Ben Brown's Golf Course At The Ranch At Laguna Beach

GEO Certified® 05/2017
Laguna Beach,
California, United States
Telephone: 949-499-1919
Bb_s_main_image_temporary_club_image

The following accounts and observations noted below were a result of a full-day site visit conducted by this verifier on Friday, May 5, 2017. The golf and clubhouse staff who provided a golf car driving tour of the facilities, included the following:
• Kurt Bjorkman, General Manager
• Andy Fechko, Director of Golf
• Ramiro Mendoza, Course Superintendent
• Derek Ostensen, Ecologist, Derek Ostensen & Associates

Ben Brown's At The Ranch is a nine-hole executive golf course that is a recreational institution in Laguna Beach, Californ…

Elliot Powers, GEOSA, Accredited Verifier Read verifier report.

GEO Certified® Report

GEO Certified® is the symbol of great golf environments worldwide – designating that a golf facility has met a credible standard in the areas of nature, water, energy, supply chain, pollution control, and community, and is committed to continually improve. GEO Certified® is widely trusted and endorsed by a growing number of organizations and people, both inside and outside golf.

Click below to read about the activities undertaken by this golf facility to operate sustainably.

Facility details

Golf Courses
Ben Brown's Golf Course (9 holes, 2300 yards, year opened 1950)
2 Maintenance Facility/Facilities
1 Pro Shop
1 Other
14 Other
1 Other
1 Other
1 Halfway House(s)

Nature

The Ranch at Laguna Beach golf course and hotel property is located in an extraordinary natural setting, surrounded by more than 5,000 acres of wilderness and bisected by Aliso Creek near its ocean outflow at Aliso Beach. The slopes and ridges of the property are replete with native vegetation. The slopes along the southern bank of Aliso Creek are mapped very high value and high value habitat in the Open Space/Conservation Element - the two highest designations habitat may receive according to the General Plan and Biological Resources Inventory.

Significant views of the site, the nature preserve and ocean beyond are available from the ridge trails of the adjacent park. The site is developed with hotel, restaurant, banquet, meeting, and golf course facilities.

Six special status plant species occur near or on the site, including big-leaved crownbeard (Verbesina dissita), western dichondra (Dichondra occidentalis), many-stemmed dudleya (Dudleya multicaulis), Laguna Beach dudleya, Catalina mariposa lily (Calochortus catalinae), and intermediate mariposa lily (Calochortus weedii var. intermedius). Seven special status wildlife species, northern harrier, American peregrine falcon, coastal California gnatcatcher, yellow-breasted chat, Vaux’s swift, pocketed free-tailed bat, and pallid bat occur near or on the site.

Preservation of the site's sensitive landscapes and ecosystems is a central priority of the owners and managers of the property.

Consultation & Surveys

This golf facility consults the following organizations regarding landscape heritage conservation:

  • South Laguna Civic Association
  • Orange County Parks
  • City of Laguna Beach
  • California Coastal Commission
  • California Department of Fish and Wildlife
  • US Fish and Wildlife Service
  • Orange County Watersheds
  • Ocean Institute
  • Laguna Canyon Foundation
  • Village Laguna
  • South Coast Water District

The following landscape assessments and surveys have been undertaken at this golf facility:

Title Author Date View document
Landscape and Invasive Species Assessment Derek Ostensen and Associates 2014/10/14
Landscape and Tree Survey Gilbert Briseno 2014/08/14
Turf Removal and Sustainability Survey Derek Ostensen and Associates 2015/03/12
Golf Course Design Enhancements Plan Derek Ostensen and Associates 2016/03/17

This golf facility consults the following organizations regarding ecosystem protection and enhancement:

  • Laguna Canyon Foundation
  • South Laguna Civic Association
  • Orange County Parks
  • OC Watersheds
  • California Department of Fish and Wildlife
  • US Fish and Wildlife Service
  • California Coastal Commission
  • City of Laguna Beach

The following ecological surveys have been undertaken at this golf facility:

Title Author Date View document
Sensitive Wildlife Surveys Berkley 2007/03/01
Sensitive Vegetation Mapping Hardison 2006/10/06
Special Status Plants Freese 2005/05/06
Biotechnical Report Derek Ostensen Associates and Glenn Lukos Associates 2014/04/14

Rare, protected and notable species occurring at this golf facility:

Local name Scientific name
Laguna Beach Dudleya Dudleya stolonifera
Pallid Bat Antrozous pallidus
Intermediate Mariposa Lily Calochortus weedii var. intermedius
Coastal California Gnatcatcher Polioptila californica californica
Northern Harrier Circus cyaneus
American Peregrine Falcon Falco peregrinus anatum
Yellow-breasted Chat Icteria virens
Tidewater Goby Eucyclogobius newberryi

This golf facility regularly monitors the following species as indicators of environmental quality:

Local name Scientific name
California Sage Artemisia californica
Arroyo Willow Salix lasiolepis
Coastal California Gnatcatcher Polioptila californica californica
Monarch Butterfly Danaus plexippus
Pallid Bat Antrozous pallidus
Laguna Beach Dudleya Dudleya stolonifera

Habitats & Designations

This golf facility features the following landscape designations:

Description Designating Authority
Historic Landscapes / Parklands National Park Service
"Very High Value Habitat" Special Habitat/Ecosystem Designation City of Laguna Beach
Areas of Scenic Beauty City of Laguna Beach
Coastal Zone Requiring Additional Protections California Coastal Commission
Open Space Protection City of Laguna Beach
Eligible Scenic Highway - Pacific Coast Highway Caltrans

Area of habitats / vegetation types, and associated designations at this golf facility:

Title Estimated Area (Acres) Designation
Scrub Vegetation 20 National Government
Native Woodland 15 National Government
Wetlands 10 National Government
Open Water Features 4 National Government

Turfgrass

Size and estimated species composition of amenity turfgrass maintained at this golf facility.

