Golf industry drives environmental initiatives

By Sean Dudley

Golf course management professionals have long benefited from advances in research supported by funding from the Environmental Institute for Golf, the philanthropic organisation of the Golf Course Superintendents Association of America (GCSAA).

The institute is to fund nine new research projects beginning this year, with total funding of more than US$157,000 over the next three years.

"We received 27 proposals requesting more than US$550,000 in funding over a three year period," said GCSAA director of research Clark Throssell. "The nine new research projects that the research task group approved funding for will provide pertinent information to golf course superintendents.

Superintendents will be able to implement the results of the research on their golf courses to improve the quality of the golf courses while controlling expenses and minimising the impact on the environment." The emphasis on environmental sustainability is pertinent in light of the Statement of Environmental Policy set out by the European Institute of Golf Course Architects (EIGCA) at a meeting of Golf and the Environment in Almeria, Spain on 14-16 March.

The policy sets out the core elements of EIGCA's approach to the protection, conservation and enhancement of the environment. It aims to define the scope of the unique relationship between golf course architecture and the environment, highlight the specific role golf course architects can play in ensuring golf courses maximise their positive contribution to the environment and society, emphasise EIGCA members' recognition of the importance of environmental sustainability within golf course development and state EIGCA's commitment to working in partnership, through Golf Environment Europe, with other relevant industry bodies.

EIGCA president Mark Adam said: "The publication of our statement of environmental policy represents an important landmark for EIGCA. With ecological issues becoming increasingly important it is only right that architects play a leading role in ensuring that golf courses are developed to reduce their environmental impact and, wherever possible, serve to enhance their surroundings."

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