Implementation of best practices paying off

A national survey conducted by Golf Course Superintendents Association of America (GCSAA) revealed U.S. golf courses used 29 percent less water in 2020, compared with 2005. The 2021 survey was conducted by the (GCSA) and funded by the GCSAA Foundation as part of its Golf Course Environmental Profile program, which began in 2005.

The report found that U.S. golf facilities applied approximately 1.68 million acre-feet of water in 2020, a 29% reduction since 2005. Two-thirds of the reduction was likely a result of operational golf facilities applying water more efficiently.

The survey results from nearly 1,600 golf course superintendents were collected and independently analyzed by scientists Travis Shaddox, Ph.D., Bluegrass Art and Science LLC., and J. Bryan Unruh, Ph.D. University of Florida, and the National Golf Foundation (NGF), which published the findings for peer review before making the information public.

“Data from the 2021 water use benchmarking survey show that golf course superintendents continue to reduce water use at their facilities. The survey results indicate a 9% reduction in applied water since 2013, totaling a 29% reduction since the inaugural survey was conducted,” Unruh said. “Similarly, the median acre-feet per acre, a measure of water use efficiency, has improved by 23% since 2005.”