The American Society of Golf Course Architects has named five golf projects as recipients of its 2022 Environmental Excellence Awards.
The projects honoured are Mark Mungeam’s renovation of Brookline Golf Course in Massachusetts, Fry/Straka’s major build at Union League National Golf Club in New Jersey, two Kevin Norby projects, at Columbia Golf Course in Minneapolis and Como Golf Course in Minnesota, and Thad Layton’s latest work at Las Piedras in Punta del Este, Uruguay.
"Each of these projects is a testament to the positive impact golf can have on the environment,” said Brit Stenson, president of ASGCA. “Congratulations to these facilities on their commitment to sustainability and the team effort to improve the environmental landscape.”
At Brookline, also referred to as the Robert T Lynch Municipal Golf Course, Mark Mungeam focused on reducing the usage of fossil fuels and enhancing the natural environment. This included the addition of walk paths and the introduction of solar-powered robotic mowers. The team also proposed the restoration of open waterways on several holes to improve drainage and reduce dependence on the town’s potable water.
Dana Fry and Jason Straka conducted a complete renovation of Union League National Golf Club. The project included creating expansive lakes and wetlands and the pair collaborated with conservationists and conducted field trips throughout the New Jersey Pinelands National Reserve to study endemic plants and soil conditions. More than one million native plants were introduced to the course, providing a habitat for local wildlife.
For Layton’s Las Piedras renovation, construction was limited to less than 10 per cent of the overall site area to protect its ecological diversity. Fairways were established by simply mowing and topdressing existing grasses, and wetlands were kept intact to protect wildlife.
Kevin Norby’s projects at Columbia Golf Course and Como Golf Course focused on water conservation and infiltration. At Columbia, Norby worked with the city of Minneapolis, the Mississippi Watershed Management Organization and the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board to reduce urban flooding and nutrient runoff with the construction for a new large-capacity storm sewer system. At Como, to reduce pollutants from entering Lake Como, two holes were reconstructed to aid installation of two new stormwater basins and a large infiltration system designed to capture and clean 11 million gallons of runoff from surrounding roads and parking areas.
The ASGCA Environmental Excellence Awards program was introduced in 2019 to recognise innovative work begin done at golf facilities to address environmental needs, where golf course architects work with course owners, operators and managers to positively impact the game and the facilities community.
The submissions are reviewed by a panel of golf industry and environmental leaders, including representatives of GEO Foundation, the Golf Course Superintendents Association of America and the National Golf Course Owners Association.