Course Certification

While the recertification process under the Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary Program for Golf Courses is complex, it is made easier at The Landings Club by the dedication of the professional staff to ongoing environmental best practices.

When it comes time to add up the achievements in each of the six categories that are measured by Audubon International, we always have plenty to report.

Oakridge and Deer Creek Recertification, 2014

In 2014, the two courses recertified were Oakridge and Deer Creek. Here are brief excerpts from the Audubon International letters of congratulation.

 To Aaron Saunders, Superintendent, Deer Creek:

”We are pleased that you had success with so many projects, especially your efforts to significantly reduce water use on the course. Your use of moisture meters, hand watering, increasing mowing heights, and incorporating ET rates into irrigation decisions have all contributed to the 47% reduction in water use from 2011 to 2013. We were also impressed with your efforts to communicate water conservation projects to membership through the use of newsletters and card handouts. In fact, all of your communication efforts were very well done.

“You have done a wonderful job of providing habitat on the course, including the recently naturalized tall grass area between the 9th and 18th green.

“Your vegetative buffers and no-spray zones continue to add beautiful elements to the course while providing important habitat.”

 To Erik Carson, Superintendent, Oakridge

“We are pleased that you had success with so many projects, especially the installation of a new irrigation system on the course, which allows for much more precise irrigation. We are glad that you have already seen a 47% reduction in water use even though the system has been running less than a year. We were also glad to hear that you re-grassed tees and fairways with a drought tolerant and sturdy variety of Bermuda grass.

The Best Management Practices checklist that you developed will assist further with water savings.

“You continue to do a good job of providing habitat on the course, including the installation of a native plant bed behind #17 green. It also sounds like your Dave Scott Bluebird Program continues to be a success for both the birds and the volunteers.

Plantation and Palmetto Recertification January 2010

Each of the six-stages of the Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary Program (ACSP) certification process was included in the recertification of Palmetto and Plantation courses in early 2010: environmental planning, wildlife and habitat management, outreach and education, chemical use reduction and safety, water conservation and water quality management. Chuck Smith provided the outline for the review by John “Crawfish” Crawford who acted as an independent auditor and reported his findings to Audubon International.

The following is a partial recap of the recertification.

Environmental Planning and Water Conservation

  • New irrigation systems on Palmetto (2005) and Plantation (2004) allow for greater control with more precise watering from a centralized computer control system.
  • Using evapotranspiration date from the Georgia weather station located on Skidaway as a baseline for run times, each irrigation head is adjusted individually based on environmental factors. Water like the Pros do:
    1. Go to www.Georgiaweather.net
    2. Under “Select a Weather Station in left side of home page, chose Skidaway
    3. Go to “Yesterday’s Conditions”
    4. Look down the list for Evapotranspiration data
    5. If value is below .10 Golf Maintenance will NOT water
    6. If value is above .12 Golf Maintenance will begin irrigating
  • Lagoon water quality management is monitored by The Landings Association under the direction of Sean Burgess, Environmental Coordinator.

Wildlife and Habitat Management

  • Understory restoration project at #6/#14 Plantation and undisturbed native habitat at #8 Plantation provide wildlife habitat.
  • Terrapin Turtle Rescue efforts by Carolyn McInerney at #3 Plantation becomes the hatchery/nest box project at John Crawford’s suggestion during recertification.

Outreach and Education

  • Articles in Clubline and This Week at the Landings, as well as regular emails to The Landings Club membership, get the message of environmental stewardship out.

Chemical Use Reduction

  • Soil testing and aggressive aerification, which limits runoff, are ongoing.
  • Monitoring, scouting and spot-directed applications are part of the pest management strategy, including using GPS baseline maps.
  • Use of newer classes of pesticides whenever possible – more target specific and less impact on the environment.
  • 90% of applications are liquid, which limits runoff

  • Go to www.Georgiaweather.net
  • Under “Select a Weather Station in left side of home page, chose Skidaway
  • Go to “Yesterday’s Conditions”
  • Look down the list for Evapotranspiration data
  • If value is below .10 Golf Maintenance will NOT water
  • If value is above .12 Golf Maintenance will begin irrigating

 

 

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