Calling it "an important development for the game of golf," Golf Course Superintendents Association of America (GCSAA) President Sandy Queen praised the International Golf Federation for its commitment to sustainability.
The IGF, which is composed of golf's national governing bodies in more than 150 countries, released its statement on sustainability earlier this month. The statement by the IGF was signed by 153 golf organizations, placing sustainability as a core priority. The focus of the declaration is on the management of golf facilities, administration of golf events and the influence of golfers as consumers.
"Sustainability is not a new concept for the golf industry," Queen said. "In fact, many of the practices various individuals, facilities and member (chapter) organizations have implemented have been recognized as being progressive by those inside and outside of golf. But having the IGF place it as a priority and serve as a facilitator helps to ensure the entire golf course industry's commitment to sustainability. The growing body of best practices, research and case studies, and the communication of these resources, will only help to foster the concept of sustainability's triple bottom line: people, planet and profit, as well as to promote golf's efforts."
Queen noted that while GCSAA and other national golf course management organizations are not IGF members by definition, they do support the IGF's efforts and serve as a resource within the golf course, sports turf and other "green" industries. In fact, by their very nature, Queen contends golf course management organizations, like GCSAA, have been promoting sustainable operations, design, construction and management of golf courses for many years.
"I am proud of GCSAA and its members in what they have done to address sustainability," Queen said. "What impresses me most is that it is not viewed as something that is optional, but rather as an obligation as professional land managers. It is what we do as superintendents - it is a long-term commitment to our communities and environment. GCSAA members are mindful of efficiently using inputs such as water, energy and chemical products all while providing marketable playing conditions and viable businesses. Golf courses are woven into communities as long-term businesses that provide economic, social and environmental benefits - the essence of sustainability."