I usually start the presentation by asking how many golfers are in the room. This percentage ranges from 15-50% of the group. I then follow up with a questions for the non-golfers, "What comes to mind when I mention the term golf course?" I get responses like Tiger Woods (he is definitely still relevant), money, country clubs, etc. There are also a number of responses like, water polluters, pesticide contamination, and water wasters. I promise them that I will try to change their minds before the presentation is finished. This morning I had nearly 10 people come up after the presentation who provided some of the negative comments about golf courses and express gratitude for what we are doing and that they are joyful to know the strides that golf courses take to protect our resources and communities.
There definitely needs to be more information shared with the world about what we do as golf course superintendents as stewards of the environment! On a daily basis we are monitoring our water usage, fertility programs, pesticide applications, fuel usage, habitat availability, etc. Many would argue that this is for business purposes and that is true that we must always be conscious of the bottom line and our budgets, but Integrated Pest Management, personal interests, and "its the right thing to do" are also drivers of our actions. Get out, profess what YOU and our industry are doing for our communities and get active in different programs and organizations. I have not even mentioned the charitable activities that happen on golf courses, the economic impact our small businesses have within out communities, and how about the recreational and social benefits of this great sport. All of those are for another post. Bye for now.
" The site of a golf course should be there, not brought there...Many an acre of magnificent land has been utterly destroyed by steam shovel biting out traps and bunkers, transposing landmarks that are contemporaries of Genesis. "
~ Perry Maxwell, golf architect