Estimated Area (Acres) Turfgrass Species Sward Composition (%)
Greens 0.7389 Acres Poa annua 70%
Agrostis stolonifera / palustris 30%
Tees 0.7471 Acres Cynodon dactylon x C. transvaalensis 50%
Lolium perenne 50%
Fairways 8.436 Acres Cynodon dactylon x C. transvaalensis 40%
Pennisetum clandestinum 60%
Semi Rough 23.5587 Acres Lolium perenne 100%

These turfgrasses are optimal for the circumstances at this club because:
All of these grasses minus the Poa Annua can withstand a large amount of salt which is abundant at our facility since we are 300 yards from the ocean.

This golf facility assesses mowing patterns every: Month months

This golf facility consults the following individuals / organizations regarding its grassing plan:

  • Derek Ostensen and Associates (Ecologist)
  • Dudek and Associates (Ecologist)
  • Glenn Lukos and Associates (Ecologist)

This golf facility is making the following efforts to manage the playing quality expectations of customers:

Activity Description
Establishing clear internal policies for irrigation, fertilization, colour, cutting heights, overseeding etc We have implemented a robust training program and support our daily operations with frequent Quality Control inspections. Written, consistent guidelines dictate irrigation, fertilization, color, cutting heights, seeding, and all other parameters. Irrigation is run during the night, with spot watering during the day in certain areas. We also fertilize after hours, or prior to our guests arriving for play. For any applications that will interfere with our guests' playing quality, we send out notifications informing guests what we will apply and on what time frame.
Promoting the playing quality values of more naturalized turf, particularly fairways and semi-rough The kikuyu and bermuda blend provides a very soft surface for our golfers to play on. Since we do not get alot of rain in this area, these 2 grasses can grow back quickly in place of divots made by guests. The gracious lies that you get with these grasses speeds up play and the turf is carefully managed to ensure it does not invade natural habitat areas.
Promoting the financial benefits of presenting sustainable surfaces We have implemented our own turf removal program, during which we have removed nearly 1 an acre of turf from our rough and tee areas to save on water consumption as well as overseeding/labor and irrigation costs. We are continually evaluating improvements to our surfaces to facilitate the maximum amount of surface sustainability as well as environmental stewardship.
Improving customer understanding around greens maintenance We often teach our regular players maintenance of the greens when it comes to replacing ball marks on our Poa surfaces as well as being our eyes when certain diseases strike (such as:yellowpatch). With us being so close to the ocean and having a lot of salt water in the area, our Poa has become very strong.
Demonstrating the direct relationship between environmental best practice and year round high quality playing surfaces Environmental best practices are at the heart of our operations at the property - not just with the golf course, but also with the surrounding hotel. Throughout all property operations, we communicate and demonstrate the close connections between best practices and high-quality playing surfaces.

Conservation & Enhancement

This golf facility is undertaking the following activities to conserve landscape character:

Activity Description
Allowing seasonal variation of course coloration and texture We perform semi annual aeration to the course. During the spring season we overseed with bermuda grass 80% and rye grass 20%. During our fall aeration we aerate with 80% rye and 20% bermuda. The annual and perennial plant palettes throughout the course are designed to change seasonally.
Appropriately matching mowing lines to contours Mowing is performed daily with new mowing lines throughout the fairway surface once a month for visual effects. Matching mowing lines appropriately to contours is a continual focus of the operations team.
Protection and restoration of historic features Extensive historic preservation and restoration has occurred on site, including careful restoration of the mid-century hotel and course, as well as the restoration of a 1930's-era event farm area and girl scout camp. The property was recently included in the Historic American Landscape designation.
Discreet on-course signage and furniture There is minimal on-course signage consisting of small markers and no on-course furniture, so the conditions can be considered highly discreet.
Conservation of specimen trees An arborist was hired early on in the process to review specimen trees - some of which date back more than 100 years - so that expert recommendations could be made as to how these spectacular trees could be preserved long-term.
Screening and softening unsightly man-made features Maintenance equipment and facilities are screened with greenery and rustic/historic-looking features, such as recycled barn wood and farm-style sheds. The entire aesthetic of the course is distinctly natural, with virtually no unsightly man-made features visible to golfers.

This golf facility is undertaking the following activities to improve the landscape ecology of the golf course:

Activity Description
Minimizing the amount of amenity grass Areas around Tee's as well as outside of the playing area have been returned to native plants/drip systems as well as to decomposed granite (DG) areas to minimize the amount of amenity grass.
Increasing the size of habitat patches More than 4,000 native plants have been planted on the property to enhance native species populations and create habitat for local wildlife. In addition, invasive non-native species were removed from a one mile section of Aliso Creek, allowing for substantial expansion of native riparian habitat.
Connection of internal habitat patches Extensive native riparian woodlands and native upland scrub vegetation are linked to internal habitat patches throughout the property, facilitating excellent wildlife movement and preservation of sensitive habitat resources.
Connection of patches with external habitats Internal habitat patches are linked to external habitat through high-quality, continuous habitat corridors, allowing outstanding connections to the more than 5,000 acres of preserved wilderness parkland surrounding the property.
Creation of habitat corridors More than a mile of the property has been restored back to its native condition by a professional Restoration Ecologist. Hundreds of invasive trees and shrubs were removed, creating a substantially improved native habitat corridor to both internal and external habitat areas.
Avoidance of habitat fragmentation Development on the property has been limited to prior 1950's-era development eras, enabling all adjacent and on-site habitat to remain intact without fragmentation.
Improving and diversifying habitat edges Thousands of native plants have been added to several habitat edge areas and extensive invasive species removal efforts have created significantly improved habitat edges throughout the property.

