SERVING THE GAME
USGA, ASGCA Select Six Sites for Pro-Bono Evaluations April 26, 2016 | Far Hills, N.J.

Six facilities will receive pro-bono consultations this year from a USGA agronomist and ASGCA architect as part of a partnership. (USGA/Darren Carroll)

The United States Golf Association and the American Society of Golf Course Architects Foundation have jointly selected six publicly accessible golf facilities to receive pro-bono consulting visits this year from USGA agronomists and ASGCA-member architects. The partnership, which was launched in December 2015, harnesses the collective expertise of each organization to provide innovative, viable solutions and foster greater golfer enjoyment at each property.

Through the USGA-ASGCA Site Evaluation Program, the agronomists and architects will make recommendations to address the facilities’ needs, improve the playing quality of their courses, enhance the golf experience for their customers and strengthen their connections to their local communities.

The facilities selected are:

·    Carolina Springs Golf Club (Fountain Inn, S.C.)
·    Connecticut National Golf Club (Putnam, Conn.)
·    Carey Park Golf Course (Hutchinson, Kan.)
·    EdgeBrook Golf Course (Brookings, S.D.)
·    Point University Golf Club (Lanett, Ala.)
·    Simsbury Farms Golf Course (West Simsbury, Conn.)

“Our mission is to create community through people, parks, programs and golf,” said Dan Brettschneider, parks, recreation & forestry director for Brookings, S.D., which owns and operates EdgeBrook, the city’s only public golf facility and one of the six courses selected. “As a municipal course, this sort of assistance is a kind of luxury for us, and the report will be an important part of an advocacy program to communicate with the residents and city leaders. We need a road map to make our course better and attract more players, and the USGA and ASGCA add so much credibility and expertise with their recommendations.”

Some of the priorities for these facilities include improving the turf quality of greens, determining the best locations for forward tees and creating a more welcoming experience for golfers. The recommendations will range from quick solutions that require few resources to long-term plans that will require more time, money and support to implement. The six courses join Canal Shores Golf Course, in Evanston, Ill., the first course selected for the program at its launch last year.

“An important mission for the USGA is to strengthen the future of golf by providing solutions for golf facilities, and we are excited to provide direct assistance to these courses,” said Mike Davis, executive director/CEO of the USGA. “Additionally, the lessons learned from this unique collaboration with the ASGCA have the potential to impact many more facilities around the world.”

Nearly 30 facilities have applied since the launch of the USGA-ASGCA Site Evaluation Program in early December.

“We were pleased by the number of strong candidates that were interested in this new program,” said John LaFoy, president of the ASGCA Foundation. “Our members are proud to share their expertise with these six facilities and we hope that our joint efforts with USGA agronomists will have a real and lasting impact.”

The USGA and ASGCA Foundation will accept more applications later this year, and interested facility owners, operators and managers can go to asgca.org for more information. Inquiries about the program can be directed to Hunki Yun of the USGA (hyun@usga.org) or Aileen Smith of the ASGCA Foundation (aileen@asgca.org).

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