Golf Course Management

JUN 2013

Golf Course Management magazine is dedicated to advancing the golf course superintendent profession and helping GCSAA members achieve career success.

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THE INSIDER: environment Steve Trusty This pond at Prestwick GC in Woodbury, Minn., along with another at nearby Eagle Valley GC, will be at the heart of a project that will use the golf courses to flter runoff created by the expansion of a road that separates the two layouts. Photo courtesy of David Kazmierczak Solving a runoff dilemma NEWS & notes Monday, April 22 — Earth Day 2013 — might have been just another day on the job for golf course superintendents who manage natural resources every day. But for GCSAA, the special day offered an opportunity to spotlight the good work that superintendents do on their golf courses and the ground the industry has gained on the path to sustainability. For starters, a host of GCSAA members made appearances on The Golf Channel during its "Green Week," including Merion Golf Club's Matt Shaffer; Robb Arnold from the TPC Louisiana; Dan Dinelli, CGCS, from North Shore Country Club in Chicago; and Bob Farren, CGCS, from Pinehurst (N.C.) Resort. In addition, the network ran a variety of features highlighting the natural features found on golf courses and the methods superintendents use to maintain them. GCSAA also prepared a special page on its website to highlight superintendents and the environment. You can learn more by visiting www.gcsaa. org/_common/templates/special/ EarthDay2013LandingPageLayout. aspx?id=7086. Presented in partnership with Aquatrols 36 GCM June 2013 What would be your response if you were asked to help solve your city's runoff problems? Two superintendents in Washington County, Minn., were provided that opportunity and have embraced a project that, so far, has been a win-win for everyone involved. When the county and the city of Woodbury hole 10 makes the course a little tougher and (a southeast suburb of the Twin Cities) jointly adds a new element to play," he says. decided to turn the county road running beThe work on the road widening started the tween Eagle Valley Golf Course and Prestwick frst of May, while the work on the courses will Golf Club into a four-lane highway, they recog- begin in the fall, as play starts to slow down. It is nized the project was going to exacerbate their expected to be completed by the spring of 2014, runoff problems. A major concern was diverting before the season is in full swing. So far, the projthe runoff and keeping it from going into nearby ect planning has gone smoothly. While both suColby Lake. One of the solutions identifed in- perintendents feel good about the process, they cluded utilizing ponds to catch runoff and flter know that there will still be questions to be anthe water, which would then be used for irriga- swered, including some about the quality of the tion. Since Eagle Valley is owned by the city and water that will be available for irrigation. sat adjacent to the road, golf course superintenThe water will be tested on a regular basis bedent David Erickson was contacted last summer fore it is used for irrigation. "There could be a for his input on the idea. Prestwick Golf Club lot of salt from the winter runoff," Erickson says. is on the other end of the widening project, so "How long will it take to flter out and how will CGCS David Kazmierczak was also brought into that affect the plan?" the discussion. Kazmierczak agrees, saying "That is the eleKazmierczak was, at frst, a little skeptical of phant in the room. On paper, the plan looks very the plans. "It was going to cost a lot of money and good," while Erickson adds, "Check back with us it was a grand idea," the 19-year GCSAA mem- in fve years and see how it has worked out." ber says. But there were several reasons to look Both had some thoughts to help others when at the idea more closely. Taking two stormwater faced with opportunities such as the one these suponds and making them into one would pro- perintendents encountered in Minnesota. "Keep an vide some aesthetic benefts. He would also get open mind on any possibility," Kazmierczak says. a brand new pumping system, and an additional "Always keep your head up and look for new ideas." source for irrigation water. Best of all, the project "If we have the potential to protect the enwould be helping the environment and give the vironment, we should explore it," Erickson says. Both superintendents also liked obtaining golf courses positive publicity. Erickson also liked the idea of saving some of an additional water source and saving the water the water in the aquifer. "We are stewards of the from the aquifer, helping the community and beenvironment, and this provides another positive coming involved in a situation that appears to be tool in our shed," the 22-year GCSAA member a win-win for everyone, especially for the envisays. The project design also includes adding a ronment and their golf courses. creek running through his course to connect four GCM ponds and provide additional fltering as water moved between them. "Putting the creek across Steve Trusty is a free-lance writer based in Council Bluffs, Iowa.

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