Mark Condos, Superintendent of the Livermore, Calif., course, has been named the Overall and National Public recipient of the 2015 Environmental Leaders in Golf Awards. Dave Davies of TPC Stonebrae in Hayward, Calif., is the National Private winner. Fourteen regional winners and one merit winner were also named.
Mark Condos, 57, Golf Course Superintendent at Las Positas Golf Course in Livermore, Calif., has been selected as the Overall and National Public recipient of the 2015 Environmental Leaders in Golf Awards (ELGA), which are presented annually by the Golf Course Superintendents of America Association (GCSAA) and Golf Digest in partnership with Syngenta and Rain Bird’s Golf Division.
The awards recognize golf course superintendents and their courses for overall course management excellence and best management practices in the areas of water conservation, water quality management, energy conservation, pollution prevention, waste management, wildlife and habitat conservation, communication and outreach, and leadership.
Condos is joined by Dave Davies and Jay Honeyball as national ELGA honorees. Davies, 60, is the certified golf course superintendent at TPC Stonebrae in Hayward, Calif., and the National Private winner. Honeyball, 44, is the superintendent at OslerBrook Golf and Country Club in Collingwood, Ontario, Canada, and winner of the International division.
In addition to the national winners, 14 chapter winners and one merit winner were chosen from GCSAA’s 98 affiliated chapters.
The winners will be recognized on February 9 during the Opening Session of the 2016 Golf Industry Show in San Diego.
An independent panel of judges representing national environmental groups, turfgrass experts, university researchers and valued members of the golf industry conducted the award selection. ”The ELGA winners are not only stewards for the environment, but excellent examples of the focus our industry keeps on sustainable efforts,” said Rhett Evans, the GCSAA’s CEO. “They are on the frontline of how superintendents are making great playing conditions and environmental management practices work in tandem.”
Condos’ work at Las Positas GC has included a renovation that created an environmentally sensitive buffer for wildlife between the course and a nearby airport, and he has helped the course become an Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary. Water conservation, energy conservation and Integrated Pest Management (IPM) are also key initiatives in his operation.
Ninety-four percent of the course’s total water consumption is recycled water, and Las Positas GC is enrolled in a Smart Meter Program, which helps saves energy during peak hours of the day.
“We try to take a minimalistic approach to all of it,” Condos says. “We don’t water [17 greens that are mainly Poa annua, and in high desert climate] during the day at all, except for spot watering. We have to maintain the greens.”
IPM and careful management of water are also key to Davies’ management approach at the nine-year-old TPC Stonebrae.
“My passion for many of our directives and really our entire environmental approach has been and will continue to be supported by many, many people,” says Davies. “Our ownership, our original consultants and, of course, our golf course architect, David McLay Kidd, all played important roles in setting the tone for this project and our future direction.
“The entire Stonebrae team continues to work diligently toward the successes of their vision,” Davies adds. “I have been instrumental in setting the tone at times, but it is the daily work of our entire staff that makes it a success.”
The ways in which Davies and TPC Stonebrae are dedicated to the environment are numerous, whether it is the IPM plan or the potable water source that requires daily site monitoring. All maintained turf throughout the site is bordered by naturalized buffers; those buffers are vegetated with native grasses and have been built with the purpose of reducing velocity of surface runoff from maintained turf, while allowing any possible contaminants to be contained before they reach wetlands throughout the site.
In addition to the national winners, winners selected from GCSAA’s 98 affiliated chapters included these ELGA chapter winners for private facilities:
- Thomas Brodeur, TPC Boston, Norton, Mass.
- Timothy G. Connolly, TPC Jasna Polana, Princeton, N.J.
- Thomas M. DeGrandi, TPC River Highlands, Cromwell, Conn.
- Christian Drake, Highlands (N.C.) Country Club
- Jeff Reich, TPC Rivers Bend, Maineville, Ohio
- Rick Slattery, Locust Hill Country Club, Pittsford, N.Y.
- Jim H. Thomas, CGCS, TPC Southwind, Memphis, Tenn.,
ELGA chapter winners for public facilities included:
- Michael Bednar, Palouse Ridge Golf Club, Pullman, Wash.
- Gary Ingram, CGCS, Metropolitan Golf Links, Oakland, Calif.
- Gary Heath, Glendoveer Golf Course, Portland, Ore.
- Josh Heptig, Dairy Creek Golf Course, San Luis Obispo, Calif.
- Bobby Jaeger, Lake Tahoe Golf Course, South Lake Tahoe, Calif.
- Darin Pakkala, Crystal Springs Golf Course, Burlingame, Calif.
- Alex Stuedemann, TPC Deere Run, East Moline, Ill.
Donald Paul of Los Lagos Golf Course in San Jose, Calif. was also named as an ELGA merit winner for a public facility.