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By Design


Providing expertise

for improvements

A new program from the ASGCA and USGA is

providing pro bono assistance to publicly accessible

golf courses. Aileen Smith explains more

Site evaluation


Aileen Smith


he health of the golf industry

can be measured by the

viability of thousands of

courses that provide enjoyment to

millions of golfers every day.

These facilities—many of them

public—need to make sure that the

design, agronomics and operation of

their courses combine to offer a high-

quality, sustainable product for their

customers and remain an integral

asset of the local community.

ASGCA and the United States Golf

Association (USGA) have a long

history of helping facilities to improve

the playability of their courses

and enhance the efficiency of their

maintenance practices. Now, for the

first time, the organizations have

teamed up to offer their combined

expertise to qualified facilities.

Through the USGA-ASGCA Site

Evaluation Program, ASGCA architects

and USGA agronomists will work

together to provide pro bono assistance

to facilities that will be identified

through an application process. They

will study the selected facilities and

provide a summary report outlining

opportunities for improvement

in course design, agronomics,

environmental stewardship, and

operations with the goal of lowering

costs, improving the golfer experience

and fostering a more welcoming setting.

“The ASGCA, along with the ASGCA

Foundation led by John LaFoy, is

pleased to partner with the USGA on

this initiative. Golf facilities have long

benefited from the efforts of ASGCA

members and USGA agronomists.

Collaboration between our experts

will have a positive impact on the

facilities we support. ASGCA members

are excited and proud to bring their

expertise to this program,” says ASGCA

President Steve Smyers, ASGCA.

“Course design and maintenance

form the foundation of a golf facility’s

operations,” adds Mike Davis, USGA

executive director. “With the knowledge

that the ASGCA and USGA can offer,

more publicly accessible facilities

will be able to strengthen this base,

while promoting resource efficiency, a

better golf experience and a stronger

connection to the local community.”

Canal Shores Golf Course, a

community-owned and operated

facility in Evanston, Illinois, is the

first course to receive a pro bono

evaluation through the program.

“This has been an incredible

opportunity,” says Jason Way, of the

Canal Shores board of directors. “We

have some great ideas about how to

improve the course, but the assistance

from the USGA and ASGCA allows

us to get past the initial planning

process, and we can move forward

with our vision for making Canal

Shores a multi-use community green

space that the maximum number of

people can enjoy.”

Selection of facilities

Interested facilities should apply via .


addition to providing the information

requested in the application, facilities

interested in the program may need

to answer additional questions and/

or take part in a call or site visit as

part of the application review process.

The ASGCA and USGA will choose

facilities that demonstrate a need

and willingness to carry out the

recommendations made. Selected

facilities are expected to make their best

efforts to carry out recommendations.