12 episodes

Welcome to Golf Sustainability, the podcast that’s on a mission to drive positive change in the golf industry for a greener future! Our goal is to provide you with valuable insights, meaningful connections, and inspiring stories, all focused on advancing the sustainability of both the environment and the game of golf for generations to come. Join us as we bring together industry leaders and organizations, united by a shared commitment to our cause. Together, we can create a powerful coalition dedicated to preserving the beauty of the sport and the planet for future golf enthusiasts. Tune in and be part of the movement!

Golf Sustainability John Failla

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    • 5.0 • 2 Ratings

Welcome to Golf Sustainability, the podcast that’s on a mission to drive positive change in the golf industry for a greener future! Our goal is to provide you with valuable insights, meaningful connections, and inspiring stories, all focused on advancing the sustainability of both the environment and the game of golf for generations to come. Join us as we bring together industry leaders and organizations, united by a shared commitment to our cause. Together, we can create a powerful coalition dedicated to preserving the beauty of the sport and the planet for future golf enthusiasts. Tune in and be part of the movement!

    Episode 12: The Park West Palm - Golf Course or Community Center?

    Episode 12: The Park West Palm - Golf Course or Community Center?

    Dave Andrews is the Director of The Path at The Park West Palm Beach. The Park West Palm project is a golf course designed for everyone to use, from beginners to professionals, with many of the amenities you’d find at a high-end private course.
    Once The Park was completed, Dave was part of the team brought in to develop programs, including “The Path.” The Path is a community center that happens to be at a golf course. It’s become the perfect blend of Dave’s passion and purpose, giving kids hope and inspiration. 
    Dave took the blank slate that he was given and spent months meeting with leaders in the local communities, from high school principals and teachers to nonprofits and coaches. He listened to the community to create a strategy to address their specific needs and vision for the future. 
    The Path was launched on the premise that every child deserves the chance to succeed in life. Their goal was to take a kid who may not be on the right path and change their trajectory. Dave is building educational programs (STEM, ESOL classes, and more), hiring tutors and translators, and offering academic enrichment opportunities. 
    They’re working to launch a SNAG (Starting New at Golf) program, led by a golf professional who goes into schools with all of the equipment necessary to take over and teach golf in PE classes. They want every child in West Palm Beach to be able to have a golf experience.
    The Path seeks to change kids’ lives while introducing them to the game of golf. Join us in this conversation to learn more about this awe-inspiring community program—including how to inspire community involvement or launch your own program.
    Topics covered:
    Dave’s career journey from the YMCA to The Path (00:01:14 – 00:03:30)
    Dave shares how his background with the YMCA and building community programs with nonprofits not only prepared him for his role at The Path but cultivated an excitement to impact children’s lives through golf.

    The vision for The Park West Palm project (00:03:31 – 00:08:19)
    The Park West Palm project was created to be a golf course with a community feel—completely different than anything you’ve ever seen—and accessible to everyone. 

    The development of the The Path and its key programs (00:08:20 – 00:18:35)
    Given a blank slate, Dave worked to create a community outreach program that just happened to be at a golf course. 
    Dave immersed himself in the community to learn their specific needs and begin to create a strategy and a vision for the future.

    Getting local schools to participate in the program (00:23:44 – 00:29:30) 
    The Path consists of numerous educational programs targeted to kids who don’t have the financial means to obtain tutors, take art classes, or be in STEM programs.
    They have everything they need to provide the kids an opportunity to learn the game of golf, led by PGA professionals.

    What motivates and inspires Dave to make a difference (00:29:31 – 00:35:35)
    David strives to help others in everything he does. He hopes his legacy is that he did everything in his power to inspire the next generation and give them hope.
    Resources & People Mentioned
    The Park West Palm
    The Path
    Connect with Dave Andrews
    Connect with Dave on LinkedIn
    Connect With Golf Sustainability
    LinkedIn 
    Facebook 
    Instagram
    X (Twitter)
    Subscribe to Golf Sustainability
    Apple Podcast 
    Spotify
    Note: Timestamps provided are approximate.
    Thank you for listening to the Golf Sustainability podcast. If you found this episode interesting, don’t forget to subscribe and leave a review! For more insights and updates on sustainable energy solutions, visit our website and follow us on social media.
    Audio, Video, and Show Notes by - PODCAST FAST TRACK

