Andy Staples is in the business of helping superintendents save money, specifically on energy costs associated with water use.
Staples is the president of Scottsdale, Arizona-based Staples Golf, a sustainable golf design and resource management consulting group. Staples is focusing on energy efficiency, water conservation and carbon footprinting services to make golf courses more efficient and profitable.
Staples Golf has created and is offering the Energy Snapshot for Golf, the industry’s first tablet-based energy and water-savings calculator that superintendents and other golf course personnel can use to calculate savings on energy costs in real time. The company has worked with several golf facilities to research, test and identify energy and fiscal saving opportunities. It often begins with an understanding of a golf course’s utility bills, Staples notes. Course personnel are beginning to realize there’s a possibility they could reduce their bills with a little ingenuity.
Staples says, “Nobody wants to throw away good money.”
The Energy Snapshot for Golf’s process begins by assessing a golf course’s water and energy use baseline calculations, with potential areas of opportunity for reduction. Some of these opportunities can be achieved with minimal adjustments to management, or with more substantial changes such as integrating soil moisture sensors, reducing the amount of turf, or upgrading a course’s irrigation system, Staples says. By watering less, pumps will consume less energy, irrigation piping will last longer, and golf courses will pay for less water.
Staples says superintendents become interested in what he has to offer after he tells them he can help with issues related to energy costs and water availability. His analysis also includes a summary report and action plan for courses to implement.
“This year I’ve been as busy as I’ve ever been,” Staples says, noting he can save golf courses thousands of dollars annually. “It’s my mantra to always be looking for a better way.”
Staples believes the message of sustainability is resonating with superintendents.
“The message — not just from an environmental perspective but from a community perspective and economic perspective — makes a lot of sense, he adds.