Setting an example that our local clubs should sit up and notice, The Phoenix Open is adding to its pedigree as “The Greatest Show on Grass”; it is fast becoming the “The Greenest Show on Grass”. Through a very innovative proactive approach to handling the energy consumption and overall waste, that a weekly tournament on the PGA Tour produces, the PGA Tour, The Thunderbirds and the Phoenix Open sponsor, Waste Management, are creating a whole new meaning for the term Course Management.
Played at the TPC Scottsdale, The Phoenix Open is one of the most popular stops on the Tour. Famously known as the party in the desert, mainly due to the Roman Gladiator atmosphere of the 16th hole par 3, the Waste Management Phoenix Open is well on its way to becoming the most environmentally responsible stop on the Tour.
With ideas that range from providing solar powered energy, generated by sunpods, to run the Waste Management hospitality tent to sixty-solar powered, on course trash compactors that hold up to five times the waste of conventional containers and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by as much as 80%. The tournament hopes to recycle 65% of the waste collected at this year’s tournament. They also plan on using 100% renewable energy to power the tournament, throughout the event.
Last year the tournament’s efforts saved 756 mature trees and over 311,220 gallons of water through recycling and diversion. This year the drain water from the kitchens, laundries and hospitality areas will be rerouted for use in the portable restrooms. Compressed Natural Gas trucks will be used to transport waste and recycling materials: not only reducing noise levels, but also eliminating 90% of carbon monoxide emissions created by the use of diesel-engine vehicles.
Recycling Kiosks will reward tournament attendees with coupon incentives, that are redeemable with local merchants, in exchange for every bottle or can they return. In all there will be 12 Kiosks placed in high-traffic areas throughout the tournament grounds.
This is something that hopefully resonates with all who read this, especially those of us who live in the Great Pacific Northwest. This is walking into the future with our children. So that when we teach them how to keep their heads down when they swing, we can also teach them the game of golf chooses to be part of the solution…not part of the problem.
Hopefully this is a peek of what is to come. So this week enjoy the tournament. Watch your favorite players and every now and then see if you can spot the future; it’ll be in the form of a green compacting receptacle, powered by the sun.