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38 GOLF COURSE MANAGEMENT 05.14 Party like a green star Suppose you threw a party and 500,000 people showed up? That's what happens every winter when Jeff Plotts, the GCSAA Class A director of golf course operations at TPC Scottsdale (Ariz.) gets ready for the PGA Tour's Waste Man - agement Phoenix Open (WMPO). It is of- fcially the best-attended golf tournament in the world; in fact, says Plotts, the only outdoor spectator event that is larger is the Olympics. That makes the achievement in both 2013 and 2014 of diverting 100 percent of all waste generated during the event at TPC Scotts - dale to recycling, composting or energy even more outstanding. For its efforts, the WMPO has won the Top Project Award from the envi - ronmental and energy management news jour- nal Environmental Leader. "This project demonstrates what can be achieved when you intentionally apply design to achieve sustainability goals," the journal's project awards judge states. "The entire event, from conceptualization to execution on a large scale, was a big success." According to Houston-based environ - mental services provider Waste Management, the tournament's title sponsor since 2010, and Thunderbirds Charities, which organizes the event to beneft needy children and families in the Phoenix area, the 100 percent diversion rate was attained by sending 86 percent of ma - terials to composting/recycling facilities and 14 percent of materials converted to waste-to-en - ergy. Energy management goals for the tourna- ment were met via a commitment to renewable energy (wind, solar, biomass), use of innovative tactics (gray water from concession kitchens reused in portable toilets to save water), solar arrays (powered the hospitality tent on No. 18) and transportation vehicles (63 percent of vehi - cles operated on alternative fuels). Plotts, who has been a GCSAA member for 20 years, says that planning for the 2015 edition of the tournament began while 2014 WMPO champ Kevin Stadler was teeing off for the fnal round. The 36-hole facili - ty's 65 full-time staff members participate in "think tanks" that try to anticipate every con - ceivable need — from the type of recyclable scrim used to wrap the temporary structures to reusable beer mugs. And when the last golf fan leaves, the task of dismantling "The Green - est Show on Grass" with a goal of diverting 100 percent of the waste is just as daunting. "Everything you can think of has to be sorted," Plotts says. "Until you do this, you have no idea what a feat it is." Waste Management reports that, in addi - tion to demonstrating environmental steward- ship, the WMPO's total economic impact in 2013 was $231.7 million, including over $6 million in 2013 charitable donations. That was the year the event set a PGA Tour single-day Bunny Smith email@example.com twitter: @GCM_Magazine attendance record with 179,022 fans on Satur- day, Feb. 2. This year, the WMPO set a tourna- ment week attendance record of 563,008 fans, whose cheers and jeers fll the temporary am - phitheater that is constructed every year on the Stadium Course's 16th hole. "It's just that big," says Plotts. "For at least six months out of the year, we deal with this event. It's pretty remarkable what we're capable of accomplishing — all for something that lasts for just one week." Bunny Smith is GCM 's senior managing editor. The Waste Management logo on No. 18 at TPC Scottsdale is composed of 140,000 used golf balls. Photo courtesy of WMPO ÒItÕs pretty remarkable what weÕre capable of accomplishing Ñ all for something that lasts for just one week.Ó Ñ Jeff Plotts Presented in Partnership with Aquatrols (environment) 038-039_May14_Envirn.indd 38 4/17/14 9:09 AM