P.G.A National Resort & Spa

GEO Certified® 04/2015
Palm Beach Gardens,
Florida, United States
Telephone: 561.627.1883
02_pgan_3_champ_65prc_club_image

The Champion golf course at PGA National Resort & Spa lies in the southeastern corner of subtropical Florida. The course’s many ponds and wetlands with associated uplands are directly connected to the Loxahatchee Slough – the headwaters of the National Wild and Scenic Loxahatchee River that feeds the Florida Everglades, a World Heritage Site and International Biosphere Reserve. Lush, flowering plants, abundant birds, and reptiles of every size are found at every turn of PGA National. The golf team plans to improve guest interactions with na…

J. Russell Bodie, M.A., 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
The Champion (18 holes, 7048 yards, year opened 1981)
1 Clubhouse(s)
1 Pro Shop
1 Practice Facility/Facilities
2 Other

Nature

We are surrounded in and without by wetlands, upland pine forest and a certified bird sanctuary by the National Audubon Society. All landscaping is native or adaptive to the Florida climate.

The Northern Palm Beach County Improvement District monitors all wildlife, vegetation and water quality of the surrounding lakes.

Consultation & Surveys

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

  • South Florida Water Management District
  • Northern Palm Beach Improvement District

No landscape assessments or surveys have been undertaken at this golf facility.

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

  • EPA
  • Northern Palm Beach Improvement District

No ecological surveys have been undertaken at this golf facility.

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

Local name Scientific name
Bald Eagle Haliaeetus leucocephalus
Sandhill Cranes Grus canadensis

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

Local name Scientific name
All aquatic and fowl species

Habitats & Designations

This golf facility does not feature any landscape designations.

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

Title Estimated Area (Acres) Designation
Wetlands 5 None
Native Woodland 8 N/A
Open Water Features 30 N/A

Turfgrass

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

Estimated Area (Acres) Turfgrass Species Sward Composition (%)
Greens 3.0 Acres Cynodon dactylon x C. transvaalensis 100%
Tees 7.0 Acres Cynodon dactylon x C. transvaalensis 100%
Fairways 28.0 Acres Cynodon dactylon x C. transvaalensis 100%
Semi Rough 73.0 Acres Cynodon dactylon x C. transvaalensis 100%

These turfgrasses are optimal for the circumstances at this club because:
Warm season turfgrass are well adaptive to our climate.

This golf facility assesses mowing patterns every: 6 months

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

  • Nicklaus Design

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 internal policies.
Promoting the playing quality values of more naturalized turf, particularly fairways and semi-rough We promote firm, fast playing conditions that doesn't always mean green is good and communicate that to players. In 2014 we re-grassed to a newer cultivar of bermuda grass to eliminate our need to overseed in the winter months, significantly reducing water needs.
Promoting the financial benefits of presenting sustainable surfaces Saves water, turf, overseeding and electricity costs.
Improving customer understanding around greens maintenance Yes, through monthly Greens Committee, website and soon to be launched Blog.
Demonstrating the direct relationship between environmental best practice and year round high quality playing surfaces Not at this time.

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 only use Florida native plants.
Appropriately matching mowing lines to contours Yes
Protection and restoration of historic features Yes
Discreet on-course signage and furniture Yes
Conservation of specimen trees Yes
Screening and softening unsightly man-made features Through native landscaping.

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 Yes by planting Florida native grasses.
Increasing the size of habitat patches Yes
Connection of internal habitat patches Yes
Connection of patches with external habitats No
Creation of habitat corridors Yes, our lakes are interconnected and are tied into the South Florida Water Management District canal system that extends into the Everglades.
Improving and diversifying habitat edges Yes

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 Through native plantings
Establishment of littoral shelves and marginal vegetation in wetland areas Yes
Maintenance of an appropriate balance of open water and aquatic vegetation This is maintained by the local municipality.

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 Through maintaining all native plant materials and eliminating invasive, non-native plant materials.
Installation of nest boxes No
Provision of feeding tables No
Control / management of alien species Through daily observations.

