Golf Course Management

DEC 2012

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 39 of 125

THE INSIDER: environment Creating golf's future Imagine for just a minute how successful businesses, including golf courses, would be if we could predict the future. Successful leaders do plan and they use many different models, indicators and as- sessment techniques to do so. Not to beat an old saying to death, but change is inevitable, and success- ful leaders recognize the importance of being prepared for change. Our 35th president, John F. Kennedy, probably said it best as he is credited with saying, "Change is the law of life. And those who look only to the past or present are certain to miss the future." The golf course industry has cer- NEWS & notes The Oregon Golf As- sociation, with more than 270 public and private clubs number- ing approximately 50,000 members throughout Oregon and southwest Washington, has named Royal Oaks Country Club in Vancouver, Wash., its Facility of the Year. Each year, the OGA honors a golf facility for commitment to environmental consciousness and community philanthropy. Royal Oaks was the first golf club in the country to deploy GreenDrop recycling sta- tions, which reduce landfill waste by helping users easily self-sort recyclable and compostable items. The club also hosts several annual events that raise much-needed funds for local nonprofit organizations. Club manager is Marcia LaFond and the superintendent is Alan Nielsen, CGCS, a 34-year member of GCSAA. tainly faced change during the past de- cade, including economic, social and environmental challenges. Focus on Florida, New Jersey, Wisconsin and other states where golf course super- intendents, allied organizations and the "green industry" have faced nutri- ent regulations intended to protect water quality. That's an indicator, isn't it? Environmental groups and social expectations can influence golf course inputs through regulation and the court of public opinion throughout the country. Want another indicator? Consider the follow- ing seven priorities of the Environmental Protec- tion Agency that its administrator, Lisa P. Jack- son, outlined in 2010 and are still in effect today. • Taking action on climate change • Improving air quality • Assuring the safety of chemicals • Cleaning up our communities • Protecting America's waters • Expanding the conversation on environ- mentalism and working for environmental justice • Building strong state and tribal partnerships These are all areas of focus to help ensure a healthy environment for today and the people of tomorrow. The EPA is tasked with key envi- ronmental regulations like the Clean Water Act, which is a very complex and yet important part of their environmental tool box. We shouldn't ex- pect this to change, nor should we want to lessen environmental efforts. It's a matter of what we do and how we go about it. So the golf course industry is facing many issues involving the inputs we use, including water, pesticides and nutrients — nothing new there, right? Leaders, who want success, can't ig- nore the indicators. Albert Einstein, one of the most famous physicists, recognized something 36 GCM December 2012 Mark Johnson important about this topic and has been cred- ited with saying, "We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them." Einstein is encouraging people to be pro- active and to work toward solutions. That is ex- actly what successful business leaders and many within the golf course industry are doing. Consider the examples from golf course lead- ers in Florida, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Vermont, Rhode Island and others, who have developed best management programs and/or certification programs that have been recognized by regula- tors and others in a positive manner. These ef- forts have helped them to achieve success in light of environmental stewardship as well as with po- tential regulations. The Virginia GCSA has developed a BMP guide as well and is now working with scientists and regulators through a grant from the Envi- ronmental Institute for Golf and GCSAA to, in part, demonstrate water-quality protection through the use of BMPs. They are working on a road map to success for environmental steward- ship in light of today's indicators about tomor- row. In conclusion, we should consider the words Peter Drucker, consultant and educator, has been credited with saying: "The best way to predict the future is to create it." GCM Mark Johnson ( is GCSAA's senior man- ager of environmental programs.

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