Driving into the parking lot of Redcrest Golf Course (one of the four courses at Cardinal Golf Club), one can’t help but notice the shiny golf carts lined up neatly in front of attractive charging stations. This fleet represents part of the over 200 electric golf carts owned by Cardinal Golf Club. Of particular interest is the pending plan to install solar panels next year to assist in powering these carts. The cost to run electric carts is cheaper than conventional carts – with a significant investment being required for infrastructure changes in order to provide power to the charging stations.
Certified by Audubon International for the past 8 years, Cardinal Golf Club has many environmental practices in place. One of the first steps taken by Cardinal golf operators 8 years ago was to expand naturalized areas and conduct a wildlife inventory. Observations confirmed that the 700 acre course is a natural wildlife corridor. Conservation practices at Cardinal Golf Club include the use of an automated irrigation system, computer connected soil moisture probes, and the use of drones to identify areas of the course that may need extra attention. Irrigation pump stations have state of the art control panels and variable speed pumps for improved control and energy savings. Sprinkler heads are carefully monitored to ensure that irrigation water is delivered only to areas that need it. As per government regulations, water usage on the property is also closely monitored and withdrawal permits allow the use of only a certain amount of water per pump, per day.
When it comes to the use of fertilizers, soil is tested annually to determine exactly what inputs are needed. This both saves money and reduces unnecessary chemical inputs. For example, soil testing for the past several years has indicated that phosphorus fertilizer applications are not required. Cardinal has therefore not applied any. Scouting the property to identify disease and pest infestations, and to assess the size and severity of infestations helps course operators determine specifically where chemicals are needed. If and when they are needed, spot spraying and practices such as “spoon feeding” help further reduce chemical inputs.
Cardinal Golf Club has achieved level 2 Integrated Pest Management (IPM) status. Three licensed pesticide applicators are employed by Cardinal, each of whom attend continuing education to stay on top of new product innovations. For more information on the environmental history of the course, visit their website.