This golf facility is undertaking the following activities to improve the quality of habitats on the golf course:

Activity Description
Creation of botanically rich rough grassland An extensive native palette of wildflowers and other botanicals has been added throughout the rough grassland of the property, creating added diversity for the site.
Ecologically informed management of scrub vegetation An expert team of ecologists has been involved with the property since the beginning, providing sound ecological management of all scrub vegetation areas, consistent with best practices.
Promoting species and structurally diverse woodlands An extensive non-native, invasive species removal program was undertaken in 2015 and continues annually. The program has dramatically improved species and structural diversity of the extensive riparian woodlands on the property.
Establishment of littoral shelves and marginal vegetation in wetland areas Removal of non-native Arundo donax, which had deteriorated the wetland areas, has facilitated more natural hydrologic and geomorphic features in the substantial area of creek that bisects the property.
Maintenance of an appropriate balance of open water and aquatic vegetation Vegetation thinning of native species is not permitted by State and Federal regulations; however, removal of the extensive non-native species which had invaded the open water and wetlands areas has substantially improved the balance between open water and aquatic vegetation.
Naturalization of linear habitats All linear habitats on the property have been restored to a natural, native-species based condition in order to facilitate natural habitat linkages, as well as wildlife movement of the myriad wildlife species that occupy the property's canyon location.

This golf facility is undertaking the following activities to conserve and enhance biodiversity on the golf course:

Activity Description
Provision of nesting and nectar for pollinators More than 4,000 native plants have been restored throughout the property, providing excellent nesting and nectar opportunities for pollinators and other species. The native plant palette was optimized by a professional Restoration Ecologist to maximize benefits to local pollinators.
Installation of nest boxes We currently have 3-4 California Blue Bird nest boxes throughout the property.
Provision of feeding tables Our facility is a sanctuary for the deer population in Orange County. We have a deer population of approximately 20 mule deer that call our 84 acres home. They feed off grass seed on the course as well as natural vegetation in the surrounding canyon.
Control / management of alien species Primary non-native/alien species invaders on the property have included Mexican fan palm, arundo donax and bottle brush. A continual removal program has largely eliminated these species from their extensive prior populations and ongoing eradication efforts remove any new resprouts.
Provision of hibernation areas Monarch butterfly hibernation is not currently active on the property; however, annual surveys evaluate monarch butterfly presence. The large eucalyptus stands on the property have been preserved, in part to help with any future monarch hibernation/overwintering.
Creation of micro-habitats (eg log and stone piles) Fallen logs are left in place in the large creek that bisects the property. Other vital micro habitats, such as the extensive cave and cliff outcroppings on the property, are left undisturbed. Creek restoration efforts have created numerous new wetland microhabitats for a variety of species.

Water

Our golf course facility has been switched to 100% reclaimed water 3 years ago. we have certain garden areas that we use potable water however this is not on the golf course irrigation system. Our hotel grounds for plants is also under reclaimed water. water saving showers/toilets/sinks, etc have been installed in all of our hotel rooms/bathrooms and spa/restaurant buildings throughout the property.

Sources & Consumption

The following water audits have been undertaken at this golf facility:

Title Author Date View document
Water Reclaimation Kurt Bjorkman 2013/01/01 Download

The water used at this golf facility is drawn from the following sources:

2016 Source(s) % of supply Total Consumption
Clubhouse(s) Public / Potable 3% 48,908 Gallons
Golf Course Reclaimed 94% 86,111,336 Gallons
Maintenance Facility/Facilities Public / Potable 1% 1,951 Gallons
Other Public / Potable 1% 187,991 Gallons
Public / Potable 1%
2015 Source(s) % of supply Total Consumption
Clubhouse(s) Public / Potable 3% 25,786 Gallons
Golf Course Reclaimed 94% 78,946,576 Gallons
Maintenance Facility/Facilities Public / Potable 3% 7,906 Gallons
Other Public / Potable 2% 164,936 Gallons
Public / Potable 1%
2014 Source(s) % of supply Total Consumption
Clubhouse(s) Public / Potable 2% 24,965 Gallons
Golf Course Public / Potable 94% 76,362,472 Gallons
Maintenance Facility/Facilities Public / Potable 1% 8,964 Gallons
Other Public / Potable 3% 149,964 Gallons

Irrigation & Efficiency

The following areas receive irrigation at this golf facility:

Greens Daily in season
Tees 2-3 days per week
Fairways 2-3 days per week
Rough 2-3 days per week

The irrigation system at this golf facility is:
Semi-automatic

The irrigation system at this golf facility is:

Serviced every 1 months

Upgraded every 3 years

Re-calibrated and checked for efficient application every 1 months

This golf facility is undertaking the following activities to maximize irrigation efficiency:

