Experience Green in partnership with the Sea Pines Resort will host Sustainability in Golf… the Business of Green, Sept. 25-27 at the Plantation Golf Club in the Sea Pines Resort. The three-day offering includes a Symposium, Zero Waste Workshop and Community Walk, and will welcome leading experts from the golf industry from the U.S. and Canada, including Pinehurst, the Toro Co., Dairy Creek Zero Waste Park (the first golf facility in the world to achieve the Zero Waste status) and more.  The effort seeks to educate and inspire current and future generations of leaders, for a shared sense of strategic stewardship to generate profit with purpose, and will focus on the business case for sustainability.

On Friday, Sept. 26, the event will offer a Zer0-Waste Workshop for Hospitality, Events and Golf, and invites restaurateurs, event managers, facility directors and all hospitality operators to learn the environmental and economic benefits and impacts of reducing solid waste.  The average person generates 4.4 pounds of solid waste daily. Landfills are fast approaching capacity (with all types of trash), and not only is that an environmental concern, but taxpayers will be responsible for funding the alternatives, according to Experience Green. The criteria and how to implement a zero-waste program will be explained through case studies and onsite learning at the Sea Pines Resort (a facility that trimmed $40k from its waste management costs in year one of implementing a recycling program).  The workshop will address commodity mining, sorting, food waste processing, water reuse and vermin-culture with benefits such as reduced costs, decreased environmental impact and image enhancement.

The Symposium on Sept. 25 will include panel sessions that address measurement to support the return on investment, or business case, for sustainability.  It will highlight case studies such as the Pinehurst No. 2 Restoration, with special guest, Bob Farren, director of golf and maintenance at Pinehurst, as well as award-winning Director of Grounds Anthony Williams of the Stone Mountain Golf Club, in a session that will focus on golf as a solution to build community and positively impact the environment and economy.  The 2014 Symposium will also include a series of “Seven for Sustainability” (seven minute presentations) by registrants about specific initiatives. Superintendent magazine’s Editorial Director Lawrence Aylward will speak about how superintendents can promote their sustainability initiatives to the local media.


Continuing education credits will be available for members of the GCSAA and other organizations. The 2013 event welcomed attendees from 11 states, Canada and Scotland. The two-day registration for the Symposium and Zero Waste workshop is $299 per attendee, and is open through Sept. 22; one-day attendance is also available at www.sustainabilityingolf.org.

“It is clear that ‘the way it has always been done’ may not address current challenges for the golf industry, such as limited resources, changing demographics, preferences of multi-generational golfers and club members. Sustainable practices can reduce costs, enhance image, engage the community and be a contributor to societal change,” said Teresa Wade, founder and executive director of Experience Green. “The event invites all segments of the industry (superintendents, pros, owners, managers, etc.) for discussion to promote industry wide collaboration.”

The general public is invited to participate in a Community Walk to benefit the American Diabetes Association, First Tee of the Lowcountry and Sea Pines Forest Preserve at 9 a.m. on Saturday, Sept. 27, on the Ocean Course and beach in Sea Pines. The 2.8 mile scenic route will include a scavenger hunt with seven education stations for kids of all ages, and will finish at the new Sea Pines Beach Club.

The event is made possible through partnerships with leading organizations including the National Golf Course Owners Association, World Golf Foundation, RBC, Carolinas Golf Course Superintendents Association, Coligny Hilton Head, Graves Construction, Bishops Gate Golf Academy, Carolinas Golf Course Superintendents Association, Lowcountry Golf Course Owners Association, the American Society of Golf Course Architects, Superintendent Magazine, Smith Turf and Irrigation, Grainger, Rain Bird, Island Plumbing of Hilton Head, Palmetto Electric and many others.