Peter McDonough to Receive Award from Golf Course Superintendents Association of America 2016 President's Award for Environmental Stewardship
The GCSAA, a golf course management organization, has selected Peter McDonough as the recipient of the 2016 President's Award for Environmental Stewardship.
Peter McDonough, the golf course superintendent for the last 24 years at the Keswick Hall and Golf Club in Keswick, Va., 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 will receive the award during the 2016 Golf Industry Show in San Diego (Feb. 6-11).
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, serving his region on important environmental issues. He was awarded VGCSA President's Lifetime Service Award in 2001, and their Distinguished Service Award in 2003.
McDonough served as chair of the VGCSA Government Relations Committee when severe drought conditions hit the state in 2002. He has worked directly with the governor's office, the Department of Environmental Quality and state legislators to adopt practical policies for water conservation and water management. For his efforts, GSCAA awarded him the Excellence in Government Relations Award in 2008.
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.
McDonough was heavily involved in Pete Dye's renovation of the 18-hole Keswick Club, 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, the club has added 25 acres of environmental protective buffer zones adjacent to its streams and ponds, and converted 25 acres of turfgrass and low maintenance natural vegetation to save costs and provide wildlife habitats.
McDonough has served as a GCSAA grassroots ambassador since the program's inception in 2014. The program matches 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."