    • 36 min
    Episode 11: Inspiring Diversity and Inclusion in Golf

    Episode 11: Inspiring Diversity and Inclusion in Golf

    Welcome, golf enthusiasts! I'm John Failla, your host on the Golf Sustainability Podcast. In today's episode, we're honored to have Sandy Cross, the Chief People Officer at the PGA of America, as our guest. Sandy will share insights on a topic close to my heart—inspiring diversity and inclusion in golf.
    In this engaging conversation, Sandy and I delve into her career journey, from starting as a licensing administrator to her current roles overseeing people operations, diversity and inclusion, and more. We discuss the PGA of America's grand vision for the golf industry, aiming to reflect the diverse demographics of America in both participants and workforce.
    Sandy highlights five key areas of commitment in their inclusion efforts, touching on governance, education, workforce, procurement, and community initiatives. We explore groundbreaking programs like PGA Works, aimed at diversifying the golf industry workforce, and initiatives such as Make Golf Your Career and Make Golf Your Business, fostering diversity in career opportunities and supply chains.
    Discover how grassroots grants play a crucial role in building relationships with diverse communities and supporting local programs that make golf accessible to all. Sandy also shares personal insights, including the transformative power of golf, her inspiration from her parents, and the challenges and triumphs of relocating the PGA of America during the pandemic.
    Join us on this inspiring journey into the heart of golf and diversity. Stay tuned for more engaging episodes on the Golf Sustainability Podcast!

     
    Topics Covered:
    Introduction and Career Journey
    Timestamp: 00:00:00 to 00:04:00
    Overview: Introduction of the podcast, welcoming the guest Sandy Cross, Chief People Officer at the PGA of America. Sandy briefly discusses her career journey and her current role at the PGA of America.

    Framework for Diversity and Inclusion at PGA of America
    Timestamp: 00:04:01 to 00:07:00
    Overview: Sandy discusses the overarching framework for diversity and inclusion at PGA of America, focusing on the commitment areas, including governance, education, workforce, procurement, and community.

    Internal Diversity and Inclusion Programs
    Timestamp: 00:07:01 to 00:10:00
    Overview: The discussion revolves around the importance of starting diversity and inclusion efforts internally. Sandy highlights PGA Lead, a program identifying and developing diverse PGA professionals, as an example.

    Industry-wide Initiatives and Programs
    Timestamp: 00:10:01 to 00:15:00
    Overview: Sandy talks about industry-wide initiatives such as PGA Works for diversifying the golf industry workforce and Make Golf Your Career for connecting job seekers with golf industry employers. She also introduces Make Golf Your Business for diverse suppliers.

    Grassroots Initiatives and Community Engagement
    Timestamp: 00:15:01 to 00:28:00
    Overview: The focus is on grassroots efforts, including the PGA Reach grassroots grants program, PGA Junior League, and efforts to make golf more accessible and inclusive at the community level. Sandy emphasizes the value of partnerships with organizations embedded in local communities.
     


    Resources and People Mentioned:
    PGA of America: The professional trade association for golf professionals in America.
    PGA Lead: A program to identify and develop PGA of America golf professionals from diverse backgrounds.
    Make Golf Your Thing: An industry-wide initiative to diversify the golf industry's workforce, supply chain, and participant base.
    MakeGolfYourCareer.org: A platform offering job seekers a centralized destination for exploring careers in the golf industry.
    MakeGolfYourBusiness.org: A platform connecting diverse-owned vendors with business decision-makers for procurement in the golf industry.
    PGA Reach: The charitable foundation of the PGA of America.
    PGA Works: A strategic initiative under PGA Reach to diversify the golf industry workforce through fellowships, scholarships, career exploration eve