Activity Description
Selection of grass species Hybrid Poa, Rye grass, Kikuyu, Bermuda. All of our grasses can go spans without water. We have also undertaken some turf removal programs on property to save irrigation costs, and maximize our irrigation coverage for in-play areas.
Soil decompaction and thatch management we aerate twice a year and take 4 inch long and 5/8th inch diameter plugs out of fairways and greens/ rough and tees.
Timing and dose of water application 10 minute stations. we have 108 stations total. The entire golf course is on reclaimed water.
Analysis of soil moisture Taken twice a week on greens. once a month on fairways. Depending on content is when we would apply wetting agents / fungicides, etc.
Incorporation of evapotranspiration rates and weather data N/A
Use of wetting agents Typically used during summer months when we do not receive any rain. this is applied typically 4 times a summer.
Overall reduction in irrigated area Some areas have added mulch beds to take away from playable turf for quicker play. also easier to keep up with maint.
Targeting of sprinkler heads we work closely with the SCWD (South Coast Water District) to calibrate our sprinkler heads to make sure they are hitting all areas and not causing any run off into our creek or paved roadways to maximize water.
Optimizing system pressure Assisted with SCWD on system pressure.
Adoption of cutting edge nozzle technology N/A

This golf facility is undertaking the following activities to conserve / reduce / minimize water consumption:

Activity Description
Low-flow urinals and toilets These have all been installed in our hotel rooms / restaurant / spa building and pro shop area.
Use of water efficient appliances we continue to use the best appliances around property which reduce water consumption
Use of efficient shower technology Brand new showers were installed in all of our rooms 1 1/2 years ago to minimize water usage.
Repairing leaks we work closely with the SCWD as well as our internal engineering team to locate water leaks as soon as possible and repair where needed.
Water awareness signage Reclaimed water signage are posted throughout the golf course and hotel grounds for irrigation of turf and plants.

Energy

All buildings on property are Title 24 compliant. We use all LED fixtures and have completely renovated all buildings with the latest in energy conservation and insulation.

Sources & Consumption

No energy surveys have been undertaken at this golf facility.

Consumption of renewable energy and resources at this golf facility:

2016 2015 2014
Biogas (Gallons) 0 0 0
Biomass 0 0 0
First Generation Bio-Fuels (Gallons) 0 0 0
Hydrogen (Gallons) 0 0 0
On-site Hydro (kWh) 0 0 0
On-site Solar (kWh) 0 0 0
On-site Wind (kWh) 0 0 0
Renewable Grid Electricity (kWh) 0 0 0
Second Generation Bio-Fuels (Gallons) 0 0 0
Wood from sustainable sources 0 0 0

Consumption of non-renewable energy and resources at this golf facility:

2016 2015 2014
Coal 0 0 0
Diesel (Gallons) 4400 4600 4750
Heating Oil (Gallons) 0 0 0
Hydraulic Oil (Gallons) 50 60 55
LPG (Gallons) 0 0 0
Natural Gas (Gallons) 40705
Non-renewable Grid (kWh) 0 0 0
Petrol (Gallons) 3000 3400 3600
Propane / Butane (Gallons) 2444 2000 2100
Wood from unsustainable sources 0 0 0

Energy Efficiency

This golf facility is undertaking the following activities to diversify energy and fuel supply:

Activity Description
Adoption of green tariff grid supply N/A
Installation of small scale wind turbine Nothing
Installation of photovoltaic and / or solar panels Nothing
Use of geothermal and / or ground sources Nothing
Use of Liquified Petroleum Gas (LPG) Use for small patio heaters and some fire pits.
Use of biodiesel and /or ethanol Nothing
Use of electric hybrid vehicles Most of our golf course service carts for the hotel are electric. We have car charging stations on property
Use of recycled oils We do not use recycled oils

This golf facility is undertaking the following activities to reduce energy consumption:

Activity Description
Investment in low-energy heating and air conditioning systems During our renovation we replaced 40 year old NG heaters with top of the line low impact Fujitsu HVAC split systems.
Optimizing thermostat levels for heating and refrigeration We use computerized thermostats with auto-reset programing
Enhancement of natural ventilation opportunities Nothing
Upgrading of building insulation All buildings were completely updated with new insulation including walls, attics, and roofing insulation. Low E glass was installed on all windows.
Use of natural light (e.g. sunlight pipes) Nothing
Installation of low-energy lighting All fixtures on property are LED fixtures with LED bulbs on dimmers
Use of motion sensor lighting All public areas have auto sense lighting
Transition to energy efficient appliances All new appliances on property were selected using the Energy Star rating if available.
Use of timers with appliances, heating and lighting Pool heaters are on a time / computerized system
Educating staff and customers Team members are very aware of the maintaining a renewable and conservative approach to energy consumption.

