Alessandro De Luca, Agronomist and head of the Italian Golf Federation Green Section, is recognised as this months Champion of the Green for his outstanding management of Golf della Montecchia and his work to significantly reduce the courses water and pesticide use. Golf della Montecchia work closely with the IGF, extending the use of their facilities for continued research, and thereby helping to develop new more efficient practices that can benefit all Italian Golf courses.
Following continued problems of turfgrass thinning, despite abundant irrigation, Golf della Montecchia took on a major project to convert tees and fairways from cool-season grasses to more suitable varieties for the climate. This conversion has seen dramatic reductions not only in water consumption but also fertilizer and pesticide use.
Alessandro De Luca explained, “After a period of testing and study we found that Bermudagrass is well suited to Golf della Montecchia’s ‘transition’ climate. Following the conversion programme we have seen a 70% reduction in water consumption on course, along with an 80% reduction of fertilizer use and we have totally eliminated the use of pesticide. In addition to this we have found Bermudagrass to be aesthetic and benefit playing quality.
The free online OnCourse® programme has allowed us to clearly monitor and record these benefits and provided valuable information to support and drive our water conservation projects.
This experience was definitely very important to many other golf courses of the Mediterranean Region”.
Additional measures were taken and a computerized water system connected with the local weather station was installed. This has allowed the club to perfectly match the water requirements of the turfgrass with the weather conditions of the site and ensure the most efficient use of resources. With effective communication of their positive environmental practices, Golf della Montecchia helps to lead the way for other clubs in learning how a golf facility can make a substantial impact through more sustainable practices.
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