If you’ve ever set foot on a professional-level golf course, then you know that these tracts of land are as much about sporting as they are nature. The weaving of grass, sand, trees and water into a place where men and women can escape the hustle and bustle is one of the major perks of the sport. This all-natural aspect also makes the modern golf course an environmentally-friendly facility — and that’s something Stephen Troese Jr. greatly appreciates. That’s because Mr. Troese is both an avid golfer as well as CEO and co-founder of LRI Energy Solutions, which is a contracting firm that helps companies implement energy-saving equipment and best practices. In this article, we’ll explore the intersection of Earth-friendly golf courses, according to Links magazine, and Stephen Troese Jr.’s professional background in sustainability.
“As America becomes increasingly urbanized, golf courses are more important than ever as providers of green space for wildlife habitat,” Links states in an article on the most eco-friendly golf courses in the U.S. “The most visionary owners and operators have sought to make their courses environmentally accountable and sustainable by reducing water consumption and chemical use and finding alternative energy sources such as solar and geothermal.” Stephen Troese Jr. appreciates the fact that course owners and operators are considering operations investments that will have a net energy-use benefit. The company that Mr. Troese co-founded is especially useful for consultations on these exact topics. Since he’s a golfer, traveling to courses that have made the commitment to be more conscious of consumption is a trip he’s happy to take.
- The Vineyard Golf Club in Edgartown, Massachusetts is “America’s only truly organic course,” according to Links. This designation was achieved through the use of “bio-stimulants and composted fertilizers that help protect the island’s single-source aquifer.” The reason why the course took this route is because local elected officials wanted it to be all-organic. According to Stephen Troese Jr., this is one of the reasons why some companies will make the initial inquiry into energy-efficient commercial development options.
- The Westchester Country Club, located in Rye, New York, was able to abandoned its energy-guzzling heating-cooling system and install a new one that cost $3.5 million. While the infrastructure upgrades were on a grand scale (installation of a geothermal heating-cooling system and digging more than 200 wells) Stephen Troese Jr. says projects in this vein should be par for the course across the U.S. “Holding ponds have been enlarged to capture rainwater for irrigation, while algae-eating fish (white amurs) have replaced chemicals like copper,” the magazine adds.
- It’s often the little things that add up to have the largest impact. In his role with LRI Energy Solutions, Stephen Troese Jr. would lobby for companies doing away with Styrofoam cups, “K-Cups” used in instant coffeemakers and other items that have a negative effect on the environment. According to Links, Pebble Beach Golf Links took similar steps and now “annually recycles more than 6.5 million pounds of plastic, glass, and cardboard.” On-site restaurants also compost their food scraps and even its irrigation water has been recycled. Clearly, reducing and reusing are the keys to recycling and Pebble Beach is on the right track.
- Stone Creek Golf Club, in Oregon City, Oregon, has recognized the negative impact that pesticides and fertilizer can have on the very surroundings they are being used to treat. It’s sad irony so it’s no surprise that Mr. Troese was happy to see Stone Creek adopt a new pest management program “that uses pesticides sparingly and irrigates only the in-play areas, allowing other areas to go fallow in the summer and provide habitat for ground-nesting birds.” The course is also keeping annual tabs on its lakes through water testing that ensures minimal pesticides and fertilizers are detected.
As a respected thought leader in energy-efficient policy, Stephen Troese Jr. has a long career in advising businesses on how to position themselves for the future. In some cases, he can find ways for companies to go digital and ditch paper print-outs. At other times, he’s helped find ways for employees to adopt “remote” work and complete their jobs from home rather than driving to work and adding to Greenhouse gas emissions. The best way to discover the opportunities for your business (whether golf course of other) is to hire individuals like Stephen Troese Jr. to conduct a total audit of resources being used on a daily basis. As the above golf courses demonstrate, if there’s a will then there’s a way — and this should be the way forward.