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Locust Hill Country Club

Location: 2000 Jefferson Road

Photo of Locust Hill Country Club

Pittsford, NY 14534

Type of Facility: Golf Course

Number of Employees: 50-99

Member Since: 2015

Membership runs Through: 2018

NYEL Contact: Rick Slattery, Course Superintendent

Facility Overview:

Locust Hill Country Club is a full service country club with amenities that include a 6,615 yard par 72 18-hole championship golf course, a state-of-the-art practice facility, tennis courts, a health and wellness center, and a 60,000 square foot Clubhouse facilities featuring a restaurant and banquet facilities.

The golf course hosted a tournament on the LPGA Professional Golf Tour for 37 years, with the last 4 years being the LPGA Championship itself. The last year Locust Hill hosted the tournament was 2013. The yearly event would draw over 100,000 spectators to the course.

Locust Hill is committed to demonstrating that championship quality playing conditions and sustainable operations can go hand in hand. Since 1995, the course has decreased the amount of water used annually for irrigation by 23 million gallons and cut their pesticide and fertilizer use by over half. The core program they adopted to achieve these results was transitioning the species of grasses that make up their turf to ones that require much less maintenance.

The course also participates in the Audubon International Cooperative Sanctuary Program for Golf Courses, which focuses not only on increasing the environmental performance of the course, but also ensuring that the course provides suitable habitat for local wildlife. Locust Hill has met the criteria set forth by this program to achieve certification status as an Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary.

Sustainability Commitments:

1. Restoring 3.5 Acres of the Course to a Natural State

Locust Hill will restore 3.5 acres of their course to a natural state in order to improve habitat for local species, decrease fertilizer and pesticide use, and lower greenhouse gas emissions from mowing operations. The course is daylighting a portion of their drainage lines and allowing a border of 5 to 15 feet around water features to return to its natural state to filter storm water before it drains into the local bodies of water. These newly naturalized areas will also serve as a conduit for wildlife traveling between wetlands that exist on either side of the course. In addition, they also are going to add 7 more nest boxes for local bird species.

2. Decrease Water Used Annually for Irrigation by 2 Million Gallons by 2018

The course will continue to decrease the amount of water they use annually for irrigation purposes by another 2 million gallons by 2018. This will bring their total decrease of water used annually for irrigation to 25 million gallons since 1995.

They will accomplish this by running a comprehensive audit of their irrigation system and making improvements to sprinkler coverage and nozzles to ensure that there are not any areas of double coverage. They will analyze each individual sprinkler to establish a baseline for the minimum running time required based on environmental conditions the sprinkler is located in and any seasonal changes. They will also fix any leaks or malfunctioning equipment found during the process. In addition, they will be continuing their commitment to management programs and overseeding programs that encourage more tolerant grass species that require less water and maintenance. They will also eliminate the use of irrigation in "out-of-play" rough areas.

3. Reducing Fertilizer and Pesticide Usage by 400 lbs. a Year by 2018

Locust Hill will cut the amount of fertilizer and pesticides used in the rough areas that are "in-play" around the golf holes by 50% between 2014 and 2018. During this time period they will also reduce their fertilizer and pesticide use in newly created "naturalized areas" and "out-of-play" areas of the golf course by 75%, and the fertilizer and pesticide input for the "playing areas" will be reduced by 10%. They will accomplish this by continuing to allow more acreage to transition to a natural state, closely monitoring and scouting turf conditions to spot problem areas in advance and apply treatments before a larger amount is necessary, and changing the makeup of the fertilizer that they are using.

4. Continuing To Train the Future Leaders in Golf Course Sustainability

Locust Hill has provided internships to over 50 students studying golf course management since 1995. They will continue to run their internship program and are committing to host at least 1-2 interns per season through 2018. The focus of the program is on sustainable golf course management and ensures that more courses will adopt sustainable operations practices in the future as the interns start their careers at courses all over the country.

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