Golf, Sustainability

Sustainability, the great innovation in golf

The indiscriminate use of large quantities of water and energy has no place on the modern golf course; the great innovation in golf is social and environmental sustainability. At Abama, we are one of the leading courses in this regard. We use the latest technology, equipment, and an organic fertilization system that reincorporates all our plant waste in a system based on a circular economy. The Abama Golf Groundskeeper, Mario Arzola, explains the system to us and reveals how we're on the cutting edge in this regard in Europe.

How many people work on the Abama Golf maintenance team?

There are 16 people that work on the team. I’m the one that’s been here the longest. I started in January of 2002.

What are your principal tasks?

We work from 6:30 am to 2:30 in the afternoon. We water the course and rake the bunkers before the first tee time at 8 am. Then we do whatever grass or other maintenance is required so the players find the courses in perfect condition. After we mow the course, we have a look at the work and make sure there aren’t any irregularities in terms of missed spots or uneven grass length. If there are, we do maintenance on that machine to fix the problem and prepare it to go out the next day. We also do regular maintenance checks on the irrigation system, fertilization, and so on. I do all the technical planning and mixing of fertilizers and that type of work.

What maintenance investments have been made this year?

The main investment this year was new equipment for the upkeep of the course. On the one hand we needed to replace machines that were old and no longer functioned optimally, or were very slow, and we also needed certain machines for tasks that we haven’t been able to do up until now. There are constant innovations in golf, and it's important we use them to optimize our processes. For example, we now have a tractor designed specifically for decompacting and aerating the rough and the fairway. We purchased John Deere tractors that meet all the EU environmental sustainability standards and are known for their engines’ low fuel consumption and minimal noise. This is part of a four-stage improvement program we began in 2021.

Can you tell us a bit about Abama Golf’s innovative fertilization system?

It’s an organic system. I did a training course at the University of La Laguna that was for people working in agriculture. So I’ve tried to extrapolate all this knowledge from agriculture and apply it to golf. I believe we’re the only course in Spain that does it. We use all our plant refuse - grass, palm fronds, plant leaves - plus algae and other natural materials and oxygenate it so good bacteria grow within the mix. Then we enrich it with other fermented plant extracts that we also produce here ourselves. Aloe vera is one of the ingredients. It helps to heal wounds in humans, and it works on plants too: we cut this grass every day, and the aloe prevents the grass from turning yellow. Fern is a natural insecticide, and that’s in there. So is nettle, which has lots of potassium. So those are just a few examples of the natural elements available to us that do our job better than chemical pesticides can, and without harming the environment. 


Sustainability is a transversal set of actions that cuts across all the departments at Abama, and our golf course is no exception. Betting on environmental and social innovation in golf is one of the ways we remain among the best golf resorts, capable of supporting long-term productive growth on Tenerife.