Lawrence, Kansas, United States: Four golf course superintendents have been named winners of the 2020 Environmental Leaders in Golf Awards (ELGA), which are presented annually by the Golf Course Superintendents Association of America (GCSAA) and Golf Digest in partnership with Syngenta.
Seven runners-up also received recognition for their environmental efforts.
The awards have recognised superintendents and golf courses around the world for their commitment to environmental stewardship since 1993, but in 2018 the ELGAs were updated to recognise more superintendents in more focused areas of environmental sustainability.
Instead of offering national awards based on facility type, the newer version of the ELGAs is based on the environmental best management practices and honour specific areas of focus.
- The Communications and Outreach Award recognises effective communication of conservation strategies with facility employees and others, as well as share their efforts with golfers and other members of the community. Winner: Anthony Williams, a 24-year GCSAA member who has spent the last four years as Director of Golf Operations at TPC Four Seasons Dallas. The golf operation is built on an ‘environomic’ model with the mission to consistently combine environomics, horticulture, hospitality and teamwork.
- The Healthy Land Stewardship Award recognises effective strategies for efficient use of pesticides and nutrients, as well as pollution prevention. Winner: Carl David Thompson, Superintendent at Columbia Point Golf Course, Richland, Washington. Second runner-up in this category last year, Thompson earned the Healthy Land Stewardship title this year. The 28-year GCSAA member was the recipient of the Natural Resource Conservation Award in 2018.
- The Innovative Conservation Award recognises unique and innovative strategies for conservation. Winner: Gary Ingram, Director of Agronomy at Metropolitan Golf Links in Oakland, California. It’s the fourth time in seven years that the 40-year GCSAA member has been named an ELGA recipient. Last year he was also winner of the President’s Award for Environmental Stewardship.
- The Natural Resource Conservation Award recognises effective strategies for water conservation, energy conservation, and sound wildlife management. Winner: Shannon Easter, Golf Course Maintenance Director at Broken Sound Club, Boca Raton, Florida, a PGA Tour Champions event host for 13 straight years, which operates toward making as little impact on the environment as possible. The facility has become 97% waste free, while adding thousands of plantings to enhance wildlife habitat, improve water conservation, water quality and energy efficiency.
“Environmental stewardship is a focus of the golf course management industry,” said GCSAA CEO Rhett Evans. “These winners are tremendous examples of leadership in creating quality playing conditions, while committing to environmental management practices. Congratulations to all of the recipients for their efforts to keep golf sustainable.”
The winners will be recognised during the annual Golf Industry Show, which will be held virtually from February 2-4.