    • 32 min
    Episode 10: Saving a Golf Course

    Episode 10: Saving a Golf Course

    Welcome! In today's episode, we're honored to have Tom Coyne, Author and Golf Course Owner. Tom’s vision for reviving Sullivan County Golf Club in 2024 is nothing short of spectacular. With a focus on enhancing both the golfing experience and overall atmosphere, Coyne is set to transform the 180-acre, nine-hole course into a golf destination.
    On the golfing front, Coyne is orchestrating a significant course renovation, including the creation of three new holes. The goal is to optimize the layout, taking advantage of the stunning topography and views that Sullivan County offers. With plans for sodding the entire course using a mix of grass strains reflective of its century-long history, the team aims to preserve the course's character while enhancing playability.
    The project also emphasizes sustainability, mindful of the Catskills' rural landscape. Coyne's approach involves careful tree removal to enhance safety and improve golf quality. The commitment to responsible land management, combined with the use of organic inputs from partners like Toro and AquaTrols, sets the stage for an environmentally conscious golfing experience.
    As Sullivan County Golf Club gears up for the 2024 season, it's not just about revitalizing a golf course; it's about creating a haven where golfers, families, and food enthusiasts converge to enjoy a unique blend of history, natural beauty, and exceptional experiences. The vision for saving Sullivan County Golf Club is poised to redefine what a golf destination can be.
     
    Topics Covered:
    Introduction and Background (00:01:00 - 00:03:00):
    Introduction of the podcast and guest, Tom Coyne.
    Tom's role as an author and co-owner of Sullivan County Golf Club.
    Gratitude for the community's support in saving the golf course.

    Tom's Background and Golf Writing Career (00:03:00 - 00:08:00):
    Tom's accidental journey into golf writing.
    Overview of Tom's books, including "A Course Called Scotland”, “A Course Called Ireland” and a “Course Called America."
    Discussion on the differences in golf sustainability views between the U.S. and Europe.

    Challenges Faced by Sullivan County Golf Club (00:08:00 - 00:15:00):
    Background on how Tom got involved with Sullivan County Golf Club.
    Challenges faced by the golf course, the threat of closure, and the initial steps taken.
    Importance of sustainability in maintaining golf courses.

    First Year Initiatives and Improvements (00:15:00 - 00:26:00):
    Addressing the immediate issues, such as course conditions.
    Utilizing social media, marketing, and merchandise to engage members.
    The impact of Toro and AquaTrols in making the golf course more sustainable.
    The significance of storytelling in promoting the golf course.

    Future Plans and Developments (00:26:00 - End):
    Plans for 2024, including clubhouse renovations, restaurant integration, and golf course expansion.
    The partnership with Bill Murray and Mike Madden.
    Focus on creating a unique and enjoyable experience while maintaining the course's rural character.
     
    Resources and People Mentioned:
    Sullivan County Golf Club
    A Course Called Ireland
    A Course Called Scotland
    A Course Called America
    Piccolo Paese

    Connect with Our Guests
    Tom Coyne Linkedin
     
    Connect With Golf Sustainability
    LinkedIn 
    Facebook 
    Instagram
    X (Twitter)
    Email
    Subscribe to Golf Sustainability
    Apple Podcast 
    Spotify 
    Google Podcasts 
    Note: Timestamps provided are approximate.
    Thank you for listening to the Golf Sustainability podcast. If you found this episode interesting, don't forget to subscribe and leave a review! For more insights and updates on sustainable energy solutions, visit our website and follow us on social media.

    • 41 min
    Episode 9: A Fresh Take at Audubon International

    Episode 9: A Fresh Take at Audubon International

    Welcome to Episode 9 of the Golf Sustainability Podcast! In this timely conversation, host John Failla engages with Frank LaVardera, the Director of Environmental Programs for Golf at Audubon International. Together, they delve into the intricacies of the Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary Program (ACSP), the Signature Program, and Audubon International's groundbreaking Platinum Program, all designed to foster environmental sustainability in golf courses.
    Frank, with his extensive background in environmental consulting, shares his journey to Audubon International and sheds light on the ACSP. This program tailors solutions for existing golf courses, guiding them through an environmental assessment and creating plans for water conservation, wildlife habitat management, chemical use reduction, and more. The conversation seamlessly transitions to the Signature Program, designed for new courses or those undergoing renovations, with Frank outlining its 11 components and emphasizing the importance of the Natural Resource Management Plan.
    Drawing from real-world examples, Frank spotlights Saco Country Club in Maine, showcasing their commitment to sustainability, especially in managing water runoff and implementing a closed-loop wash water system. 
    Frank shares insights into Audubon International's collaborations with partners and sponsors, emphasizing the impact of environmentally sustainable products and services from companies like Water IQ and Porous Pavement. Reflecting on his influential career, he highlights the evolution of sustainability in the golf industry over the past 40 years, sharing inspiring stories about environmental stewards like Jim Pavonetti.
    In the final segment of the conversation, listeners gain a glimpse into Frank's personal motivations and aspirations, where he expresses a desire to be remembered as someone who cared deeply about the environment and fostered a user-friendly and collaborative approach in the golf industry.
    Join us on this insightful journey into the intersection of golf and environmental stewardship. Subscribe to the Golf Sustainability Podcast on your favorite platform and tee off with us as we explore the vital role of sustainability in shaping the future of golf. Together, let's make golf more sustainable and environmentally friendly!

