Friday, May 18, 2012

Conservative Fairways on Faldo's Laguna Lang Co

Today's golf course developments are designed to be less dependent upon non-renewable resources - no matter where they are located. One such way is to reduce the amount of turf to be managed - simple enough right? Counter to the popular saying of "more is less", using less requires a lot more thought and effort. So how are today's architects meeting the needs of the environment while still providing a course that is player friendly?

For that we go to the Laguna Lang Co resort development in Vietnam. Paul Jansen, lead architect for Faldo Design, helps us understand how a reduction in playable turfgrass surfaces can lead to the sustainable use of resources while still providing a superior product that is appealing to a resort community.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

No "Outright Ban" in BC, But Some Changes for Golf

"The majority of the committee does not think the scientific evidence, at this time, warrants an outright ban," - Liberal MLA Bill Bennett, Chair of BC's Special Committee on Cosmetic Pesticides.

There were however 17 recommendations included within the report, golf courses will want to pay particular attention to #16.

"Ask the golf industry to develop a province-wide certification process, or to modify an existing one, that will ensure a high standard of pesticide use by all golf courses in BC, including the use of IPM principles."

Fife Golf Trust - Driving The Green Across Public Golf Courses

Following in the footsteps of the world’s most famous public course - St.Andrews Links, the Fife Golf Trust has stepped up its commitment to environmental and social performance. The trust enrolled all seven of its public golf facilities in the GEO OnCourse™ programme, to work toward the international ecolabel for sustainable golf, GEO Certified™.

Auchterderran, View their GEO Profile here.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Turkey Feeders at Bear Trace

Several years ago when a flock of wild turkeys showed up at the golf course one morning we were all really excited. An occasional single turkey had been seen on the golf course in the past but never a flock this size.

In an effort to try to entice them to stay and take up residency on the golf course we looked at our habitat and resources for them to thrive. The habitat of the golf course is very adequate for their survival with several movement corridors, native grass corridors, and plenty of trees to roost in for the night. The part we were missing was a good food source so we created some supplemental turkey feeders to provide them with shelled and cracked corn until we could install some food plots for them.

The Sustainability Hat-Trick

How integrating the three pillars of sustainability in to your decision making will make you a winner every time.

A History Lesson
In 1835 an English Cricketer by the name of Heathfield Harman "HH" Stephenson was the first to take three wickets in three balls. Later HH Stephenson was awarded a hat for his achievement and the term “Hat-Trick” was coined. Since then the term has been adopted to explain significant achievements that come in threes, like three goals in Hockey, Football/Soccer, or as in golf three consecutive wins of the same Tour event constitutes a “Hat-Trick”.

In March of 1987 the Brundtland Commission of the United Nations agreed that the definition of “Sustainable Development” is “development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.” Later in 2005 at the World Summit held in New York City, it was agreed upon by the participating nations that to attain sustainable development it would require reconciliation of environmental, social and economic demands. This became known as the “Three Pillars” of sustainability, but also referred to as the 3 P’s: People, Planet, Profit.

Image from Wikipedia

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Dirt vs. Soil: What is under your turf?

A key principle of sustainability is to cooperate with nature instead of competing with it, are you doing this with your soil microbiology?

In this video from, Dr. Elaine Ingham talks about soil fertility and the role of soil microbial life. Dr. Ingham is a world-renowned soil biologist who pioneered many of the currently used biological soil amendment techniques and the testing of soil microbial life as an indicator of soil and plant health. Her position on soil management is controversial in some circles, while gospel in others.

What is your take? Comment below or use #soilfoodweb on twitter or G+

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Environmental Efforts at New Albany GC

Discussion with Adam Troyer and Brett Foster about New Albany Country Club's recent Audubon Certification. Produced by the Ohio Turfgrass Foundation.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Newcastle Experiments with Composts

From Scott M. Phelps on the Newcastle Turf Maintenance Blog:

"We did some trial work on compost and have been pretty happy with the results. We have found some of the batches vary in freshness so where and when you use it could be a concern. Overall though, using it in our divot mix has been great for speeding up germination and divot recovery. It is also showing significant promise in our high wear and droughty areas."

Check out Cedar Grove for more info on their Compost Products

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Sustainable Golf in the Algarve: Espiche

According to a recent Golf Travel Insights report published by KPMG's Golf Advisory Practice, 60% of golf tour operators experienced an increase in bookings in 2011, vs only 38 per cent in 2010. Spain and Portugal continue to be the most popular destinations and even saw an average price drop of 10-20 per cent for golf holiday packages in 2011.

Environmental sustainability has become a center focus of many of these resorts that must appeal to today's eco-conscious traveler and prepare for times where resources will become less available and more expensive. For an example we go to Espiche golf course, in the Algarve region of Portugal.

Sustainable Golf in the Algarve: Espiche
Polly Allen

Golf is a very serious business in Portugal, thanks to its international status as a top golfing destination for both professionals and amateurs. Golf holidays in the Algarve region are increasingly popular, but one new club has decided to go the extra mile and provide a sustainable course experience for every player. Espiche is set within an ecological reserve in the western Algarve and respects the local landscape by using key sustainability principles in the design and running of the course.

Monday, April 30, 2012

Bruce Beach Golf Club Native Grasses

Despite the warmest, driest spring on record I should have suspected an early opening of my local pasture golf course wasn't in the cards, which of course was certainly the case this past weekend. However, the luxury of having golf flags in and holes cut didn't faze me one bit, as I was really just out for the exercise and fresh air combination. Knowing the course like I do, helps a lot too with knowing where to approximately chip the ball close to the hole in the sand greens where the cup has a permanent home in for the playing season.