Architects support GEO Guidelines for Sustainable Golf

The European Institute of Golf Course Architects (EIGCA) and the American Society of Golf Course Architects (ASGCA) have agreed to support the Golf Environmental Organization’s Guidelines for Sustainable Golf Development.

“We were all impressed with GEO’s achievements to date and the golf course design industry unanimously agreed to support their Guidelines project,” said EIGCA President David Krause and ASGCA President Erik Larsen in a joint statement.

The GEO project, which started in 2009, aims to produce environmental guidelines for the planning, design and construction of golf courses that are “challenging but relevant.”

“We are thrilled to have the opportunity to present this project to such as large and knowledgeable audience, and we are buoyed by the positive feedback we received,” said Jonathan Smith of GEO. “The combination of credible content and international partnership will represent a robust and valuable statement on behalf of golf architects worldwide.”

The sustainability agenda is flexible enough to be applied to any course in any country, ranging from a 6-star resort to a 6-hole children’s course.

GEO is now set up to provide guidance and consultation among selected institutes, and the final version of the Guidelines will be finished by the end of 2010.

“Jonathan Smith and his team are to be congratulated on their work to date and for their Sustainable Golf Development Guidelines,” said Peter Thomson, Patron of the Society of Australian Golf Course Architects. “Golf is and has always been a game with nature and it is time that non-golfers became aware of this fact.”

Comments

While I hope this is a step forward to reduce the impact of development on the environment, but I fear this will only add to the expense and increase the cost for players. ASGCA & EIGCA should be working with PGA, GCSAA, and CMA to streamline golf operations and make the game more affordable.

Sustainablity is a new word for the golf industry, but we have been promoting it for some time. In fact we have a proposal to a major resort near Singapore to enable the entire resort, and its two golf courses to become 100% organically maintained. That means no chemical fertilizers and no pesticides. Several of the many benefits beside quality and being Environmentally Green will be it will fit into their budget and they will receive Millions of dollars in free publicity from the Travel and Liesure industry for being the first 100% organically maintained resort in the world. We have been working in the golf maintenance business for over 25 years and Water Efficiency and Sustainable Landscapes are now being looked at by the Australia and Europe as the future, which is where we work. Bravo, and let me know how we can help. Michael Chaplinsky President - Turf Feeding Systems

Since when were shade and ventilation expensive forms of air conditioning? Or rough grass and swales expensive forms of water treatment? Or native vegetation more expensive than exotics? Or minimising amenity turf an added burden on construction and lifecycle management costs? Or as Michael points out, free 'good news' publicity a cost centre for the marketers? It all depends on whether the approach is to patch up impacts with trails of engineering solutions, or design them out from the start.

Dangerous chemicals?? Leach into the environment?? Who uses just "a little" reclaimed water? Organic fertilizers, compost topdressing, IPM, solar, geothermal, wastewater recycling systems, electric carts... Would 100 acres be better served as another parking lot for retail space?? Not a lot of habitat there. What an uninformed view.

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