Vehicles & Transport

The maintenance fleet at this golf facility uses the following fuel sources:

Ride-on Mowers Walking Mowers Utility Vehicles
Petrol 0% 100% 67%
Diesel 0% 0% 0%
LPG 0% 0% 0%
Grid Electric 0% 0% 33%
Micro Renewable 0% 0% 0%
Hybrid 0% 0% 0%
Hydrogen 0% 0% 0%

Additional vehicles operated by this golf facility use the following fuel sources:

Golf Carts Cars Buses
Petrol 27% 100% 0%
Diesel 0% 0% 0%
LPG 5% 0% 0%
Grid Electric 68% 0% 0%
Micro Renewable 0% 0% 0%
Hybrid 0% 0% 0%
Hydrogen 0% 0% 0%

This golf facility has established the following schemes to encourage reductions in staff and customer transport emissions:

Activity Description
Car sharing incentives We offer cash incentives to for team members to car share.
Group transportation (e.g. buses) The city of Laguna Beach has a free trolley system that runs all year. This helps keep thousands of cars off the road. One of the most successful free trolley systems in the country.
Secure cycle parking Bikes can be parked on property
Promoting public transport routes and timetables We have the trolley schedule printed out and available for hotel guests
Increasing equipment storage (e.g. lockers) We have a dedicated employee break room with 120 lockers
Staff showers No staff showers -however if a team member is working back to back shifts we often allow them to use a hotel guest room to shower
Tax breaking incentives for cycling Nothing
Promotion of walk to work campaigns Nothing

Supply Chain

All products ordered on property have the picture in mind to recycle- save space and money as well as provide the best product to our guests. We support the local establishments as much as we can with golf course supplies / Food and Beverage / repair and maintenance as well as all of our other departments on property.

Purchasing Policies

This golf facility undertakes the following ethical / environmental purchasing activities:

Activity Description
Measures to avoid waste at source We work hard where we can to partner with supply vendors who work ethically, environmentally sound and treat employees well.
Use of local suppliers Our goal with F&B is to source locally as much as we can - 250 mile radius.
Use of local products All of our produce and products are local within 100 miles with exception to specialty items that are ordered from east and west coast fisheries, etc. based upon parties booked.
Selection of certified products all suppliers are certified and are world known.
Use of recycled and recyclable products we use recycled bags- as well as we recycle on property in our restaurant/spa/golf course and hotel areas to maximize the savings.
Selection of products that feature minimal packaging We always keep our eye open and make sure if this can be done - we do it.
Use of accredited suppliers (e.g. ISO 14001) Too many to list.

Supply Chain

An overview of the supplier network at this golf facility:

Total number of suppliers Total number of suppliers within 10 Miles Total number of suppliers within 100 Miles
Food & Beverage 8 8
Catering Supplies 3 2 1
Retail 30 8 16
Trade & Contractors 50 35 15
Maintenance Equipment 10 10
Course Supplies 25 20 5

Turfgrass Inputs

This golf facility undertakes the following IPM activities:

Activity Description
Encouraging drought and disease tolerant grasses countless turf removal projects across the golf course area. Succulence have been planted all over the entire property.
Managing stress and wear we have removed some areas of turf grass where ground squirrels are prone to digging and making their nests.
Enhancement of soil structure N/A
Optimization of the growing environment Environment changes daily - lots of trees in the area where termites are in high numbers. no other Pest management is needed at this time.
Managing thatch levels checked weekly by superintendent. if further assistance is needed we would then order products accordingly to return the moisture content back to normal levels. typically this is done during our aeration timeframe which is twice a year. once in March/April and the other in October.
Managing surface moisture checked weekly by superintendent. if further assistance is needed we would then order products accordingly to return the moisture content back to normal levels
Establishing thresholds for pests and disease Monitored by our superintendent. if further action is needed ex: for pests / ground squirrels- we will call a professional trapper to come on property and remove them without harm. for disease we would contact our biologist or arborist.
Scouting for pests and diseases Done weekly by our superintendent. If he notices some pests or diseases arriving on property our biologist is called to investigate further. We also use an arborist.
Monitoring / improvement of plant health Monthly inspections by our biologist on property as well as help from the laguna Canyon foundation.

Fertilizer use at this golf facility in the last three years (lb):

2016 2015 2014
Fairways - K - Inorganic 5 8 8
Fairways - K - Organic 250 230 275
Fairways - N - Inorganic 5 8 8
Fairways - N - Organic 250 230 275
Fairways - P - Inorganic 5 8 8
Fairways - P - Organic 250 230 275
Greens - K - Inorganic 0 0 0
Greens - K - Organic 250 230 275
Greens - N - Inorganic 0 0 0
Greens - N - Organic 250 230 275
Greens - P - Inorganic 0 0 0
Greens - P - Organic 250 230 275
Rough - K - Inorganic 10 12
Rough - K - Organic 250 230 275
Rough - N - Inorganic 10 12 14
Rough - N - Organic 250 230 275
Rough - P - Inorganic 10 12 14
Rough - P - Organic 250 230 275
Semi-Rough - K - Inorganic 5 8 8
Semi-Rough - K - Organic 250 230 275
Semi-Rough - N - Inorganic 5 8 8
Semi-Rough - N - Organic 250 230 275
Semi-Rough - P - Inorganic 5 8 8
Semi-Rough - P - Organic 250 230 275
Tees - K - Inorganic 0 0 0
Tees - K - Organic 250 230 275
Tees - N - Inorganic 0 0 0
Tees - N - Organic 250 230 275
Tees - P - Inorganic 0 0 0
Tees - P - Organic 250 230 275

Pesticide use at this golf facility in the last three years (lb):

