Calculating Carbon Emissions on the Golf Course

In last weeks TWIGG we covered the release of Syngentas GreenCast EcoMeasure, the new turf carbon calculator. Currently with 12 Marriott courses testing the calculator, the press release was meant more as a teaser than anything else. But for those of you who can't wait to calculate your operations carbon footprint, well... you don't have to!

The Golf Resource Group developed a carbon calculator, "CarbonSave", within a downloadable PDF and released it back in early 2011 (original press release). So I contacted Andy Staples (yes, this Andy Staples) of GRG to learn more, here's what he had to say...

To date, we've had over 80 downloads in about 2 months in the US, Canada, Europe, the UK, South America and Australia. We're in the process of soliciting feedback from the downloaders.

If you're talking about energy efficiency today, the conversation generally moves towards climate change, carbon emissions and over all footprint. In golf, the topic of sequestration in turf has exploded on the scene over the past 12 months. Thus, a carbon footprint calculator for golf is a natural progression. And, to date, nobody has released one in the US that anyone can use.

Dr. Stuart Cohen and I partnered to address the issues noted above. We think this is an effective tool to get people talking about the subject, and asking questions. Part of the reason golf hasn't addressed the issues of energy and overall footprinting is they really didn't have a reason to care about it. Now, with prices going up, availability being called to question and a change in public perception, people are starting to care.

Whether in it for environmental reasons, saving money or looking to improve your golf course, this calculator helps you understand your golf course from a different perspective. This is a good thing.

We hope to move the calculator online once we get good feedback on the current calculator. We also want to expand to various parts of the world. For now, the PDF is the most convenient way to get it out to as many people as possible, albeit with the least amount of protection.

Download the PDF form here.
I've included a brief case study from GRG looking at the carbon footprint of the Nantucket Golf Club's Carbon Emissions.