Water

Our irrigation water comes from lakes that are in place to take on runoff from the golf courses and surrounding communities. The entire ecosystem is managed by the Northern Palm Beach County Improvement District (NPBCID), a government agency, which monitors water quality, vegetation and wildlife habitats. There are 5 surface water sampling stations taken quarterly (20 per year). The following are tested for: alkalinity (total and phyenyl), ammonia (total and unionized), chlorides, coliform bacteria (total and fecal), conductivity, specific, copper, hardness, lead, nitrate, nitrite, oil, greae, phosphate (Ortho and total), oxygen, bochemical demand, pH (laboratory and field), potassium, suspended solids total, Total Kjeldahl nitrogen, total organic carbon, Turbidity (NTU), Zinc. Also 5 pesticide scan samples per year.

We have closed-loop bio-remediating wash stations from ESD to ensure no grease or oil runs off into the environment.

Sources & Consumption

No water audits have been undertaken at this golf facility.

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

2014 Source(s) % of supply Total Consumption
Clubhouse(s) Public / Potable 100% 431,000 Gallons
Golf Course Surface 100% 85,772,608 Gallons
Maintenance Facility/Facilities Public / Potable 100% 382,000 Gallons
Other Public / Potable 100% 6,007 Gallons
2013 Source(s) % of supply Total Consumption
Clubhouse(s) Public / Potable 100% 468,000 Gallons
Golf Course Surface 100% 96,609,376 Gallons
Maintenance Facility/Facilities Public / Potable 100% 330,000 Gallons
Other Public / Potable 100% 4,923 Gallons
2012 Source(s) % of supply Total Consumption
Clubhouse(s) Public / Potable 100% 431,000 Gallons
Golf Course Surface 100% 89,079,272 Gallons
Maintenance Facility/Facilities Public / Potable 100% 194,000 Gallons
Other Public / Potable 100% 3,794 Gallons

Irrigation & Efficiency

The following areas receive irrigation at this golf facility:

Greens 2-3 days per week
Tees 2-3 days per week
Fairways 2-3 days per week
Semi-Rough Weekly
Rough Weekly

The irrigation system at this golf facility is:
Fully computer controlled

The irrigation system at this golf facility is:

Serviced every 1 months

Upgraded every 5 years

Re-calibrated and checked for efficient application every 1 years

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

Activity Description
Selection of grass species We switched to a new cultivar in 2014 which will use less water
Soil decompaction and thatch management Through airification and verti cutting four times per year.
Timing and dose of water application Through watering at night to minimize evaporation.
Analysis of soil moisture Use moisture meters.
Incorporation of evapotranspiration rates and weather data Weather station.
Use of wetting agents Bi-weekly applications.
Overall reduction in irrigated area Native plant bed extensions.
Targeting of sprinkler heads Yes, by controlling arc angles.
Optimizing system pressure Yes, through variable frequency drive.
Adoption of cutting edge nozzle technology Through irrigation audits and maintenance.

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

Activity Description
Low-flow urinals and toilets 50%
Use of water efficient appliances Yes.
Use of efficient shower technology Use of low flow fixtures
Repairing leaks Yes
Water awareness signage Not at this time.

Energy

The energy use of our facility is detailed in the following Q & A.

Sources & Consumption

No energy surveys have been undertaken at this golf facility.

This golf facility does not consume any renewable energy or resources.

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

2014 2013 2012
Coal 0 0 0
Diesel (Gallons) 22525 20593 17074
Natural Gas (Gallons) 15114 19667 21813
Non-renewable Grid (kWh) 705163 737954 738166
Petrol (Gallons) 47138 49010 46912

Energy Efficiency

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

Activity Description
Use of recycled oils All oil, antifreeze, oil filters and absorbent spill pads are recycled with FCC Environmental Co.

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

Activity Description
Investment in low-energy heating and air conditioning systems EMS system which has 4 set points based on occupancy. Night time chiller has 6 compressors, it will cycle down.
Optimizing thermostat levels for heating and refrigeration All walk in refrigerators have thermostat levels according to the state health dept guidelines.
Use of natural light (e.g. sunlight pipes) Club is surrounded on 3 sides with floor to ceiling windows
Installation of low-energy lighting LED lighting throughout with small percentage CFL's
Transition to energy efficient appliances Some Energy Star appliances
Educating staff and customers Recycling containers are clearly marked both inside and outside the clubhouse.
Reminders are sent periodically in the member's newsletter.