2016 2015 2014
Fairways - Fungicide - Active Ingredient 15 15 15
Fairways - Fungicide - Total Weight 383 360 367
Fairways - Fungicide - Number of applications per year 48 48 48
Fairways - Herbicide - Active Ingredient 0 0 0
Fairways - Herbicide - Total Weight 0 0 0
Fairways - Herbicide - Number of applications per year 0 0 0
Fairways - Insecticide - Active Ingredient 0 0 0
Fairways - Insecticide - Total Weight 0 0 0
Fairways - Insecticide - Number of applications per year 0 0 0
Greens - Fungicide - Active Ingredient 1.25 1.25 1.25
Greens - Fungicide - Total Weight 383 360 367
Greens - Fungicide - Number of applications per year 48 48 48
Greens - Herbicide - Active Ingredient 0 0 0
Greens - Herbicide - Total Weight 0 0 0
Greens - Herbicide - Number of applications per year 0 0 0
Greens - Insecticide - Active Ingredient 0 0 0
Greens - Insecticide - Total Weight 0 0 0
Greens - Insecticide - Number of applications per year 0 0 0
Rough - Fungicide - Active Ingredient 0 0 0
Rough - Fungicide - Total Weight 0 0 0
Rough - Fungicide - Number of applications per year 0 0 0
Rough - Herbicide - Active Ingredient 0 0 0
Rough - Herbicide - Total Weight 0 0 0
Rough - Herbicide - Number of applications per year 0 0 0
Rough - Insecticide - Active Ingredient 0 0 0
Rough - Insecticide - Total Weight 0 0 0
Rough - Insecticide - Number of applications per year 0 0 0
Semi-Rough - Fungicide - Active Ingredient 0 0 0
Semi-Rough - Fungicide - Total Weight 0 0 0
Semi-Rough - Fungicide - Number of applications per year 0 0 0
Semi-Rough - Herbicide - Active Ingredient 0 0 0
Semi-Rough - Herbicide - Total Weight 0 0 0
Semi-Rough - Herbicide - Number of applications per year 0 0 0
Semi-Rough - Insecticide - Active Ingredient 0 0 0
Semi-Rough - Insecticide - Total Weight 0 0 0
Semi-Rough - Insecticide - Number of applications per year 0 0 0
Tees - Fungicide - Active Ingredient 1.25 1.25 1.25
Tees - Fungicide - Total Weight 383 360 367
Tees - Fungicide - Number of applications per year 48 48 48
Tees - Herbicide - Active Ingredient 0 0 0
Tees - Herbicide - Total Weight 0 0 0
Tees - Herbicide - Number of applications per year 0 0 0
Tees - Insecticide - Active Ingredient 0 0 0
Tees - Insecticide - Total Weight 0 0 0
Tees - Insecticide - Number of applications per year 0 0 0

This golf facility undertakes the following actions to optimize pesticide use:

Activity Description
Selection on the least toxic and lest persistent products we stay 100% organic with all products used.
Selection of appropriate products for specific pests and diseases We used all organic products with the exception of using some round up in secluded blocked off areas for weeding.
Spot-treatment with handheld sprayers and wipers we use spot treatment rarely with hand held sprayers. when in use they hold organic materials with exception to use using round up in heavily protected and secluded areas.
Calibration and testing of sprayers Done by our Spray tech and superintendent. we are currently spraying at 1.5 gallons per minute.
Use of shrouded sprayer and anti-drip nozzles anti-drip nozzles are attached to all sprayers and hand held sprayers to prevent leakage.
Non-chemical weed control n/a
Use of organic and biological products to improve plant health and resistance. like stated before we use nearly 100% organic products on property with exception of round up to maximize the health and plant resistance.

Waste Management

The following waste audits have been undertaken at this golf facility:

Title Author Date View document
Sustainable Practices at The Ranch at Laguna Beach Kurt Bjorkman 2017/05/01 Download

This golf facility manages key waste streams as follows:

Re-use Recycle Landfill Incinerate
Glass false true false false
Plastic false true false false
Aluminium false true false false
Metal false true false false
Paper & Cardboard false true false false
Grass Clippings true true false false
Cores & Turf true true false false
Sand false true false false
Wood / Timber true true false false

This golf facility undertakes the following activities to continue the lifecycle of materials and resources:

Activity Description
Separation of recyclable materials During the renovation process, several wooden structures were taken down in an effort to reduce the overall property developed foot print.
These buildings were wrapped with red-cedar siding, which even at over 40 years old was in very good shape. 100% of this red cedar was used to create a fence that wraps around our “Scout Camp” nature area and will be in use for the next 40+ years.
This was thousands of linear feet of wood that was not sent to a landfill.
- The Straw initiative: biodegradable straws are now being served on property. Straws will only be given to guests upon request.
Establishment of recycling centers Our own grounds crew employees recycle items on property.
Returning clipping to fairways and walkways plugs/clippings are either composted or re-used for course repair areas.
Education of staff and customer education All staff are trained in spotting recyclables and placing them in their proper place.

All staff also participate in our Ecology Garden Center at Scout Camp and are also involved with the Adopt a Channel Clean up effort to clean a portion of the Aliso Creek which flows through our property.
Waste awareness campaigns we Recycle and grow our own vegetables on property.
Clean The World: Collect and recycle soap and hygiene products discarded every day by the hospitality industry and other sectors that generate environmental waste.

Pollution Control

work with local and state run programs and officials.
1. California Coastal Commission
2. Laguna Canyon Foundation
3. SCWD - and countless others to make sure we are protecting the quality of our local environment. we also have a biologist on staff who is always on property to professionally asses any and all work done out of the norm throughout the golf course and hotel grounds property. Our maintenance areas are inspected monthly by various agencies to make sure proper safety and protection is always upheld. We also have switched our entire golf course to reclaimed water which environmentally protects and saves the local area alot of potable water for other resources. due to local and state regulations – we are unable to wash the machinery anywhere around our maint building. We actually take them to a part of the property where it is heavy brush/grass so it does not run off to our protected creek.

