Bear Trace’s Paul Carter to Receive GCSAA President’s Award


Certified Golf Course Superintendent Paul L. Carter at Bear Trace in Harrison Bay, Tennessee has been selected to receive the 2015 President’s Award for Environmental Stewardship by the Board of Directors of the Golf Course Superintendents Association of America (GCSAA). To learn more more go to

paul carterCarter, 45 years old, has been at Bear Trace for 13 years and will receive the illustrious award at the Golf Industry Show in San Antonio, Texas running February 21-26. 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.”

“Paul’s work is a shining example for all superintendents,” said GCSAA President Keith Ihms. “Through his impactful environmental stewardship he demonstrates the full benefits of what golf courses can be for recreation and a healthy environment through professional management. We are pleased to honor him for his accomplishments.”

A 22 year member of the GCSAA, Carter has been actively working to promote environmentally friendly golf from the start. A graduate of Auburn University, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in horticulture-landscape design, Carter previously won the GCSAA national public and overall Environmental Leadership in Golf Award in 2013 after four consecutive association regional awards for environmental leadership(2009-2012).

He also brought Bear Trace to certification in 2008 as one of just 7 courses in Tennessee in the Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary Program. Bear Trace is one of only 6 in the United States to earn certification with the Golf Environment Organization. The course has also been recognized twice for the Tennessee Governor’s Environmental Stewardship Award in 2009 and 2012. In addition, Bear Trace has been designated a Groundwater Guardian Green Site as a result of Carter’s management, which has eliminated pollution in groundwater runoff. He has managed on-course changes as well moving to a more suitable bermuda grass turf and reducing chemical use by 75% with a variety of conservation programs. He also trimmed 50 acres highly managed turf to save more than 7.4 million gallons of water.

“This is a tremendous honor,” said Carter. “I consider myself fortunate to be considered and even more blessed to receive the award. I am lucky to work for the Tennessee State Parks System, so I have had support for every environmental project
we wanted to do. Protecting the environment and our natural resources falls right in our wheelhouse. We have been able to limit expenses and resources without sacrificing conditioning.”

Paul has also been active as President of the Tennessee Turfgrass Association for the past 2 years and instrumental in promoting Rounds 4 Research for the Tennessee Golf Course Superintendents Association.

Bear Trace at Harrison Bay opened in1999 and is one of three Jack Nicklaus designed courses for the Tennessee Golf Trail. Along with 6 Joe Lee designed beauties, all located throughout Tennessee, which are exceptional golf experiences within the natural beauty of the state parks. Bear Trace at Harrison Bay is located 20 miles north of Chattanooga. For more information on the Trail, visit and to learn more about

Dave Daubert

Lehigh University graduate, Procter & Gamble retired. Previously a Managing Editor and Feature Writer for a regional golf monthly magazine for 11 years. Married to wife Carol and residing in Solivita, an active adult community in Central Florida

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