    Topics Covered:
    Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary Program (ACSP) for Existing Golf Courses
    Time Stamp: [00:00:00] to [00:14:00]
    Overview of the ACSP, its six certification components, and a specific example of Saco Country Club's journey in implementing environmental practices.

    Signature Program for New Golf Courses and Renovations
    Time Stamp: [00:14:00] to [00:26:00]
    Discussion on the Signature Program, its 11 certification components, and an example of Cabot Revelstoke, a new golf course being constructed in British Columbia.

    Platinum Program for Integrated Certification
    Time Stamp: [00:26:00]  [00:30:00]
    Introduction of the Platinum Program, which combines certification for golf courses, clubhouses, and lodging facilities under one umbrella, enhancing sustainability efforts for resort-type facilities.

    Audubon International's Conservation Initiatives
    Time Stamp: [00:30:00] - [00:32:00]
    Discussing Audubon International's various conservation programs, such as the BioBlitz program, Monarchs in the Rough program, and the Raptor Relocation Program. Highlighting the goals and impact of these initiatives on sustainability and biodiversity.

    Sponsorship and Partnerships for Environmental Sustainability
    Time Stamp: [00:32:00] - [00:34:00]
    Exploring the importance of partnerships and sponsorships for funding Audubon International's conservation initiatives. Featuring examples of sponsors like Water IQ and Porous Pavement, and discussing how such collaborations contribute to environmental sustainability in golf courses.

    Personal Journey and Motivations in Environmental Conservation
    Time Stamp: [00:34:00] - [00:45:00]
    Delving into Frank's personal journey in e

    • 46 min
    Episode 8: GCSAA’s Shared Vision for the Future

    Episode 8: GCSAA’s Shared Vision for the Future

    Welcome to an engaging episode of the Golf Sustainability Podcast,  with host John Failla and Kevin Sunderman, the Chief Operating Officer of the Golf Course Superintendents Association of America (GCSAA). Kevin, a seasoned executive in the world of golf, presents GCSAA’s  inspiring vision for the future.
    From his early days as a golf enthusiast in rural Ohio to his current influential role, Kevin's journey is nothing short of inspiring. Join us as we delve into his passion for making a meaningful impact and sparking change in the golf community.
    In this episode, we embark on a journey to explore a greener, more sustainable future for the golf industry as Kevin discusses GCSAA’s programs including  the Golf Course Environmental Profile Study and their Best Management Practices (BMPs)..
    Tune in for an engaging and enlightening discussion that highlights the opportunities for  a more sustainable future for golf.
    Topics Covered:

    Kevin Sunderman's Journey and GCSAA's Mission
    Timestamp: [00:00:00] - [00:08:00]
    Topic: Kevin Sunderman's background, his transition from being a golf course superintendent to COO at GCSAA, and an overview of GCSAA's mission, including education, research, and advocacy.
    GCSAA’s Golf Course Environmental Profile Study and BMP Program
    Timestamp: [00:08:00] 
    Topic: Detailed discussion on the Golf Course Environmental Profile Study, its goals, research-driven initiatives, and the Best Management Practices (BMP) program. Emphasis on the history, state-specific templates, and the vision for the BMP program's future impact on the environment.
     
    Benefits of Best Management Practices (BMPs)
    Time Stamp: [00:31:00] 
    Description: The conversation delves into the economic benefits associated with implementing best management practices. It discusses the potential reduction in resource use and the varying impact on expenses depending on the facility. It emphasizes the importance of reducing short-term, intermediate, and long-term risks for golf course owners and managers.
     
    Partnerships and Collaboration for Environmental Impact
    Time Stamp: [00:35:00] 
    Description: The discussion focuses on the importance of partnerships in the golf industry to promote environmental initiatives. It highlights the need for everyone in the golf industry, including sustainability groups, manufacturers, distributors, and golf course owners, to work together, share best practices, and promote a positive environmental impact.
     
