Golf Inc. 2008 Green Award Winners

Best Green Courses Commitment to the environment earns Makena, Kiawah Island, Fairmont Southampton top course honors in the inaugural Golf Inc. competition. Troon Golf, W.R. Love Course Architecture capture first-place first-place recognition as well.

More than 20 years ago-long before the term "ecotourism" became a marketing catch-phrase- operators of Kiawah Island Resort were giving guests the opportunity to donate $2 per night toward preservation of the island's natural habitat.

That commitment to environmental responsibility was an important part of the basic philosophy of the coastal South Carolina project.

"Since Kiawah Island Golf Resort was established in the 1970s, all development has been carefully designed to blend into the island's natural habitat," said Michael Vegis, a spokesman for the resort. "And as the world does become more eco-conscious, the resort has responded with a variety of new initiatives and a renewed sense of commitment to protecting the natural habitat."

That commitment to environmental stewardship is one of the primary reasons that Kiawah Island was selected as one of five winners of the inaugural Golf Inc. Green Awards.

The South Carolina resort was joined by Makena Golf Course in Maui, Hawaii and Fairmont Southampton Golf Course in Southampton, Bermuda, as winners in the golf course category. Troon Golf was the first-place winner in the companies and associations category and William R. Love Golf Course Architecture finished on top among product and service providers.

Their efforts are setting an example for courses, developers and companies all over the world. Around the globe, golf is growing and-in many cases-leading the environmental movement.

As part of its committment to promoting responsible environmental stewardship, Golf Inc. created the Green Awards to recognize the courses and companies that have taken concrete steps to adopt that same philosophy and to set an example for others.

Winners were chosen on the basis of their outstanding and innovative programs and practices that protect and preserve the environment. We asked winners to submit detailed information about their efforts, including evidence of the impact-both physically and fiscally- and documenting positive effects on the environment.

"Our long-term goal is to encourage owners and developers throughout the globe to embrace the game's connection to nature and to be responsible caretakers of the environment," said Publisher and Editor-in-chief Jack Crittenden.

To do that, Golf Inc. sought to spotlight the most innovative, technologically advanced and cost-effective methods for achieving those goals.

The judges included Dr. Mike Hurdzan of Hurdzan/ Fry Golf Course Design; John Crowder, vice president of ValleyCrest Golf Course Maintenance; and Greg Lyman, director of environmental affairs for the Golf Course Superintendents Association of America.

Winners of this year's competition will be honored at the Fall Golf Inc. Conference at Camelback Inn & Resort in Scottsdale, Ariz., Sept. 29 ? Oct. 1.

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