The changes come as a result of a year and a half study that analyzed the needs of golf and the foundations strategic focus, according to board of trustee chairman Joe Black.
'We recognize that The Foundation's strategic focus must evolve if it is to continue to provide the greatest impact to the profession and to golf,' Black said. 'The Environmental Institute for Golf allows us to build on the momentum of the Investing in the Beauty of Golf endowment campaign and direct our energies to a coordinated vision of environmental excellence. This is not a new fundraising campaign; rather it is a new direction that will result in the delivery of programs and services with greater value to the marketplace.'
The Institute's emphasis on environmental stewardship will not be solely limited to its own initiatives. Black indicated that a philosophy of collaboration is core to its ultimate success. Partnerships will be sought with other organizations (i.e. USGA Green Section, Audubon International, Center for Resource Management, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, etc.) to deliver the most effective programs and services to the marketplace.
The foundations renaming and repositioning has historical precedence. Originally established as the GCSAA Scholarship and Research Fund in 1955, it became known as The GCSAA Foundation in 1995 after education and historical preservation initiatives were added to its mission. The Foundation's focus was to support four program areas: research, education, scholarship and historical preservation.
'The changes in 1995 resulted in the creation of numerous programs and services that have benefited superintendents and their facilities,' Black said. 'The Investing in the Beauty of Golf endowment campaign allowed The Foundation to establish relationships and attract resources from areas of the golf industry not previously engaged.'
The Institute's programs and services will be developed through individual centers. Each center will address a specific topic identified through needs assessments, and implemented through information collection, research, education and communication.
From conclusions reached, seminars, conferences, lectures and symposia will allow experts to share their knowledge on a specific topic with golf course superintendents, owners, builders, developers, architects, the government and regulatory communities, environmental community, media and others affected by golf course management and development issues. Through education and outreach, a collection of best management practices for golf courses will be assembled, shaped and communicated to the golf and environmental communities.
To begin the center development process, the Institute will host a strategic planning session to develop the specific direction of the centers. This is intended to outline a definitive charge for each of the centers proposed for development. The Institute's strategic planning session will be a collaborative exercise open to those committed to fostering environmental excellence. This event will be conducted later this year.
Current Foundation programs will continue to be managed until centers are established, at which point the programs will be folded into the centers.