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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52 GOLF COURSE MANAGEMENT 02.16 become the Virginia Golf Council, Mc- Donough carried the fags for the entirety of the state's golf industry — golf profession - als, club managers and owners alike — into those discussions, taking what he'd learned from the unifcation of the state's GCSAA chapters to the next level. In the end, Virginia's golf courses got what they needed out of those efforts in Richmond: realistic and achievable water rules that wouldn't threaten their busi - nesses. And government offcials in the state of Virginia got a little something, too: an in - troduction to a group of professionals that it knew it could work with moving forward on initiatives that would beneft those on both sides of the table. "Peter McDonough is someone special in the area of advocacy. He's someone who can see beyond the horizon, someone who is progressive, collaborative, thoughtful when it comes to positioning golf course superin - tendents well in the eyes of policymakers, regulators, the public and the media," says Chava McKeel, GCSAA's director of gov - ernment affairs about McDonough, who was awarded the Virginia GCSA Distin - guished Service Award in 2003 for his ef- forts during the drought emergency. Cleaning the Bay Energized by his time working with leg - islators and regulators, and the far-reaching successes that sprung from those efforts, Mc - Donough again found himself in a lead role in 2011 when attention turned to the Ches - apeake Bay, its failing health and ways in which it could be restored. And once again, it was the power of partnership that helped cement golf 's positive role in those efforts. Early on, the green industries as a whole often found themselves in a defensive posi - tion, taking heat — both warranted and un- warranted — for their use of fertilizers and the impacts those nutrients were having on the Chesapeake Bay, regardless of whether there was any correlation between the two. But instead of lying low and waiting for the storm to pass, McDonough led a team representing the Virginia Golf Council, the Virginia Agribusiness Council and other green industry players into proactive discus - sions with the state of Virginia about the roles they could all play in improving the Chesapeake Bay. The team demonstrated how their con - stituents actually used those nutrients in the real world and steps they could reasonably take to monitor their use. For golf 's part, that meant taking the state's voluntary nu - trient management plans and creating a more permanent set of best management practices that would be required for golf courses in the state beginning in 2017. Those BMPs — known offcially as the "Best Management Practices for Virginia Golf Courses" ( www.vgcsa.org/bmps ) — have not only furthered the broader recog - nition of golf 's environmental stewardship in Virginia, but have also become a model for other states to follow. And McDonough has become a bit of an expert on the subject, consulting with chapters across the country on creating BMPs of their own and present - ing on the topic during the 2014 Golf In- dustry Show in Orlando. "I think far and away the biggest thing we've done as a chapter is the BMPs," says David Norman, the executive director of the Virginia GCSA. "I've been asked to present in front of other chapter leaders on what we did here, and when I've done that, I'm telling Peter's story. Other chapters are exploring Top: McDonough and Wendy, one of his loyal assistants at Keswick Hall. Bottom: Keswick Hall itself was originally built in 1912 as a residence for Charlottesville doctor Robert Crawford and his family. Golf frst became part of the property in 1948. Photo by Ken May "I've been asked to present in front of other chapters on (the BMPs), and when I've done that, I'm telling Peter's story ... In my mind, Peter is the father of all that." — David Norman

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