Broken Sound Club (BSC) in Boca Raton, Fla., a 5-Star Platinum Club of America, has been chosen as the Overall and National Private recipient of the 2017 Environmental Leaders in Golf Awards (ELGA), which are presented annually by the Golf Course Superintendents Association of America (GCSAA) and Golf Digest in partnership with Syngenta and Rain Bird's Golf Division. The private, gated golf and country club community that is home to the PGA Champions Tour's season opener - the Allianz Championship for 10 consecutive years - ranks as the only Florida or Southeastern U.S.-based ELGA winner at the national or international leader level.
The Club, its two Audubon Sanctuary and GEO Certified golf courses and Golf Course Maintenance Director and Environmental Consultant Shannon Easter will be recognized Feb. 7 during the Opening Session at the 2017 Golf Industry Show and featured in upcoming issues of Golf Digest and GCSAA's magazine Golf Course Management.
Awardees are selected by an independent panel of judges representing national environmental groups, turfgrass experts, university researchers and valued members of the golf industry to recognize golf course superintendents and their courses for overall course management excellence and best management practices. Such practices include areas of water conservation, water quality management, energy conservation, pollution prevention, waste management, wildlife and habitat conservation, communication and outreach and leadership. In addition to the national winners, 19 chapter and nine merit winners were chosen from GCSAA's 98 affiliated chapters.
"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, GCSAA CEO. "They are on the frontline of how superintendents are making great playing conditions and environmental management practices work in tandem."
According to GCSAA, BSC's sustainability mission and efforts through the on-course stewardship of its Maintenance Director and Environmental Consultant Shannon Easter, the Club's 115-acre, 36-hole facilities - BSC's Club Course and The Old Course -demonstrate that golf courses can be a welcome habitat for native wildlife, including some endangered species.
"This great honor recognizes the high standard our board leadership, membership and golf course maintenance team set for ourselves every single day 'on and off' our golf courses," notes BSC GM and COO John Crean, CCE. "Our sustainability mandate combined with hospitality is the Club DNA that drives us, encouraging other communities, clubs and courses to follow suit."
BSC began its sustainability efforts on the greens with reclaiming water and adding birdhouses, a butterfly garden and true native areas. Looking internally at club operations, BSC moved to paperless accounting, cardboard and paper recycling and installing of water reduction toilets, shower heads, motion sensor lighting systems with LED fixtures and bulbs and replacing Styrofoam cups with biodegradable products made of corn starch before its large investment in on-site composting.
Most recently, BSC became the first club community to install a Tesla charging station and employ a beekeeper to install/maintain 22 beehives on its golf courses where one million bees produce 1,000 lbs. of pure, natural honey per year for members. The Club's 2013 transformational design and build of its Moonstone Spa and Fitness Center earned Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Certification from the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC).
BSC has received honors from the Florida Department of Environmental Protection for its impressive 95% recycling rate that is consistently three times the statewide recycling rate for the commercial sector and was a Green Corporate Citizen award finalist at the department's 2012 Corporate Recycling and Waste Conference. The Club was the second golf facility in the U.S. and 14th in the world to be GEO Certified, the sustainability assurance of the Golf Environment Organization, an international non-profit dedicated to supporting sustainability in the sport of golf.
"Having created the first industrial composting project in Florida, BSC continues to 'naturally' save lives and dollars while improving the quality of life and healthfulness of those who live, work and play within its community," noted Shannon Easter about BSC that holds a "Healthiest Club Designation' from Prevo Health Solutions. "We save countless birds and other wildlife on our golf courses, while responsibly reducing landfill disposal and minimizing the adverse effects fertilizer and other chemicals have on golfers and residents."
<[>Broken Sound Club is located at 2401 Willow Springs Drive, Boca Raton, FL.
For Club membership, contact Membership Director Maureen Schreiber at
(561) 241-6800 or visit www.brokensoundclub.org.