Vehicles & Transport

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

Ride-on Mowers Walking Mowers Utility Vehicles
Petrol 100% 100%
Diesel 100%

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

Golf Carts Cars Buses
Grid Electric 100%

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

Activity Description
Group transportation (e.g. buses) Golf shuttles
Secure cycle parking Yes
Promoting public transport routes and timetables Public transportation doesn't have stops within a reasonable walking distance.
Increasing equipment storage (e.g. lockers) Lockers and bicycle racks are provided.
Staff showers Yes
Promotion of walk to work campaigns The majority of our employees do not live within walking distance.

Supply Chain

The main suppliers of products and services are as follows: Harrell's for fertilizer (Sylacauga Plant Alabama), insecticides (FMC & Bayer), fungicides (Sygenta, Bayer, Dow), herbicides (Dow, Bayer) and seeds (Jacklin Seed) KIng Ranch for sod (Tesoro Farm (Indiantown, FL); Golf Agronomis for sand (Witherspoon Sand MIne Labelle & Moorehaven, FL, ; John Deere, Hectro Turf, Show Turf for turn equipment and irrigation supplies; Palmdale Oil for gas and diesel; Sullivan Electric & Pump for pump station and irrigation repair; Waste Management for trash removal; Amerigrow for Grapple vegetation recycling; FCC Environmental for all maintenance shop oil recycling; Fla Irrigation Supply for irrigation service plans.

Purchasing Policies

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

Activity Description
Measures to avoid waste at source In 2015 we plan to institute a Supply Chain Management program by reaching out to our main suppliers communicating to them our purchasing preference for products and suppliers that are local, certified, contain recycled content, are recyclable and feature minimal packaging.
Use of local suppliers It is our policy to utilize local suppliers whenever possible, taking into consideration quality and cost.
Use of local products It is our policy to purchase local products whenever possible, taking into consideration quality and cost.
Selection of certified products It is our policy to purchase certified products whenever possible, taking into consideration quality and cost.
Use of recycled and recyclable products It is our policy to purchase recycled content and recyclable products whenever possible, taking into consideration quality and cost.
Selection of products that feature minimal packaging It is our policy to purchase products that feature minimal packaging whenever possible, taking into consideration quality and cost.
Use of accredited suppliers (e.g. ISO 14001) It is our policy to utilize accredited suppliers whenever possible, taking into consideration quality and cost.

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 10 6 4
Catering Supplies
Retail
Trade & Contractors 4 2 2
Maintenance Equipment 2 2
Course Supplies 3 1 2

Turfgrass Inputs

This golf facility undertakes the following IPM activities:

Activity Description
Encouraging drought and disease tolerant grasses Course was re-grassed in 2014.
Managing stress and wear Eliminating cart traffic 3 months every year.
Enhancement of soil structure Through airification and verti cutting agronomic plan.
Managing thatch levels Very agressive verti cutting and top dressing program.
Managing surface moisture bi-weekly wetting application
Establishing thresholds for pests and disease In the field observation and data collection.
Scouting for pests and diseases Daily scouting.
Monitoring / improvement of plant health Through monthly soil and tissue testing.

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

2014 2013 2012
Fairways - K - Inorganic 15 15 15
Fairways - K - Organic 5 5 5
Fairways - N - Inorganic 4 4 4
Fairways - N - Organic 2 2 2
Fairways - P - Inorganic 4 4 4
Greens - K - Inorganic 10 10 10
Greens - K - Organic 5 5 5
Greens - N - Inorganic 8 8 8
Greens - N - Organic 4 4 4
Greens - P - Inorganic 2 2 2
Rough - K - Inorganic 15 15 15
Rough - N - Inorganic 4 4 4
Rough - N - Organic 2 2 2
Rough - P - Inorganic 1 1 1
Semi-Rough - N - Inorganic 4
Tees - K - Inorganic 15 15 15
Tees - N - Inorganic 4 4 4
Tees - N - Organic 2 2 2
Tees - P - Inorganic 1 1 1

