Golf Course Management

FEB 2016

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

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Page 21 of 147

18 GOLF COURSE MANAGEMENT 02.16 The current entrance to Trinity Forest, the new golf course development underway just southeast of downtown Dallas, is as nonde - script as they come. There are no signs to indicate that the tem - porary fencing that surrounds a few trailers, some bulldozers and mounds of dirt marks anything more than just another construc - tion project. Chances are most of the drivers who race past the entrance each day don't even know it's there. Even though that's probably the way the developers of this private facility like it, at least for now, the radio silence regarding this proj - ect is a bit of a shame. That's because there's plenty to get excited about at Trinity Forest, even though the course won't have its offcial opening until later this fall. There's the all-star design duo of Bill Coore and Ben Crenshaw leading the construction effort. There are the plans for the property to become the host to the PGA Tour's Byron Nelson Classic, perhaps as early as 2018. There's the First Tee facility that's being built adjacent to Trinity Forest, with the land, con - struction and maintenance all a donation to the First Tee of Dallas from the course's devel - opers. There are the construction jobs being flled by residents from nearby, mostly lower- income communities. And then there are the unique environ - mental aspects of the project being stewarded to completion by superintendent Kasey Kauff and his crew on the site of a former city-owned landfll. These range from the cultivation of blackland prairies — the most endangered ecosystem in North America — throughout the property to the close working relationship that has developed with the course's neigh - bors, the Trinity River Audubon Center. For the time being, though, the litany of positives coming out of the construction of Trinity Forest is being drowned out by the rhetoric of some environmental activists in the Metroplex, who have decried everything from the removal of trees on the site to the installation of fencing to limit the movement of feral hogs and the damage they can cause to a golf course. Never mind that many of the trees re - moved were nonnative, invasive species, and that, by law, a capped landfll like the one Trinity Forest is being built upon cannot have trees because their roots could threaten the in - tegrity of that cap. Never mind that hogs like the ones that roam the Great Trinity Forest — the largest urban forest in the U.S. — are also not native to the area, and their control is almost universally applauded by wildlife ex - perts, landowners, superintendents and, yes, even environmentalists alike. I'm certain much of this will change as time goes on. When the course opens for play and the PGA Tour begins to make annual stops at Trinity Forest, I'm sure these positive, encour - aging stories will start to get much broader play, and that even those on golf 's periphery will realize there are many benefts that come from the game and its playing felds. But the day I spent with Kauff visiting the Trinity Forest project on New Year's Eve 2015 did reaffrm my belief that there remains a time for patting yourself on the back — for celebrating golf 's environmental achieve - ments, even in a form that some might con- sider "preaching to the choir." It's why I'm proud that we can do a little bit of that in this issue of GCM. This month, you can read about some of our industry's brightest environmental stars, the winners of GCSAA's two most prominent stewardship awards: the President's Award for Environmental Stewardship (see "Present and accounted for," Page 44) and the Environ - mental Leaders in Golf Awards (see "Human nature," Page 58). Each story highlights some of the out - standing efforts and initiatives put forth by the superintendents who have earned this na - tional recognition. Maybe more important, though, they also highlight the value of com - munication and participation in their stories, and how the willingness of these superintend - ents to step forward and let the world know about the ways in which they manage their golf courses benefts them, their employers and their industry. It's a great lesson to take away not only from these award winners, but from what I'm sure will happen at Trinity Forest in the months and years to come. Because if we're not sharing golf 's good stories when it comes to environmental stewardship, who is going to do it for us? Scott Hollister is GCM 's editor-in-chief. Preaching to the choir and beyond (inside gcm) Scott Hollister Twitter: @GCM_Magazine If we're not sharing golf's good stories when it comes to environmental stewardship, who is going to do it for us?

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