University of Minnesota course reno to incorporate new research programme

University of Minnesota course reno to incorporate new research programme
By Sean Dudley

A renovation of the Les Bolstad Golf Course at the University of Minnesota is about to get underway, with a new academic approach being taken to the work.

Professor Brian Horgan has developed a research programme that focuses on building greater levels of efficiencies and environmental stewardship with turfgrass systems, named ‘Science of (the) Green’. 

“We are very excited about our upcoming renovation project,” Horgan told GCA. “There is much to this story about building scholarship into the renovation process around three areas of sustainability: economics of golf, agronomics of managing the course and environmental stewardship.”

The work will see the Les Bolstad course – which is located at the university’s campus in Minneapolis, Minnesota – become a Science of (the) Green ‘living laboratory’, where research can be carried out that ‘defines core principles, integrates science and advances sustainability goals of environmental stewardship, social responsibility and economic viability through innovation’.

The renovated course will house the Golf Course Renovation Demonstration Center of Excellence, which will be used by golf course managers, owners, superintendents and greens committees to help visualise and play on the newest varieties of putting green and fairway grass. 

Visitors will also be able to visualise bunker designs, bunker sands, bunker drainage systems, greens construction techniques, stormwater retention and water recycling systems, irrigation systems and remote sensing technology.

According to Horgan, ‘All renovation principles used to create Les Bolstad will be scaled to enable visitors the opportunity to make decisions for their golf courses as they contemplate a renovation. In addition, pricing structures and economic modeling based on their decisions will be provided.’

The programme has been backed by the World Golf Foundation, the College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences, and most recently by the American Society of Golf Course Architects.

More information can be found at www.scienceofthegreen.org

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