USGA to invest $30M in water conservation efforts over the next 15 years

By |  April 20, 2023 0 Comments

The United States Golf Association (USGA) will invest $30 million over the next 15 years to accelerate its work toward reducing golf’s use of water.

The association says its $30 million commitment will advance underutilized strategies and technologies that golf courses can use to economically reduce their use of water. The work will focus on irrigation optimization, advanced conservation innovation and water sourcing and storage.

“The long-term economic and environmental sustainability of green-grass golf courses – where more than 25 million people enjoy the game and millions more are employed – will be challenged in certain regions if the game doesn’t advance this critical work now,” said Mike Whan, CEO of the USGA. “We are enthused and impressed by the reductions golf course superintendents have pursued over the past decade, and even more optimistic about the future. The USGA is ready to not only contribute our voice but also our resources and expertise, to help our golf course partners and ensure golf’s future.”

The effort will integrate the USGA Green Section with university researchers, golf course owners, superintendents, the Golf Course Superintendents Association of America (GCSAA), regional golf associations, architects, industry partners and water agencies.

Over the next 15 years, the USGA, along with industry allies and practitioners, will:

  • Launch and continuously update a water-resilience playbook for the game of golf
  • Demonstrate underutilized and emerging, research-based practices
  • Understand and break down barriers to the adoption of proven strategies (including financial barriers)
  • Continue to support water resilience research and turfgrass breeding programs

“The move toward greater water resilience requires everyone in golf to actively participate and bring their best efforts forward, with golf courses utilizing the assets available to them within their geographic region,” said Matt Pringle, Ph.D., managing director of the USGA Green Section. “Importantly, this is not about mandates, but an important call to action to the golf industry to work together towards a common goal.”

With a goal of identifying early adopters, the USGA said it will continue to collaborate in a series of water summits in several states along with its Allied Golf Associations, as it seeks to draw the best talent and innovations toward the program’s goals. The association will also work together with golf courses on sharing best practices and innovations that could be more widely adopted to advance program goals.

Cole Thompson, Ph.D., who leads the USGA’s Davis Grant Program, and Matteo Serena, Ph.D., a water conservation expert in the Southwest, will lead the planning process.

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