The USGA and the ASGCA have awarded pro-bono consulting services to three golf courses in 2017, providing them with assistance that will help each facility operate more efficiently, offer a better product for their customers and provide increased value to their communities.
Last year, a golf course architect and a USGA agronomist made day-long consulting visits to seven facilities. This year, the following three public-access courses will receive visits:
- Rockleigh Golf Course (Rockleigh, N.J.)
- Salina Municipal Golf Course (Salina, Kan.)
- South Shore Country Club (Hingham, Mass.)
“We hope that our involvement with the USGA and the ASGCA will help us come up with a plan to renovate our property to better suit the needs of our residents,” said Tom McGovern, director of golf for Bergen County, N.J., which owns and operates Rockleigh Golf Course. “We hope to learn the most up-to-date and effective ways to provide a modern, safe and efficient place for beginners and young children to learn and feel comfortable.”
Launched in December 2015, the partnership provides publicly accessible golf facilities with the collective expertise of both organizations and addresses the facilities’ specific needs, offering recommendations in areas such as playing quality, resource management and golfer experience.
“Courses involved in the first two years of the USGA-ASGCA Site Evaluation Program are already benefiting from both the immediate impact and ongoing implementations,” said Mike Davis, USGA executive director/CEO. “These visits allow us to meaningfully give back to the game by helping publicly accessible facilities that are at the heart of the golf community.”
One of the most impactful aspects of the program is the powerful collaboration between the architect and agronomist, who work closely to provide insights and solutions during their site visits.
“Now that we’re in our second round of the Site Evaluation Program, the ASGCA Foundation board is seeing how the one-two punch of design and agronomic advice offered by an ASGCA member and a USGA agronomist can improve facility operations,” said Clyde Johnston, ASGCA, who serves as an ASGCA Foundation officer. “We’re starting to hear stories of positive change and are looking forward to sharing those.”
No facility has benefited more than EdgeBrook Golf Course in Brookings, S.D., which received a site evaluation in 2016.
“We are using the report to identify priorities for 2017 and beyond,” said Dan Brettschneider, the city’s director of parks, recreation & forestry. Based on the report, Brettschneider and his staff have already added a set of forward tees at the course.
“We also identified additional areas that needed less mowing and maintenance, as well as drainage improvements,” added Brettschneider. “EdgeBrook Golf Course will utilize the site evaluation information to assist in developing a road map for future improvements with the ultimate goal of growing the game of golf.”
More than 40 facilities have applied since the launch of the USGA-ASGCA Site Evaluation Program. Inquiries about the program can be directed to Hunki Yun of the USGA (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Aileen Smith of the ASGCA Foundation (email@example.com).
Founded in 1946 by 14 leading architects, the American Society of Golf Course Architects is a nonprofit organization comprised of experienced golf course designers located throughout the United States and Canada. Members have completed a rigorous two-year long application process that includes the peer review of four representative golf courses. The average ASGCA member has spent nearly 30 years as a golf course architect, designing 42 new 18-hole courses and has worked on or consulted on nearly 150 projects in eight different countries around the world.
The ASGCA Foundation is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit association, formed in 1974 to advance the research of golf courses and their design, and to disseminate that information to individuals and communities interested in planning greenspace for recreational purposes.
For more information about ASGCA, including a current list of members, log on to the ASGCA website at http://www.asgca.org or call (262) 786-5960. For more information about the ASGCA Foundation, log on to the website at http://www.asgcafoundation.org.
About the USGA
The USGA celebrates, serves and advances the game of golf. Founded in 1894, we conduct many of golf’s premier professional and amateur championships, including the U.S. Open and U.S. Women’s Open. With The R&A, we govern the sport via a global set of playing, equipment and amateur status rules. Our operating jurisdiction for these governance functions is the United States, its territories and Mexico. The USGA Handicap System is utilized in more than 40 countries and our Course Rating System covers 95 percent of the world’s golf courses, enabling all golfers to play on an equitable basis. The USGA campus in Liberty Corner, New Jersey, is home to the Association’s Research and Test Center, where science and innovation are fueling a healthy and sustainable game for the future. The campus is also home to the USGA Golf Museum, where we honor the game by curating the world’s most comprehensive archive of golf artifacts. To learn more, visit usga.org.