

Mount Lawley Golf Club received the Australian golf course industry’s highest environmental accolade at the National Turf Industry Awards in Adelaide.

Rod Tatt, Mount Lawley’s course superintendent (pictured above), accepted the Australian Sports Turf Managers Association’s (ASTMA) Claude Crockford Sustainability and Environment Award in front of a packed house at Adelaide Oval.

The award recognises superintendents and their teams who have demonstrated excellence in sustainability and environmental management. Mount Lawley becomes just the third Western Australian club behind Hartfield (2015) and El Caballo Resort (2002) to win the award in its 28-year history.

Tatt, who originally hails from Melbourne and was a past superintendent of Woodlands and Yarra Yarra golf clubs on the famed Sandbelt, joined Mount Lawley in September 2018.

Harnessing the strength of his course staff and the renowned Mount Lawley Volunteers Group, Tatt has driven an agenda that focuses on environmental management and sustainability on a course that draws up to 70,000 rounds per year.

Guided by a comprehensive sustainability strategy entitled Beyond the Fairways, which includes a comprehensive vegetation management plan adopted in 2019, the club has actively restored natural vegetation in degraded areas, protected remnant bushland and dealt with problematic vegetation that had negatively impacted bushland and the golf playing areas.

During this time, the volunteer group has grown in size from four members to 30. Between them and the club staff, 9500 endemic trees, shrubs and groundcovers have been reintroduced to the course.

Over the next seven years, the planting program will reintroduce an additional 1700 trees and 17,500 shrubs and groundcovers, helping to restore much of the endemic vegetation that had been removed through historical clearing activities prior to the golf club occupying the land.

The course also provides a vital urban habitat for a diverse range of native animal species, among them the forest red-tailed black cockatoo, rainbow bee-eater and endangered Carnaby’s cockatoo.

Earlier this year, the club installed the first round of owl and microbat boxes to provide safe nesting and roosting sites for species currently experiencing decline in the Perth area, while proactive measures have also been taken to protect the Southern Brown Bandicoot from predatory foxes and feral cats.

As well as steering the club along its journey to improved environmental management and sustainability, Tatt has also played a key role in Mount Lawley’s current greens replacement program, which will culminate in 2024.

Mount Lawley GM, Troy O’Hern, paid tribute to Tatt’s impact at the club, saying: “The Mount Lawley Board, members and staff are very proud of Rod and his team for winning this award, which we believe is richly deserved. It is also great recognition for our wonderful group of member volunteers.

“Rod’s commitment to creating long-term sustainable outcomes for the club and broader community by restoring urban biodiversity will provide benefits for generations to come.”

Rod Tatt with Mount Lawley GM Troy O’Hern and representatives from award sponsor Syngenta