Lawrence, Kansas, United States: CourseCo, a golf course management company with properties in California, Oregon, Washington and Texas, has been selected to receive the 2019 President’s Award for Environmental Stewardship by the board of directors of the Golf Course Superintendents Association of America (GCSAA).
CourseCo, will officially receive the award on February 6, during the Opening Session of the 2019 Golf Industry Show in San Diego. The Opening Session is presented in partnership with Syngenta, an Executive Member of the Asian Golf Industry Federation.
The GCSAA President’s Award for Environmental Stewardship was established in 1991 to recognise ‘an exceptional environmental contribution to the game of golf; a contribution that further exemplifies the golf course superintendent’s image as a steward of the land’.
“CourseCo’s strong commitment to the environment is a great example for the entire industry,” said GCSAA CEO Rhett Evans. “They believe in sustainable turfgrass management, and CourseCo superintendents are supported and encouraged to use sustainable practices and innovative strategies to benefit the environment and their communities.”
Starting in Northern California, CourseCo now manages 35 golf courses that are primarily owned by municipalities or counties. A core principal of CourseCo is a commitment to environmental enhancement, reduction of resource use and sustainable management practices that benefit the communities they work in. Sustainable turfgrass management is an integral aspect of every evaluation, recommendation and management plan they implement for their clients.
“Our environmental focus dates back to our founder Tom Isaak, who attended the first Earth Day,” CoursecCo President and CEO Michael Sharp said. “It has flowed from him since day one.”
CourseCo facilities utilise both Integrated Pest Management (IPM) plans and Chemical Application Management Plans (CHAMP). Each plan describes what cultural and non-chemical control measures will be taken to reduce the use of chemical pesticides. They emphasise an understanding of the micro-environments throughout the course to efficiently employ the implementation of cultural practices that will reduce the pest populations by strengthening the natural defences of turfgrasses.
CourseCo also prioritises healthy wildlife habitat. The company maintains memberships in both the Wildlife Habitat Council and Audubon International, with most of its facilities recognised as Certified Audubon Cooperative Sanctuaries and plans to have all certified eventually.
The state of California has recognised the company’s environmental efforts with its State of California Waste Reduction Award and the State’s most prestigious honour – the Governor’s Environmental and Economic Leadership Awards. In addition, 18 CourseCo superintendents have been honoured in the GCSAA/Golf Digest Environmental Leaders in Golf Awards.
“Winning the President’s Award is extremely rewarding, but it’s really our superintendents who have earned the award,” Sharp said. “They have done the work that reflects our core values. We know we are stewards of these large pieces of land, and it’s our duty and responsibility to consciously maintain them.”
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