Lawrence, Kansas, United States: Herb Kohler, Executive Chairman of the Kohler Co, has donated US$250,000 to the Environmental Institute for Golf (EIFG), the philanthropic organisation of the Golf Course Superintendents Association of America (GCSAA).
The EIFG fosters sustainability by providing funding for research grants, education programmes, awareness of golf’s environmental efforts and scholarships.
“I can’t think of a better organisation to make sure these funds are used toward ensuring a sustainable future for golf than the EIFG,” Kohler said.
Kohler brought world-calibre golf to the company that bears his family name and is most synonymous with manufacturing of leading-edge products for homes around the world. An avid golfer, Kohler hired Pete Dye to build four courses at two championship venues in Wisconsin – Blackwolf Run and Whistling Straits. The latter will host the 2020 Ryder Cup.
In 2004, Kohler ventured into the birthplace of the game when the company bought the Old Course Hotel, Golf Resort and Spa in St Andrews. In all, the Kohler courses have hosted the 2010 and 2015 British Opens at St Andrews and the PGA Championships in 2004, 2010 and 2015 at Whistling Straits.
Kohler has a long history with the EIFG and GCSAA. He served two three-year terms (1999-2002, 2007-2010) on the Board of Trustees for the EIFG and was Board Chairman in 2001-2002. In 2016, he was awarded the GCSAA’s highest honour, the Old Tom Morris Award.
“Herb Kohler has a true dedication to the game of golf and its future,” said Rhett Evans, GCSAA CEO. “We continue to be honoured with his friendship and are deeply appreciative of his nearly two decades of support for the EIFG and its mission.”
A graduate of Yale University, and a designer/inventor with more than 200 product patents, he is also an active philanthropist outside of golf. Kohler chaired the Board of Trustees of Choate Rosemary Hall in Connecticut, where he was a former student. There he built the Kohler Environmental Centre, the first teaching, research and residential environmental centre in US secondary education.
He has been a Director of the National Association of Manufacturers and a Trustee of Outward Bound, Lawrence University, the Kennedy Centre and the Brandywine Conservancy and Museum of Art. He was elected to the National Kitchen & Bath Industry Hall of Fame, the National Housing Hall of Fame and the Junior Achievement US Business Hall of Fame. In 2002 he was named the Ernst & Young National Entrepreneur of the Year in Manufacturing.