CourseCo receives GCSAA’s President’s Award

The award honors the golf course management company’s dedication to protecting and enhancing the environment.


Pacific Grove Golf Links
Pacific Grove (Calif.) Golf Links is among the facilities in CourseCo’s portfolio. The 18-hole course sits on the tip of the Monterey Peninsula and was originally opened as a nine-hole layout in 1932. Photo courtesy of CourseCo

CourseCo, a golf course management company with properties in California, Oregon, Washington and Texas, has been selected by the GCSAA Board of Directors to receive the association’s 2019 President’s Award for Environmental Stewardship.

CourseCo will officially receive the award Wednesday, Feb. 6, during the Opening Session of the 2019 Golf Industry Show in San Diego (Feb. 2-7). The Opening Session is presented in partnership with Syngenta.

GCSAA’s President’s Award for Environmental Stewardship was established in 1991 to recognize “an exceptional environmental contribution to the game of golf; a contribution that further exemplifies the golf course superintendent’s image as a steward of the land.”

“CourseCo’s strong commitment to the environment is a great example for the entire industry,” says GCSAA CEO Rhett Evans. “They believe in sustainable turfgrass management, and CourseCo superintendents are supported and encouraged to use sustainable practices and innovative strategies to benefit the environment and their communities.”

CourseCo started in Northern California and now manages 35 golf courses that are primarily owned by municipalities or counties. A core principle of CourseCo is a commitment to environmental enhancement, reduction of resource use, and sustainable management practices that benefit the communities the company works in. Sustainable turfgrass management is an integral aspect of every evaluation, recommendation and management plan the company implements for its clients.

“Our environmental focus dates back to our founder, Tom Isaak, who attended the first Earth Day,” says Michael Sharp, CourseCo president and CEO. “It has flowed from him since day one.”

CourseCo facilities use both integrated pest management (IPM) and chemical application management plans (CHAMP). Each plan describes the cultural and non-chemical control measures that will be taken to reduce the use of chemical pesticides. The plans emphasize an understanding of the micro-environments throughout a course to allow for the efficient employment of the cultural practices that will decrease pest populations by strengthening turfgrass’s natural defenses.

CourseCo also prioritizes healthy wildlife habitat. The company maintains memberships in both the Wildlife Habitat Council and Audubon International, with most of its facilities recognized as Certified Audubon Cooperative Sanctuaries. CourseCo plans to have all of its properties certified eventually.

The state of California has lauded the company’s environmental efforts with its State of California Waste Reduction Award, and with the state’s most prestigious environmental honor, the Governor’s Environmental and Economic Leadership Award. In addition, 18 CourseCo superintendents have been recognized in the GCSAA/Golf Digest Environmental Leaders in Golf Awards.

“Winning the President’s Award is extremely rewarding, but it’s really our superintendents who have earned the award,” Sharp says. “They have done the work that reflects our core values. We know we are stewards of these large pieces of land, and it’s our duty and responsibility to consciously maintain them.”

View the complete list of past GCSAA President’s Award winners.