Golf Courses

Providing Water Quality Impact Assessments and Turf Agronomy Support for Worldwide Golf Courses

ETS is an environmental and agronomic service company dedicated to aiding the design and management of environmentally sound golf courses. This is accomplished through three types of programs: Integrated Golf Course Management Plans®, water quality risk assessments, and water quality monitoring. In addition to these three services, we also offer mitigation options and recommendations.

ETS was probably the first firm in the country to offer these types of comprehensive and fully integrated environmental and agronomic services. Corporate experience includes over 150 golf/turf related projects. Our reputation for scientific excellence and objectivity has led to ETS being hired by developers and governmental agencies.

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Services for Golf Courses:

  • Integrated Golf Course Management Plans

    We will develop IGCMPs® that emphasize responsible use of turfgrass pesticides and fertilizers, provides recommendations for turfgrass cultivars, and guidance for grow-in based on soil, tissue, and water quality analysis. The comprehensive plan typically exceeds 30 pages in length, and it provide detailed guidance on Integrated Pest Management (IPM), irrigation demand, maintenance building design, pesticide storage handling and rinsate, hazard communication, etc. Native vegetation restoration, wildlife habitat restoration, and exotic/invasive species management can also be addressed.

  • Water Quality Risk Assessments

    ETS has extensive experience in conducting computer modeling of turf chemicals leaching to ground water, running off to surface water, and impacting wetlands and coral reefs. We integrate information about local soils, drainage, climate, and potential sensitive receptors, i.e., wetlands and surface water as a home for sensitive fish, amphibians, etc. Our approach is very scientific with a focus on pesticide and nutrient mobility, persistence, and toxicity. We develop scientifically sound documents that stand up to regulatory and scientific scrutiny. Our risk assessment expertise enables us to interpret the results for you in a responsible manner.

  • Mitigation & Recommendations

    We try hard to find potential problems and propose feasible, cost-effective solutions in the design phase. This satisfies regulatory officials, appeals to citizen activist opponents, and provides peace of mind to golf course developers and operators.

    We provide a range of mitigation measures in the design, construction, and/or management phases. A study we completed recently regarding the relationship between buffer width and pollutant removal efficiency further demonstrates our expertise in the design and development of feasible, scientifically sound Best Management Practices (BMPs) to reduce or eliminate water quality impact risks.

  • Water Protection Policy

    The Water Protection Policy demonstrates a golf course’s commitment to the protection of water resources. Practices identified within this policy support management strategies of golf courses that are protective of surface water, ground water, and habitat. These practices also help to prevent pollution, soil erosion and sedimentation in applicable watersheds. Practices such as proper permitting, establishment of buffer areas, awareness of local water bodies, pesticide and fertilizer application, and water quality monitoring can all be covered by this policy.


    Environmental & Turf Services, Inc. has partnered with Andy Staples, president of Staples Golf, to create our own joint program called CARBONSAVE© for golf. His firm is the leading authority of golf course energy efficiency, with a particular focus on irrigation.

    Our research suggests that over 60% of a course’s footprint can be attributed to energy use. The next largest contributor is fertilizer and pesticide use. Fortunately, golf course turfgrass, shrubs, etc. contain carbon-sequestrating abilities that benefit our environment by removing potentially harmful greenhouse gasses from the air. Many believe that sequestration can be securitized as carbon credits and one day sold on a carbon market. By determining which areas of your operations are emitting the most carbon and then quantifying the spaces that sequester carbon, we are able to arrive at a carbon footprint. From there, we can then determine the most effective points of action your course can take to reduce your carbon footprint and save (in some cases, perhaps make) money.