Where Does the Golf Industry Stand on the Environment?

No matter what industry you are in, if you are responsible for the care of the grounds, there is a expectation that you are good steward of the property.  I was perusing the next article to post on our golf.grinnell.edu website and went to the Golf Course Superintendents Association of America (GCSAA) website.  There I noticed that “Environment” is one of their major web headings.  It impressed me that an industry driven by herbicides, pesticides, and maintenance equipment is actively researching and promoting more environmentally sound practices.

So what can/are we doing here at GCGC?  I’m glad you asked.  We’re researching different areas concerning our flora, chemical usage, equipment, and water controls.

  • Flora
    • Utilization of Ornamental grasses for aesthetics, erosion controll, and wayfinding
    • Implementing native grasses in areas that not considered in play while golfing
    • Researching shaded area coverage (pine straw, shaded grasses)
  • Chemical Usage
    • Reduction in herbicides being applied
    • Reduction in pesticides being applied
    • Alternative fertilizer usage
    • Reduce fuel consumption
  • Equipment
    • Utilization of reusable materials such as our sod faced bunkers
      • Less Erosion = Less Labor & Fuel Costs
    • High efficiency equipment and insullation practices with the buildingings
  • Water Controls
    • Ensuring our irrigation system is operating effectively and efficiently
    • Utilizing aerators in lieu of chemicals to control moss buildup
    • Ensuring our creeks and tile lines are effective managers of our water runoff

More to come as these move from ideas to strategy to implementation. We hope to make these positive changes, while keeping playability and aesthetics at the forefront of this project.

Shane Hart, General Manager

Grinnell College Golf Course