    Resources and People Mentioned:
    Golf Course Superintendents Association of America (GCSAA)
    GCSAA Golf Course Environmental Profile
    GCSAA Best Management Practices
     
    Connect with Our Guests
    Kevin Sunderman
    LinkedIn
    Connect with GCSAA 
    Golf Course Superintendents Association of America
     
    Connect With Golf Sustainability
    LinkedIn 
    Facebook 
    Instagram
    X (Twitter)
    Email
    Subscribe to Golf Sustainability
    Apple Podcast 
    Spotify 
    Google Podcasts 
    Note: Timestamps provided are approximate.
    Thank you for listening to the Golf Sustainability podcast. If you found this episode interesting, don't forget to subscribe and leave a review! For more insights and updates on sustainable energy solutions, visit our website and follow us on social media.

    • 44 min
    Episode 7: Off Course Golf’s Impact on the Game

    Episode 7: Off Course Golf’s Impact on the Game

    Welcome to a fascinating episode of Golf Sustainability! In this enlightening conversation, your host, John Failla, engages in an in-depth dialogue with Greg Nathan, the President and Chief Executive Officer of the National Golf Foundation (NGF). Together, they explore the dynamic world of off-course golf and its profound impact on the golf industry.
    Diving headfirst into the discussion, John and Greg traverse the various facets of off-course golf, encompassing driving ranges, the exhilarating world of golf entertainment exemplified by Topgolf, and the cutting-edge realm of simulator golf. A particular focus emerges on the role these activities play in cultivating "shot euphoria," that gratifying sensation integral to the game of golf.
    Drawing from his extensive expertise, Greg Nathan presents data on the remarkable growth of off-course golf participation and underscores the pivotal role of off-course golf in making golf more accessible and enjoyable, particularly for newcomers and casual players.
    Unearthing the driving forces behind the meteoric rise of off-course golf, John and Greg dissect the allure of these venues, from their accessibility and entertainment  factor to the engaging gaming elements, and seamless integration of technology. In particular, the discussion spotlights the transformative impact of golf entertainment hubs like Topgolf.
    Furthermore, Greg Nathan accentuates the pressing need for traditional golf courses to evolve, embracing a more welcoming and inclusive approach that breaks down the barriers preventing newcomers from transitioning to on-course golf.
    This conversation doesn't stop at showcasing the success of off-course golf; it also sheds light on the harmonious coexistence of off-course and on-course golf. Many who partake in off-course activities find themselves drawn towards the allure of a traditional golf course. This symbiotic relationship underscores how off-course golf is a gateway that introduces individuals to the broader golfing experience, paving the way for potential migration to on-course play.
    In essence, this episode delves deep into the heart of the evolving golf landscape, emphasizing the pivotal role of off-course golf in shaping the sport's future. The insights shared by Greg Nathan, the NGF President & CEO, and John Failla are invaluable, providing listeners with a profound understanding of how off-course golf is redefining the game and expanding the horizons of golfing enthusiasts. So, join us for this illuminating episode as we explore the captivating world of off-course golf and its transformative influence on the golf industry.

    Topics Covered:
    An Introduction to NGF and Off Course Golf Participation Trends
    Timestamp: [00:00:00] to [00:18:00]
    Summary: Discuss the growth and trends in off-course golf participation, including the different segments such as traditional driving ranges, golf entertainment (e.g., Topgolf), and simulator golf.

    Impact of Off Course Golf on On Course Participation
    Timestamp: [00:18:00] to [00:27:00]
    Summary: Explore how off-course golf activities, like driving ranges, golf entertainment, and simulators, act as a gateway to on-course golf by removing barriers and providing a more accessible and enjoyable entry point.

    3. The Impact of Off-Course Experience on Green Grass Golf
    Timestamp: [00:27:00] to [00:30:00]
    Discuss how individuals with off-course experience, such as traditional driving ranges, golf entertainment, or simulators, are more interested in green grass golf. Explore the statistics provided regarding the percentage of new golfers with off-course experience and the increasing trend over the years.

    Evolution of the National Golf Foundation's Role and Work 
    Timestamp: [00:41:00] to [00:42:00]
    Highlight the historical evolution of the National Golf Foundation's role, citing the example of the golf ball reconditioning program during World War Two. Discuss the organization's commitment to adapting to industry needs and the cur

    • 46 min

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