Water Analysis

This golf facility monitors water quality with the following frequency:

Chemical Biological Visual
Inflow Weekly Yearly Daily
On-Site Daily Weekly Daily
Outflow Weekly Yearly

Waste Water

Waste water from this golf facility is managed as follows:

Discharges to Formal Discharge Agreement
Golf Course Stormwater Drain N/A
Clubhouse Mains Sewer Yes
Maintenance Facility N/A N/A
Wash Pad N/A N/A

Hazardous Materials

Hazardous materials at this golf facility are handled and disposed of as follows:

Secure Storage Registered Uplift
Detergents true false
Cooking Oils true false
Lubricants false true
Pesticide Containers false true
Fertiliser Bags false true
Oil Filters true false
Batteries true true

Pollution Prevention

This golf facility undertakes the following activities to prevent pollution from its maintenance facility and clubhouse:

Activity Description
Storage of equipment and hazardous products on covered, sealed impervious areas All equipment are stored above ground where needed as well as protected in their own storage area separate from any public view or use. Gasoline and other products are stored separately in their own Fire Department approved areas.
Maintenance of equipment on covered, sealed impervious areas all of our maintenance on equipment is done in a sealed maintenance shed with concrete floors and boarder protectors so no run off can enter any area besides the work area. we also have spill containers located in our chem room and gas station facility to prevent any spill off from reaching any outside areas.
Mixing of pesticides and fertilizers in covered areas when pesticides and or fertilizers are used- we would mix and fill in our maintenance area which is a covered and secure location away from any and all guests, and is also protected from outside agents.
Mixing of pesticides and fertilizers over impervious surfaces We do not do this- we always mix these items in our secure maintenance shed.
Installation of above-ground fuel tanks professionally installed - inspected by the Fire Dept as well as the MSPUR and Orange county officials. protective spill containers located below the tanks to prevent any spillage if it occurs. the tanks are also installed on concrete protected area so impervious surfaces are out of the question.
Installation of sufficient secondary containment for fuel stand alone barrels on a protected concrete area. this area is then protected with absorbent materials and waddles to prevent if any - spillage into other areas.
Provision of containment booms and absorbent materials Absorbent materials are located around our tank areas if the spill containers are full and do not work. This area is on a concrete protected area away from all individuals so spilloff through impervious surfaces is never considered.

This golf facility undertakes the following activities to prevent pollution on its golf course:

Activity Description
Eliminating leachate and run-off through careful timing of turf inputs our golf course property lies in-between two mountain ranges which always makes certain parts of the course prone to leachate from the mountains. with that being said we perform daily maintenance to these areas and make sure if there is significant runoff - it is protected and made sure not to reach our golfers and or inside our protected creek.
Establishment of vegetative buffer strips around water bodies our creek that splits our golf course is protected by the state of california. it has native plants surrounding the creek bed which perform as a buffer. we are not permitted to enter the creek bed area to perform any maintenance unless approved by government agencies and accompanied by a certified biologist.
Establishment of emergency spillage response plan ESRP is set by our superintendent and he reviews this plan with his crew monthly. the only area where this would be used would be in our chem room - if result of earthquake or by our above ground gas tank- which already has a preventative spill container located below the tank.
Controlling erosion and sediment discharge With us in a flood zone and located at the base of two mountain ranges - this is a continuous project of ours. we prevent any and all sediment discharge from our property into the protected watershed, as well as any coming off the mountains onto the golf course property.
Establishment of pesticide-free zones all of our rough areas are pesticide free zones. this is about 20% of our golf course.
Use of swales and bio-filters to slow and treat surface run-off as stated above- we have continuous efforts to control and treat surface runoff from our property into the protected watershed. waddles and other erosion and sediment discharge items are used daily.

Community

We work with dozens of local Laguna Beach charitable foundations and assist them with underwriting and financial efforts. The local community is incredibly important to our ownership, as they are all from Laguna Beach. A few key areas where we have contributed:

- Event financial support for Pacific Marine Mammal Center over the past 6 years

- Hosted event where 100% of the revenue (not just profits) went to the Laguna Beach school programs. We raised over $40,000. This is an event we will do every year.

- Provide at not cost an overnight camping experience for underserved youth. This includes the facility, fun programing and oversight by the Ocean Institute, tents, all related camping equipment, transportation from their home cities and meals. We produce 12 of these camping nights a year with on average 40 kids per event.

- The golf course is the "home course" for the Laguna Beach High School Golf Team, we provide free rounds for their practice sessions.

- In addition to working with local foundations with events, we also provide in-kind donation of golf, overnight accommodations, spa and restaurant experiences. These are used as silent or live auction items at charitable events around the country. We donate hundreds of these a year.

- We actively participate in local beach cleanups.

- We "adopted" a 1 mile section of the creek that runs through our property. This section is 6 miles upstream from our property. We maintain this section of the creek with debris removal, graffiti removal and reporting to OC Watersheds.

