Peter McDonough, the golf course superintendent at the Keswick Hall and Golf Club in Keswick, Virginia, for the last 24 years, has been selected to receive the 2016 President’s Award for Environmental Stewardship by the board of directors of the Golf Course Superintendents Association of America (GCSAA).
McDonough will receive the award Tuesday, Feb. 9, during the Opening Session of the 2016 Golf Industry Show in San Diego (Feb. 6-11).
The GCSAA President’s Award for Environmental Stewardship was established in 1991 to recognize an exceptional environmental contribution to the game that further exemplifies the golf course superintendent’s image as a steward of the land.
McDonough has been active in environmental projects and issues from the start of his career. A 26-year member of GCSAA, McDonough has served as president of the Old Dominion GCSA and the Virginia GCSA, and he was one of the founding members of the Virginia Golf Council to serve his region on important environmental issues. He was awarded VGCSA President’s Lifetime Service Award in 2001, and in 2003 he earned that association’s Distinguished Service Award.
McDonough served as chair of the VGCSA Government Relations Committee when severe drought conditions affected Massachussetts in 2002. Since then, he has worked directly with the governor’s office, the Department of Environmental Quality and other state legislators to adopt practical policies for water conservation and water management. His efforts were noticed by GCSAA, and in 2008 he won the association’s Excellence in Government Relations Award.
In 2011, McDonough was responsible for the publication of a handbook of best management practices for Virginia golf courses, showing superintendents how to efficiently manage natural resources with a commitment to environmental stewardship. The landmark publication is a model for other states to follow, and McDonough has been a leading consultant.
McDonough was heavily involved in Pete Dye’s renovation of the 18-hole Keswick Club, which was completed in 2014. Through his work, the club has been recognized as an Audubon International Cooperative Sanctuary every year since 2002. In the last several years alone, the club has added 25 acres of environmental protective buffer zones adjacent to its streams and ponds, and converted 25 acres of turfgrass to low maintenance natural vegetation to save costs and provide wildlife habitats.
McDonough has also found time to serve as a GCSAA grassroots ambassador since the program’s inception in 2014. The program seeks to match a superintendent member with a local member of congress for improved advocacy on behalf of the golf industry.