Percent of golf facilities that have adopted practices to lower energy use
Preparing the golf industry for the future
The golf industry is committed to environmental stewardship in the design, construction and management of golf courses. The game’s leading organizations have invested considerable resources in this effort and are committed to advancing the sustainability of the game. The WE ARE GOLF coalition supports these initiatives, which include research, education and innovative practices that are dedicated to providing long-term benefits to the communities where golf courses are located. With a shared goal of elevating golf’s environmental consciousness, course managers and developers around the country are committed to continually improving their efforts to conserve water, protect water quality, provide valuable green space in urban areas, save energy and reduce pollution.
An important partner in the industry’s push to promote environmental stewardship is the Golf Course Superintendents Association of America (GCSAA) and its philanthropic organization, the Environmental Institute for Golf. Since 1995 the GCSAA has been a productive member of the US Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Pesticide Environmental Stewardship Program. These efforts have not gone unnoticed.
- 65% report upgrading their irrigation systems.
- 92% use wetting agents to aid in water retention and efficiency.
- 78% use hand-watering techniques to increase precision.
- 9% report keeping turfgrass drier than in the past.
- 83% report protection of water wells.
- Fewer than 15% irrigate with potable water supplies.
- Over 2 million acres on golf courses in the U.S.
- An average18-hole golf course comprises 150 acres, including:
- 50 acres of rough
- 30 acres of fairways
- 6 acres of greens and tees
- 24.0 acres of forest, woodlands, native/naturalized grasslands, etc
- 11.0 acres of water bodies (streams, ponds, wetlands, etc.)
- Cooling power: temperatures over golf courses are 10 to14 degrees cooler than urban areas on a summer day.
- Golf courses are home to many important wildlife species and provide habitat, buffer strips and wetlands that protect natural resources.
- 77% of golf facilities have adopted practices to lower energy use.
- 71% report upgrading to more efficient equipment such as Energy Star-rated furnaces, efficient water heaters, low-flow faucets, irrigation controller updates and T-8 lighting.
- Turfgrass reduces soil erosion helping to protect surface water.
- Turfgrass reduces surface runoff and traps pollutants.
- Most golf facilities are involved in recycling programs for items such as oils, batteries, fryer grease, metals, antifreeze, aluminum, tires, pallets, etc.
- Broken Sound Club made a commitment several years ago to become more environmentally sensitive, and reduce energy costs and consumption. What began as a small step, the introduction of bio-degradable cups and recycling, has now led to composting and GEO certification. Broken Sound was instrumental in working with the City of Boca to obtain reclaimed water for its two golf courses to supplement its regular water supply. Broken Sound is located in an environmentally sensitive area that is subject to drought conditions and must care for its wildlife. A ‘Platinum Club of America,’ Broken Sound’s staff and management have made environmental enhancement and corporate responsibility central to their business model since launching “green” initiatives. Read More
- Pasatiempo Golf Club is one of many golf courses in California that took the approach of eliminating turf in out of play areas as a method to reduce overall water use. As of 2007, Pasatiempo maintained 95 irrigated acres. Because of severe water shortages in the area, the City of Santa Cruz announced that a mandatory 28% water cutback would be initiated in 2009. The club quickly realized that a water reduction of that scope was not sufficient to adequately irrigate all areas of the golf course and a plan was developed to eliminate irrigation in out-of-play areas. Read More
Conserving and Protecting Water on Golf Courses
Providing Green Space
Saving Energy at Golf Facilities
Reducing Pollution and Managing Waste