Employment & Education

Typical staffing levels at this golf facility are:

Full Time Part Time Seasonal
Course Management 4
Food & Beverage 50 50
Golf Coaching 2
Retail & Leisure 20
Other 50 25

The sustainability working group at this golf facility is comprised of:

  • Owner
  • General Manager
  • Course Manager
  • Technical Specialist
  • Local Government
  • Local Community

Employees at this golf facility receive the following formal and informal environmental education:

Activity Description
Storage, application and disposal of pesticides All training and treatment of pesticides are in conjunction with CALOSHA , City of Laguna Beach Water Quality Control Division and State under the supervision of a California Licensed "Qualified Applicator".
Efficient water management We work daily with local water and waste water agencies. Controllers are web / satellite based and have built in weather management and remote access. The entire golf course used reclaimed water.
Management of accidents and emergencies The golf course is part of an 87 acre resort. There is an active safety committee as well as trained responders in the event of any emergency, including floods, fires, earthquakes and injuries. Property has 3 AEDs and 70% of team members are CPR / AED certified.
Management of habitats and vegetation A protected watershed runs through our property (Aliso Creek) and we are surrounded by environmentally sensitive habitat. We work with habitat specialists, biologists, arborists, wildlife specialists including birds, monarchs and take the management of habitats & vegetation very seriously.
Waste minimization, separation and recycling We partner with Waste Management Co. for recycling. We also have a wet-food program where WM takes all food scraps from a special bin. No food scraps at our property are sent to a landfill. We have two container trash cans in guest areas for recycling.
Health & Safety Though our health insurance program we have a wellness program that encourages a healthy lifestyle and provides rewards for following certain programs. We have a safety committee on hand and conduct monthly safety training for all team members.
Energy Saving Every light fixture on property is an LED. All new buildings are compliant with California Title 22 for energy conservation.
Understanding of landscape and cultural heritage Our golf course is situated in a culturally rich location. The golf course is surrounded by ESHA. One area adjacent to the course as at one time the first original homestead for Laguna Beach. The great grandson of that family plays golf here once a week.
Environmental management planning We work with a bio firm (GLA) and others , in preparing for all projects that might impact the environment. We conduct several studies prior to trimming trees, we have in-place permits with several state agencies for many of our projects that might impact the environment..

Community Relations

This golf facility engages with local community groups in the following manner:

Activity Description
Neighbours Laguna Beach is only 24k residents. We have been here since 1950 and have an incredible relationship with our local community. We produce many fee community events, like free summer movie nights on our golf course and have a locals only club for a more personalized golf experience.
Local Government We have a great relationship with our city and county governments.
Local Environmental Groups We have letters of support from virtually every local environmental group. We can provide these for you. These groups rarely agree on any one topic - we are one of those.
Local Community Groups We also have letters of support from many local community groups.
Media We maintain positive relationships with our local and regional media outlets.
Local Businesses As Chamber of Commerce members, we are proud to support and to support our local Laguna Beach business community.
Schools & Colleges We provide significant financial support to the local Laguna Beach School District.

Land Use & Cultural Heritage

This golf facility provides access and diversified land use for others through:

Activity Description
Maintenance of existing public paths There are no public pathways that intersect our property.
Creation of new paths and nature trails We have dedicated an easement and given $250,000 to study and build a future trail that will run along our property.
Installation of effective and welcoming signage As a newly renovated resort, we have new well done signage thought the property. This signage blends in with the architecture and outdoor setting.
Providing opportunities for other recreation (e.g. fishing) Through our resort activity program, we provide tour services for mountain biking, hiking, sailing, fishing. The creek on our property is a protected waterway and cannot be fished.
Partnership conservation and access projects (e.g. community woodland) Our property sits adjacent to wilderness areas and protected open space. We have great relationships and regular conversations with those land managers which include Orange County Parks and Laguna Canyon Foundation.
Continuation of traditional agricultural activities Through our resort activities program we offer historic and archeological learning experiences focused on kids. We also maintain a 1/2 acre organic garden, reflecting the original homestead families efforts to farm this land in in the late 1800's.

No archaeological or heritage surveys have been undertaken at this golf facility.

This golf facility consults the following organizations regarding the conservation of cultural heritage:

  • Glenn Lukos & Associates

This golf facility undertakes the following activities to conserve cultural heritage features:

Activity Description
Buildings (Listed Buildings / Ancient Monuments etc) Thurston Homestead - the site for what was one of the earlier 1870's settlements in what is now Laguna Beach sits near our golf course. There is nothing left of the house - only an identified location. This is not a certified, listed or otherwise protected site. It is not developed and currently covered in native scrub.
Archaeology (Settlements / Agricultural System etc) Nothing
Historic Features (Hedgerows / Dykes / Moats / Cairns etc) Nothing

Communications

This golf facility undertakes the following internal environmental communications:

Activity Description
Provision of newsletters, notice boards & poster display Nothing
Members evenings and course walks We have kid focused natural area interpretive programs in partnership with the Laguna Canyon Foundation
Course guides / brochures Our website - www.ranchlb.com - specifically outlined at https://www.theranchlb.com/fun/ranger-station
Interpretation panels & course signage Nothing
Establishment of a nature trail No trail

This golf facility undertakes the following social and environmental advocacy activities:

Activity Description
Website, press releases & brochures - Adopt a Channel Program thru the Orange County Watersheds Authority. We maintain a 1 mile upstream section of the creek that runs thru our property. This section is 6 miles upstream from our property.

- Aliso Beach Cleanup - we do beach cleanups on a regular basis
Supporting campaigns Nothing
Course walks / open days Nothing
Attending community meetings We attend regular city meetings, local chapters of the historic society as well as other local advocacy groups
Joint practical projects with community Working with Ocean Institute of Dana Point -
Pacific marine Mammal Center
Birds of Prey
The Ecology Center,
Adopt a Channel,
Clean the World,
Chefs to End Hunger,
Ocean Institute