Florida course earns GEO award


Sean Dudley

Broken Sound Club in Boca Raton, Florida, has become the second golf facility in the US to win certification from the Golf Environment Organization.

The staff and management of Broken Sound Club have made environmental enhancement and corporate responsibility central to their business model since launching ‘green’ initiatives three years ago, according to John Crean, the club’s general manager. 

As required for the GEO Certified award, Broken Sound's golf facility met advanced sustainability requirements and is committed to continuous improvement in areas such as landscape and ecosystems, water, energy, products and supply chains, and environmental quality.

This spring, for example, the club launches operation of an environmental composter/digester to reduce green and food waste and produce refined compost. The initiative is expected to decrease the amount of water and fertiliser needed to maintain the course. Broken Sound has also installed solar panels and is adding a solar array. The club is an Audubon certified sanctuary, and it has implemented programs to reduce electrical costs.

“To become only the second club in the United States to receive GEO certification is a huge honour,” Crean said. “GEO's stringent certification requirements reflect our own philosophy in maintaining environmental responsibility. GEO sets the international 'gold standard' in the field of golf course sustainability, and to be recognized by them is an incredible distinction.”

Golf maintenance director Joseph Hubbard said: “I have been involved in getting over a dozen courses Audubon Co-Operative Sanctuary certified in my years as a superintendent. But this was by far a more advanced look at accountability and sustainability within the environmental preservation world.”

GEO chief executive Jonathan Smith, in Florida for the annual Golf Industry Show, attended the Champions Tour’s Allianz Championship at Broken Sound to present the award in person. He said: “The management team at Broken Sound has demonstrated how every golf club can transition to increasingly sustainable practices – even in relatively short timeframes. Their vision, commitment and teamwork have reduced resource consumption as they gradually naturalise the golf courses. Their flagship composting and water treatment projects will have tremendous added benefits for the club and the local community and demonstrate both innovation and determination to make a significant difference.”

The full GEO report is available here.