The GCSAA Golf Course Environmental Profile
An overview and current results of this landmark study
Nutrient Use and Management
on U.S. Golf Courses
Energy Use and Conservation Practices
on U.S. Golf Courses
The Golf Course Environmental Profile is a groundbreaking project begun in 2006 that is designed to develop a comprehensive environmental profile of golf courses in the United States. The project is funded by GCSAA's philanthropic organization, the Environmental Institute for Golf, and The Toro Giving Program.
The project consists of a collection of five surveys, the results of which are analyzed and published in the peer-reviewed scientific journal Applied Turfgrass Science, as well as in a comprehensive report and in Golf Course Management magazine.
The surveys are:
Volume I: Property Profile and Environmental Stewardship of Golf Courses
Covers golf course acreage, turfgrass species, water bodies, wildlife habitat, environmental improvements and non-turfgrass landscapes
Volume II: Water Use and Conservation Practices on U.S. Golf Course
Covers total water use, irrigated turfgrass acreage, water conservation measures and recycled water use
Volume III: Nutrient Use and Management on U.S. Golf Courses
Covers nutrients applied to golf courses, sources of nutrients applied, nutrient application decisions, nutrient management plans, fertilizer storage and application equipment calibration
Volume IV: Energy Use and Energy Conservation Practices on U.S. Golf Courses
Covers energy use across the entire golf course facility, energy conservation practices, energy audits and written plans and behavioral, design and other conservation changes.
Survey V: Pest Management
Covers pesticide use trends, integrated pest management techniques, water quality practices, waste management and pollution prevention
GCSAA and the golf industry need information specific to the environmental attributes of golf courses, including natural resource inventories, management inputs and environmental stewardship practices. This information provides baseline data for documenting changes in environmental practices over time and helps set priorities for education, research, member services and other environmental programs. The data also helps us respond to governmental inquiries and answer the public's questions about environmental issues. Before the Golf Course Environmental Profile, existing environmental data was very limited, and not complete, uniform or centralized.
GCSAA and the EIFG will use the data to:
- Document changes in environmental practices over time.
- Assist in determining the future direction of GCSAA environmental efforts.
- Identify key issues for potential research projects.
- Respond to governmental inquiries, answer the public’s questions about environmental issues, and promote the efforts superintendents are making on their golf courses.
- Provide a solid basis for comments on proposed regulatory issues that may impact the golf industry.
How the surveys were performed
GCSAA contracted the National Golf Foundation (NGF) to develop the survey instruments, conduct the surveys and analyze the data.The content of the surveys was determined based on input from the GCSAA Environmental Programs Committee and associated advisory panels, along with contributions from GCSAA staff.
All superintendents, whether GCSAA members or not, were invited to participate in the surveys. GCSAA awarded service points for each completed survey .Other incentives, including gift cards and additional prize packages, were also offered over the multi-year cycle. Online surveys, paper surveys and other methods were used to ensure a valid response rate.
The information is only reported as aggregate data, summarized by state, region or other geographic area. Responses from individual golf courses are not published or released.
For additional information, contact Mark Johnson, GCSAA senior manager of environmental programs, by calling 800-472-7878, ext. 5161, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This project is funded by the Environmental Institute for Golf and The Toro Giving Program.