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

2014 2013 2012
Fairways - Fungicide - Active Ingredient 5
Fairways - Fungicide - Total Weight 50
Fairways - Fungicide - Number of applications per year 2
Fairways - Herbicide - Active Ingredient 1200 1200 1200
Fairways - Herbicide - Total Weight 12000 12000 12000
Fairways - Herbicide - Number of applications per year 4 4 4
Fairways - Insecticide - Active Ingredient 10 10 10
Fairways - Insecticide - Total Weight 1750 1750 1750
Fairways - Insecticide - Number of applications per year 4 4 4
Greens - Fungicide - Active Ingredient 25 20 18
Greens - Fungicide - Total Weight 250 200 180
Greens - Fungicide - Number of applications per year 16 12 10
Greens - Herbicide - Number of applications per year 10 10 10
Greens - Insecticide - Active Ingredient 10 12 10
Greens - Insecticide - Total Weight 350 420 350
Greens - Insecticide - Number of applications per year 7 8 7
Rough - Herbicide - Active Ingredient 100 100 100
Rough - Herbicide - Total Weight 2000 2000 2000
Rough - Herbicide - Number of applications per year 3 3 3
Tees - Herbicide - Active Ingredient 10 10 10
Tees - Herbicide - Total Weight 200 200 200
Tees - Herbicide - Number of applications per year 4 4 4
Tees - Insecticide - Active Ingredient 5 5 5
Tees - Insecticide - Total Weight 175 175 175
Tees - Insecticide - Number of applications per year 4 4 4

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

Activity Description
Selection on the least toxic and lest persistent products Always a major factor in our decision making for applications
Selection of appropriate products for specific pests and diseases No broadcast applications. We target the specific pest and the specific area.
Spot-treatment with handheld sprayers and wipers Daily and makes up 60% of our applicatons
Calibration and testing of sprayers Monthly
Use of shrouded sprayer and anti-drip nozzles On all large area sprayers
Non-chemical weed control We do use mechanical when labor is available
Use of organic and biological products to improve plant health and resistance. This is the first step in all of our programs.

Waste Management

No waste audits have been undertaken at this golf facility.

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 false true false false
Cores & Turf true false false false
Sand true false false false
Wood / Timber false true false false

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

Activity Description
Separation of recyclable materials 100% of all vegetation is hauled to recycling facility and returned to us as mulch.
Color coded containers with signage are used for the separation of recyclable products.
All chemical plastic jugs are converted into pellets for recycling into new plastic products.
Establishment of recycling centers Both inside and outside perimeters of the clubhouse feature combo trash/recycling stations.
Returning clipping to fairways and walkways Yes
Education of staff and customer education New hire staff are educated upon orientation. Ongoing education is provided for staff.

Recycling stations are clearly marked with the type of recycled items that may be placed there.
Waste awareness campaigns New program beginning in 2015 to educate members on how they can participate in our efforts: recycling, reusable beverage containers and bags, etc.

Pollution Control

Golf carts are battery powered and charged overnight.
Metals recycling – all of our used reels, bedknives, bearings, etc. are taken to local reclamation facilities.
Used oil recycling – all of our oil, antifreeze, oil filters, and absorbent spill pads are recycled with FCC Environmental.
Environmentally friendly parts washing – dirty/greasy/oily parts are cleaned in Smart Washer parts washers, which bioremediate waste.
Battery recycling – all used lead-acid batteries are returned to our vendor (NAPA) for recycling.
Chemical container recycling – all chemical jugs are collected on site, and a specialty reclamation service periodically collects and grinds the plastic.
Equipment washing – we utilize closed-loop bioremediating wash stations from ESD to ensure no grease or oil runs off into the environment.
Shop chemicals – are selected based on efficacy and environmental responsibility. Non-CFC aerosols and citrus-based solvents are used where applicable.
Hand soap – is soy-based with ground walnut shell scrubbers (works great, and doesn’t dry the skin like petroleum based products).
Gasoline powered equipment – modern fuel-injected engines are selected over old-style carbureted engines for efficiency and reduced emissions.
Diesel powered equipment – our replacement large area mowers (Fairway and Rough) will have the latest “EPA Tier IV” compliant engines, which will drastically reduce emissions.


Water Analysis

This golf facility monitors water quality with the following frequency:

Chemical Biological Visual
Inflow Three Yearly Three Yearly Three Yearly
On-Site Three Yearly Three Yearly Three Yearly
Outflow Three Yearly Three Yearly Three Yearly

Waste Water

Waste water from this golf facility is managed as follows:

Discharges to Formal Discharge Agreement
Golf Course Detention Pond N/A
Clubhouse Mains Sewer N/A
Maintenance Facility Mains Sewer N/A
Wash Pad Closed Loop Recycling 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 true false
Pesticide Containers true false
Fertiliser Bags false false
Oil Filters true false
Batteries true false

