TPC Jasna Polana superintendent wins national environmental award


Todd Bunte

In recognition of their commitment to environmental stewardship, TPC Jasna Polana in Princeton, N.J., and its GCSAA Class A Golf Course Superintendent Todd Bunte have been named the national private course winners of the 2010 Golf Course Superintendents Association of America/Golf Digest Environmental Leaders in Golf Awards (ELGA).
The national winners include:
National Public & Overall: Brian Green, CGCS, Sunset Valley Golf Course, Highland Park, Ill.
National Private: Todd Bunte, TPC Jasna Polana, Princeton, N.J.
National Resort (co-winners):
Christopher Flynn, CGCS, Marriott’s Grande Vista, Orlando, Fla.
Thomas Vlach, CGCS, TPC Sawgrass, Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla.
International: David Cole, Loch Lomond Golf Club, Alexandria, Scotland
The ELGA winners will be recognized at the 2011 GCSAA Education Conference during Celebrate GCSAA! presented in partnership with Syngenta and hosted by GCSAA President James R. Fitzroy, CGCS, Feb. 8. The conference (Feb. 7-11) will be held in conjunction with the Golf Industry Show (Feb. 9-10) in Orlando.
"The 2010 ELGA winners highlight superior environmental stewardship on the golf course, as well as the environmental leadership of GCSAA members," Fitzroy said. "Golf courses can be compatible with the environment, and in many cases enhance it, as our winners demonstrate."
Winners of the ELGA program will be featured on and in an upcoming issue of GCSAA’s Golf Course Management magazine. Presenting partners Syngenta and Rain Bird Corp. – Golf Division, will make donations to The Environmental Institute for Golf (EIFG), the philanthropic organization of the GCSAA, in the names of all national and chapter winners.
Judges selected winners in three national categories (public, private and resort courses), and an international winner, with an overall winner selected from those four. Recognition was given to the top entry from each GCSAA affiliated chapter (ties from Tennessee and Northern California chapters), and merit honors were awarded to those who did not earn national or chapter honors but deserved special recognition in the opinion of the judges.
"Golf Digest is proud once again to join with the GCSAA to honor these far-sighted superintendents who are doing the right thing regarding best environmental practices," said Roger Schiffman, managing editor of the magazine. "It is our hope — indeed, our intention — that these superintendents and the courses they manage continue to serve as role models for others to follow in the months and years ahead. I can think of no greater calling in our game than to be a leader in environmental stewardship."
The ELGA winners went above and beyond in their environmental stewardship. They feature management programs using efficient and accurate irrigation systems; extensive recycling programs; composting of grass clippings, leaves and other herbaceous debris; bird houses; energy-saving light; and stringent integrated pest management programs.

Todd Bunte, GCSAA Class A superintendent, TPC Jasna Polana
Bunte, an 11-year GCSAA member, is the GCSAA Class A superintendent at TPC Jasna Polana, a private course in a rolling, woodland and wetland area outside Princeton, N.J. He subscribes to a satellite weather service to determine timing and amounts of irrigation, uses moisture probes to determine irrigation needs, and employs a full time irrigation foreman to make daily irrigation system inspections and immediate repairs. The irrigation pump station utilizes variable frequency drive technology, a more energy efficient system that only provides the electric motors the amount of power necessary to meet the demand for water. The Stony Brook, which is a state protected trout stream, forms the northern border of the golf course property and two of its tributaries flow through the course. The woodlands and wetlands areas serve as wildlife corridors and understory vegetation is protected for habitat preservation.
Bunte has TPC Jasna Polana certified as a River Friendly Golf Course and an Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary. In addition to housing significant resident populations of wild turkeys, groundhogs, Eastern bluebirds, red tail hawks, white tail deer, crested woodpeckers, orioles, and various types of snakes, the golf course has an increasing red fox population and is periodically visited by bald eagles and ospreys. Bunte has an associate’s degree in horticulture technology from Northern Virginia Community College and a 2-year certificate in golf course management from Rutgers University.

In addition to the national winners, 15 chapter winners and five merit winners were selected from GCSAA’s 100 affiliated chapters.
2010 ELGA Chapter Winners
Public Facilities (facility; location; chapter)
Robb Arnold; TPC Louisiana; Avondale, La.; Louisiana-Mississippi GCSA
Paul Carter, CGCS; Bear Trace at Harrison Bay; Harrison, Tenn.; Tennessee GCSA
Michael Garvale, CGCS; Callippe Preserve Golf Course; Pleasanton, Calif.; GCSA of Northern California
Dustin Green; Mirimichi Golf Course; Millington, Tenn.; Tennessee GCSA
Paul Grogan, CGCS; TPC Deere Run; East Moline, Ill.; Iowa GCSA
Gary Ingram, CGCS; Metropolitan Golf Links; Oakland, Calif.; GCSA of Northern California
Tim Powers, CGCS; Crystal Springs Golf Course; Burlingame, Calif.; GCSA of Northern California
Christopher Sorrell; Eagles Ridge Golf Course; Curwensville, Pa.; Mountain & Valley GCSA
Kim Wood; TPC Las Vegas; Southern Nevada GCSA
Private Facilities (facility; location; chapter)
Stephen Britton; TPC Potomac at Avenel Farm; Potomac, Md.; Mid-Atlantic Association of GCS
Michael Crawford, CGCS; TPC Sugarloaf; Duluth, Ga.; Georgia GCSA
Thomas DeGrandi; TPC River Highlands; Cromwell, Conn.; Connecticut Association of GCS
Jim Pavonetti, CGCS; Fairview Country Club; Greenwich, Conn.; Metropolitan GCSA
Resort Facilities (facility; location; chapter)
Christopher Condon; Tetherow Resort and Golf Course; Bend, Ore.; Oregon GCSA
Brad Fry; The Golf Club at Harbor Shores; Benton Harbor, Mich.; Michigan GCSA
Jeff Plotts; TPC Scottsdale (Ariz.); Cactus and Pine GCSA
2010 ELGA Merit Winners
Public Facility 
Scott O’Bryant; Traditions at Braselton; Jefferson, Ga.
Private Facilities
David Davies, CGCS; TPC Stonebrae; Hayward, Calif.
Dale Hahn, CGCS; TPC Summerlin; Las Vegas, Nev.
Jim Thomas, CGCS; TPC Southwind; Memphis, Tenn.
The Environmental Leaders in Golf Award recognizes golf course superintendents and their courses for overall course management excellence in the areas of resource conservation, water quality management, integrated pest management, wildlife/habitat management and education/outreach. In addition, these categories are judged on sustainability, criticality, originality and technology implementation/use. An independent panel of judges representing national environmental groups, turfgrass experts, university research and members of the golf community conducted the award selection.
GCSAA is a leading golf organization and has as its focus golf course management. Since 1926, GCSAA has been the top professional association for the men and women who manage golf courses in the United States and worldwide. From its headquarters in Lawrence, Kan., the association provides education, information and representation to 19,000 members in more than 72 countries. GCSAA’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
The EIFG is a collaborative effort of the environmental and golf communities, dedicated to strengthening the compatibility of golf with the natural environment. The EIFG concentrates on delivering programs and services involving research, education and outreach that communicate the best management practices of environmental stewardship on the golf course. Backed by the organizations of Golf 20/20 and the World Golf Foundation, the EIFG is leading the golf course industry’s commitment to continual improvement through its initiative Golf’s Drive Toward Sustainability. For more on the EIFG, visit
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