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Golf Course Tries Turf Reduction To Boost Sustainability

With a new turf reduction project to lower irrigation and maintenance needs, Barona Creek Golf Club is positioning itself as a model for other golf courses that want to incorporate sustainability efforts.

Barona Creek will convert 10 to 12 acres of out-of-play turf to waste bunkers or more natural landscape, as well as eliminate alternate tee boxes. The measures will reduce fuel and energy consumption and require less fertilizer and maintenance chemical, according to a press release.

The project also will restrict over-seeding to tees and roughs, lowering maintenance requirements 10-15 percent.

Facing drought, California, Arizona and Nevada state and local governments have put out the call for voluntary water use restrictions and in many cases have limited acreage for new golf course developments.

The San Diego-area golf course, which is owned by the Barona Band of Mission Indians, already has been honored by Audubon International with Bronze Signature Sanctuary Certification. Additionally, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and San Diego Earthworks have recognized the golf course’s environmental efforts.

Barona Creek has a water reclamation plant and a computerized irrigation system. It also employs weather monitoring and a sustainable landscape plan.

In 2006, Southern California Edison began offering golf courses cash rebates based on energy savings.

Toro has marketed a biodiesel mower to golf courses.

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