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 100% of the site is impervious.
Maintenance of equipment on covered, sealed impervious areas 100%
Mixing of pesticides and fertilizers in covered areas 100%
Mixing of pesticides and fertilizers over impervious surfaces 100%
Installation of above-ground fuel tanks 100%
Installation of sufficient secondary containment for fuel Yes
Provision of containment booms and absorbent materials Yes

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 Yes
Establishment of vegetative buffer strips around water bodies 100%
Establishment of emergency spillage response plan In place.
Controlling erosion and sediment discharge Through vegetative plantings.
Establishment of pesticide-free zones Yes, wetlands and upland preserves are protected.
Use of swales and bio-filters to slow and treat surface run-off 75%

Community

We have the following community involvement:

1. General Manager is on Board of Directors of Loggerhead Marine Life Center whose focus is on rescue and rehabilitation of sea turtles and coastal conservation. We host their annual event and donate thousands of dollars annually.
2. Director of Membership is on Board of Directors of Boys & Girls Clubs. We donate thousands of dollars annually and host an annual member's only holiday party with toys from members being the entry fee.
3. We host an annual series of events put on by our member's and the community being invited to donate to Scripps Cancer Research Institute. We donate thousands of dollars annually to the event.
4. We host approx. 60 charitable golf tournaments annually that receive upwards of 70% discount for golf and additional discounts for meeting space and food and beverage.
5. Members and employees participate in the annual Miami Dolphins Cycling Challenge to benefit the Sylvester Cancer Unit at Miami Medical Center ($8k raised in 2014).
6. Member's, employees and local community participate in Multiple Sclerosis Walk.
7. Tennis members and employees participate in American Heart Walk each year.
8, We provide annual CPR certification classes for members and employees.
9. We provide numerous 5k events for our group hotel business.
10. Local cardiologist has developed a Heart Strong program for our members and employees.

Employment & Education

Typical staffing levels at this golf facility are:

Full Time Part Time Seasonal
Club Management 5
Course Management 103
Food & Beverage 13 5
Golf Coaching 5 5 5
Retail & Leisure 10 10 5
Caddies 30

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

  • General Manager
  • Course Manager
  • Committee Members

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

Activity Description
Storage, application and disposal of pesticides Annual training, continuing education and Florida pesticide license for all management employees that handle these items.

Efficient water management Annual training, continuing education for all management employees that handle these items.
Management of accidents and emergencies Policies in place and annual training.
Management of habitats and vegetation Yes.
Waste minimization, separation and recycling We switched from Styrofoam beverage cups to cups that are 100% recycled content and are made from recycled water bottles and puffed air. Our golf operations and concessions personnel recycle all waste materials generated throughout the day. Signage is posted on the front of waste/recycling stations.

Health & Safety Ongoing training and awareness.
Energy Saving Battery powered golf carts are charged in the evening (non-peak) hours.
Understanding of landscape and cultural heritage All managers have appropriate degrees and certifications.
Environmental management planning Director of Agronomy has training in this area.

Community Relations

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

Activity Description
Neighbours We submit a monthly article to the PGA National Community newsletter, and highlight the importance of environmental action by everyone each April for Earth Day.
Local Government We work closely with the Northern Palm Beach County Improvement District, which monitors storm water runoff and water quality.
Local Environmental Groups Our manager of sustainable development monitors the activities and any alerts from the local chapter of the Sierra Club.
Media We send press releases regarding our positive environmental achievements to our local newspaper and television media. We have invited them to many events and showcase our recycling and other programs.

Land Use & Cultural Heritage

This golf facility does not provide access and diversified land use for others.

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

This golf facility does not consult any organizations regarding the conservation of cultural heritage.

This golf facility does not undertake any activities to conserve cultural heritage features.

Communications

This golf facility undertakes the following internal environmental communications:

Activity Description
Provision of newsletters, notice boards & poster display We submit articles periodically to the local community newsletter.

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

Activity Description
Website, press releases & brochures We have sent press releases regarding our 3 Electric vehicle charging stations. We are part of the national local grid for travelers and offer free charging for our guests and members.
Supporting campaigns We support the Green Meetings Industry Council, the International Society of Sustainability Professionals and the Green Building Industry Council.
Course walks / open days The course is private, so we do not offer.
Attending community meetings We host the annual PGA National Property Owner's Meeting each January.