Golf enthusiasts now have access to hundreds of golf courses through online auctions of golf rounds, beginning Oct. 1, thanks to Rounds 4 Research and the Toro Co.
Accessible through the highly popular online auction site biddingforgood.com, the first auction period will be Oct. 1 - 15, featuring nearly 70 courses in 11 different states. Among the rounds up for auction will be at Pine Needles Lodge, Mid Pines, N.C.; TPC Sugarloaf, Atlanta; and East Lake Golf Club, Atlanta.
Subsequent auctions will be conducted Oct. 22 - Nov. 5, Nov. 12 - 26, and Dec. 3 - 17. At present, 250 rounds, defined as a foursome, are up for auction. Additional rounds are being secured, likely to drive that number considerably higher.
Rounds 4 Research is a fundraising program with the goal of generating resources to support agronomic research for golf courses. It is in response to previous funding sources, both public and private, being eliminated. The program is being administered by the Environmental Institute for Golf, the philanthropic organization of the Golf Course Superintendents Association of America. Rounds 4 Research has been conducted the previous four years on a regional basis.
"Research is the source of innovation for any industry," GCSAA President Sandy Queen, CGCS, said. "Past agronomic research has helped to develop turfgrasses that better withstand weather, disease and traffic. It has also enhanced the environmental performance of golf courses. And, the enjoyment of the game has been elevated through course management programs developed from research activities. But the golf industry is facing a considerable challenge as economic struggles have limited research funding. If we as golfers are to continue to enjoy this game and witness further innovations, then we must find new research dollars."
Funds generated by the auctions will be returned to the participating GCSAA-affiliated chapters for research-based activities including applied agronomic research, education, advocacy and scholarships. As the program's presenting partner, Toro will collaborate on the initiative through a direct contribution to EIFG's cooperative research efforts. Toro has been a long-term partner of the EIFG, supporting innovative programs such as GCSAA's Golf Course Environmental Profile Project.
"Toro is pleased to further its relationship with GCSAA and the EIFG," said Darren Redetzke, vice president, Toro's commercial business. "The program aligns with our philosophy that investing in research ultimately improves the customer experience. The true benefactor of Rounds 4 Research will be the golfer. This is a vital program for all sectors of the golf industry."
About the Toro Co.
The Toro Co., (NYSE: TTC) is a leading worldwide provider of turf and landscape maintenance equipment, and irrigation solutions. With sales of nearly $1.9 billion in fiscal 2011, Toro's global presence extends to more than 90 countries through its reputation of world-class service, innovation and turf expertise. Since 1914, the company has built a tradition of excellence around a number of strong brands to help customers care for golf courses, sports fields, public green spaces, commercial and residential properties, and agricultural fields. More information is available at www.toro.com.
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. Find GCSAA on Facebook, follow GCSAA on Twitter, and visit GCSAA at www.gcsaa.org.
The EIFG is the philanthropic organization of the Golf Course Superintendents Association of America, and has as its mission to foster sustainability through research, awareness, education, programs and scholarships for the benefit of golf course management professionals, golf facilities and the game. With respect for the game and the environment, the EIFG inspires environmental, social and economic progress through golf for the benefit of communities. Collaboration between the golf industry, environmental interests and communities will lead to programs and services beneficial to all who come into contact with the game of golf.
Visit the EIFG at www.eifg.org.