The golf course architecture firm of Robert Trent Jones II – well known for developing golf courses in an environmentally responsible manner – has released its Green Proclamation: ten tenets that have guided the company’s design philosophy and that the firm commits itself to pursuing into the future.
The Green Proclamation complements the environmental efforts expended by the USGA, ASGCA, GCSAA, PGA of America, Audubon International, and other golf industry organizations.
Bruce Charlton, president and chief design officer of RTJ II, and current president of the American Society of Golf Course Architects, says that the time has come for golf course architects to make a firm public statement about the environment.
“Some people worldwide still have a negative image of the golf industry,” he said. “We need to both make a renewed commitment to developing golf courses in a sustainable way that protects the environment, and also get the word out that golf courses are a positive form of development. In many cases, our work improves water quality and wildlife habitat, preserves green spaces that will not be paved over or developed, and creates giant filters that sequester carbon. When they are correctly implemented, golf courses that are well-conceived and built responsibly on appropriate sites actually enhance the natural environment.”
Robert Trent Jones, Jr., chairman of RTJ II, says of the firm’s Green Proclamation, “In the spirit of the Kyoto Protocol, which seeks to bring nations together in an alliance to protect the planet, we embark upon a more modest but-we hope-equally far reaching doctrine. Our Green Proclamation has ten points created to help influence the direction of golf course design in this era of environmental concern.”
The firm of Robert Trent Jones II invites other golf course architects to join them in committing to the principles in its Green Proclamation:
GREEN Proclamation – A Fresh Approach to Golf Course Design
Many historians and aficionados of golf course architecture consider the period between 1920 and 1935 as the “golden age” of course design in North America.
We at Robert Trent Jones II® (RTJ II) believe that the profession has entered a grand new era-the “green age”-in which great golf courses worldwide are being created in harmony with the environment, and with the intention that they will be maintained as sustainable resources.
To that end, we at RTJ II will continue to abide by environmental principles that help protect the planet while creating exciting, memorable, challenging, and natural golf experiences for the ages. These principles have already guided our work for nearly forty years.
The USGA, ASGCA, GCSAA, PGA of America, Audubon International, and other golf industry associations have shown their commitment to protect and enhance the natural environment. In accordance with these fine efforts, we offer the following declaration to our clients and to golfers worldwide.
We aspire to:
1. Create courses on sites that will sustain golf with a minimum disturbance to and maximum enhancement of natural ecosystems, and/or rehabilitate degraded landscapes and environments.
2. Move earth more efficiently to create courses that fit their sites and respect the natural characteristics of the terrain.
3. Design and construct courses with ongoing operations and future maintenance and sustainability in mind.
4. Protect native flora and fauna.
5. Protect and enhance wildlife habitat and other sensitive environmental areas while providing active corridors for species diversity.
6. Minimize clearing of trees and other native vegetation and, where possible, revegetate with indigenous plants from the site.
7. Create courses that use less water, pesticides, and fertilizers than traditional co0urses.
8. Protect, conserve, and improve water quality and resources by incorporating wetlands, turfgrass, and other natural site features to clean and filter water.
9. Maximize the effectiveness of available water through the use of drought-tolerant grass species; and specify soil amendments that lead to water conservation, and, where applicable, absorb properly-treated effluent.
10. Employ new technologies wherever and whenever feasible, that will further these goals.
Robert Trent Jones II, Golf Course Architects www.rtj2.com