This Ardmore institution will host the 2013 U.S. Open in June for the fifth time in its 100-year history. The club recently built a turf-maintenance center that employs numerous environmentally sound practices, achieving a Certified Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary designation.
The center has a green roof with fescue and birdhouses; the mechanics’ shop is heated with used motor oil; and all lights are motion activated. Thermostats are designed to work the hardest when the most people are in the buildings and minimally at off-peak hours, while manual roll-up doors conserve energy. The maintenance crew recycles everything at all club locations.
Merion and its superintendent, Matt Shaffer, have been given the Environmental Leader in Golf Award through a program sponsored by the Golf Course Superintendents Association of America and Golf Digest magazine. “We could be doing what we’re doing for a lot less money if we weren’t so green, but Merion’s membership has chosen to do this the right way,” says Shaffer.
While a golf course would seem to have a corner on the green industry, how many are sustainable enough to recycle filtered water after all equipment is cleaned each day? And a large compost site allows all green matter to remain part of maintenance operations, keeping it out of landfills.
“I still have aspirations of using less water and less inputs to maintain our turf,” says Shaffer. “But it’s a delicate balancing act. We have a responsibility to honor our history, without sacrificing our commitment to green practices.”
(610) 642-5600, meriongolfclub.com.
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