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ttendees at the ASGCA Forum

during the recent Golf Industry

Show in San Diego heard President

Steve Smyers, ASGCA, provide insight on

how innovation has been a part of golf

course design from the game’s earliest days.

“The most successful and recognized

golf course architects of past generations

were very forward-thinking guys, and the

founding members of ASGCA were leaders

in the game because they adapted to the

modern innovations of the game,” he said.

“We must do the same. Some of the courses I

designed early in my career are modernizing

for the next generation of players, with new

sand or bunker liners, improved irrigation

and the introduction of new turf grasses.”

Several ASGCA members provided

specific examples of how design

advancements have helped meet the

needs of players.

John Fought, ASGCA, spoke on the

evolution of putting greens, quoting

Charles Blair MacDonald, who said:

“Putting greens to a golf course are what

the face is to a portrait.” Today, Fought

noted, greens are most often changed

for one of three reasons: grass varieties

and construction methods, maintenance

improvements, and greens speeds.

Rees Jones, ASGCA, presented on the

evolution of championship golf. Jones cited

a number of specific course examples from

a career portfolio that includes leaving his

mark on seven U.S. Open venues, eight

PGA Championship courses (including the

2016 course at Baltusrol Golf Club), and

five Ryder Cup sites.

Andy Staples, ASGCA, provided his

insight on water issues, highlighting the

release of the new

Golf & Water


from the ASGCA Foundation, detailing

more than a dozen examples from courses

in North America and internationally

where ASGCA members and others from

the golf industry have positively impacted

the management of water (see page 14 for

more information). He also noted the 22

percent decline in water usage on courses

in North America in just eight years,

according to data from the Golf Course

Superintendents Association of America.


ASGCA highlights golf innovation

Golf Industry Show


Sharing success stories

The United States Golf Association

hosted 125 industry experts at their Pace

and Innovation Symposium in Pasadena,

California in January.

The event marked the third time the

USGA has brought together experts and

leaders from throughout the industry to

discuss the issues that often serve as

barriers to participation and enjoyment of

the game.

ASGCA members shared a number of

course design case studies:

• Todd Eckenrode, ASGCA, outlined

examples of turf reduction that

decreased maintenance expenses,

including Brookside Golf Club, which

removed 20 acres and saved $75,000

in water costs in 2015.

• Mike Benkusky, ASGCA, described his

redesign of Arlington Lakes Golf Club,

in Arlington Heights, Illinois, which

will offer three- and six-hole loops for

customers who don’t have time for

longer rounds.

• Andy Staples, ASGCA, discussed

his design of Rockwind Community

Links, in Hobbs, New Mexico, which

strengthened the connection between

the municipal course and the community.

• Damian Pascuzzo, ASGCA, discussed

his 12-hole Challenge Course

at Monarch Dunes Golf Club, in

Nipomo, California, which hosts a

‘Learn Golf’ program.

Bamberger to receive

Donald Ross award

Michael Bamberger


senior writer for



and author of

several books on golf


been chosen by the ASGCA

as the 2016 recipient of the

Donald Ross Award. “Almost

every golf fan over the past

30 years has read and

been impacted by Michael’s

writing, in newspapers,

on the pages of



, on the web or in

his books,” said President

Steve Smyers, ASGCA.

Sanford and Nicklaus

collaborate in Naples

John Sanford, ASGCA,

and Jack Nicklaus, ASGCA

Fellow, are working

together on the redesign

of the course at Naples

Beach Hotel & Golf Club in

Naples, Florida.

“The green complexes are

relatively small, and Jack

wanted them partially open

to running shots, so about

50-to-60 percent of each

green is open to allow the

ground game,” said Sanford.

“Of the 100 acres of turf,

we will take 30-to-35 acres

out of irrigation, resulting in

unirrigated natural areas.

We end up with 65 or 70

acres of irrigated turf, which

will reduce the watering


ASGCA members Greg Martin, Mike Benkusky,

Jerry Lemons and Steve Weisser meet at the

Golf Industry Show in San Diego