Peter McDonough from Keswick Golf Club to receive 2016 President’s Award for Environmental Stewardship
Peter McDonough, the golf course superintendent at the Keswick Hall and Golf Club in Keswick, Va., for the last 24 years, has been selected to receive the 2016 President’s Award for Environmental Stewardship by the board of directors of the Golf Course Superintendents Association of America (GCSAA).
McDonough, 53, will officially receive the award Tuesday, Feb. 9, during the Opening Session of the 2016 Golf Industry Show in San Diego (Feb. 6-11). The Opening Session is presented in partnership with Syngenta.
The GCSAA President’s Award for Environmental Stewardship was established in 1991 to recognize “an exceptional environmental contribution to the game of golf; a contribution that further exemplifies the golf course superintendent’s image as a steward of the land.”
“Peter’s work is a positive example for all superintendents,” said GCSAA President John O’Keefe, CGCS. “Through his impactful environmental stewardship and collaborative work with legislators, he demonstrates how golf courses can be healthy environments through professional management. We are pleased to honor him for his accomplishments.”
“I am honored and flattered by the award, especially because it is given by my peers,” said McDonough. “The award represents the best of everything we should be doing as superintendents, and this is an honor for everyone involved in what we are doing in Virginia.”
McDonough has been active in environmental projects and issues from the start of his career. A 26-year member of GCSAA, McDonough has served as president of the Old Dominion GCSA and the Virginia GCSA, and he was one of the founding members of the Virginia Golf Council to serve his region on important environmental issues. He was awarded VGCSA President’s Lifetime Service Award in 2001, and in 2003 he earned that association’s Distinguished Service Award.
A graduate of the Stockbridge School of Agriculture in Amherst, Mass., McDonough served as chair of the VGCSA Government Relations Committee when severe drought conditions hit the state in 2002. Since then, he has worked directly with the governor’s office, the Department of Environmental Quality and other state legislators to adopt practical policies for water conservation and water management. His efforts were noticed by GCSAA, and in 2008 he won the association’s Excellence in Government Relations Award.
In 2011, McDonough was responsible for the publication of a handbook of best management practices for Virginia golf courses, showing superintendents how to efficiently manage natural resources with a commitment to environmental stewardship. The landmark publication is a model for other states to follow, and McDonough has been a leading consultant.
A native of Millbury, Mass., McDonough was heavily involved in Pete Dye’s renovation of the 18-hole Keswick Club, which was completed in 2014. Through his work, the club has been recognized as an Audubon International Cooperative Sanctuary every year since 2002. In the last several years alone, the club has added 25 acres of environmental protective buffer zones adjacent to its streams and ponds, and converted 25 acres of turfgrass to low maintenance natural vegetation to save costs and provide wildlife habitats.
McDonough has also found time to serve as a GCSAA grassroots ambassador since the program’s inception in 2014. The program seeks to match a superintendent member with a local member of congress for improved advocacy on behalf of the golf industry.
“I want to be doing everything for the right reasons,” he says. “It’s about sharing our natural resources and using what we have been given in a responsible manner. We want people to know what we are doing for the environment through having a voice at the table with policymakers. Golf has a lot to offer.”
For a full list of past award winners, visit www.gcsaa.org/community/awards.
About GCSAA and the EIFG
The Golf Course Superintendents Association of America (GCSAA) is a leading golf organization in the United States. Its focus is on golf course management, and since 1926 GCSAA has been the top professional association for the men and women who manage golf courses in the U.S. and worldwide. From its headquarters in Lawrence, Kan., the association provides education, information and representation to nearly 18,000 members in more than 78 countries. The association’s mission is to serve its members, advance their profession and enhance the enjoyment, growth and vitality of the game of golf. Visit GCSAA at www.gcsaa.org or find us on Facebook or Twitter.
The Environmental Institute for Golf is the philanthropic organization of the GCSAA. Its mission is to foster sustainability through research, awareness, education, programs and scholarships for the benefit of golf course management professionals, golf facilities and the game. Visit EIFG at www.eifg.org.