Frequently Asked Questions
What is Golfpreserves®?
Golfpreserves® is an organization established for the self sustaining environmental stewardship of golf.
How does Golfpreserves® define its “Environmental Stewardship for Golf” mission?
Golfpreserves® is dedicated to creating self-sustaining funding for the environmental stewardship of golf.
Golf is already a relatively green sport, but we want to make it even greener – today and in the future.
How are you attempting to create a self sustaining stewardship for golf?
Golfpreserves® solicits support from the golf facility by their assignment of its sequestered carbon to the
project. Golfpreserves® then converts the stored carbon to a carbon certificate that is marketed to
produce the revenue to support research and the program.
How much does it cost for golf courses to participate in the Golfpreserves® project?
There is no cost for the golf course owners’ participation.
What is a Golfpreserves® Carbon Certificate?
The Golfpreserves® Carbon Certificate represents the known and verified tons of CO2 equivalent that has
been sequestered in the soil at a specific site from turf grass operations from the year of determination.
The object of this certificate is to document the carbon sequestered so that it may be maintained there,
and the value from it translated into research to improve the sequestration in the future and lessen the
emissions from all emitting sources at the golf facility. The use of this certificate by the owner is to be
made by determination of the owner. The goodwill created by the sequestration, the development of the
ecosystem value of the sequestered carbon, the maintenance of the program, and the research derived
from the project, are all good benefits of the investment in the certificates.
How will the money from sold carbon certificates be used?
Two thirds of the revenue is targeted for sustainability research and distributed to research projects focusing on carbon sequestration,
environmentally improved turf grass, irrigation and pesticide usage.
The rest of the revenue goes to Public Relations and the necessary administration and operation of the project.
What kind of research will be funded?
Research to promote the sustainability of golf course facilities. The focus will be on carbon sequestration research as well as turf grass systems and their components.
Research on improvement of the efficient use of the inputs to golf facilities will also be considered.
Who makes the decision of what research to support?
The not for profit participant in the project with Golfpreserves makes the decision regarding research funding.
Who are the current members of the Council of Advisors?
Dr. Michael Kenna, Director of Research, USGA Green Section, Steve Smyers, President, Steve Smyers
Golf Course Architects, Ronald Dodson, Sustainability Advisory, Audubon Lifestyles, Dr. Yaling Qian -
Agronomist, Colorado State University, Dr. Ron Follett, Soil Scientist USDA/Agriculture Research Service,
Chuck Porter, Chairman, Crispin Porter + Bogusky.
Are there any other industries that have adopted a self sustaining stewardship?
Not that we are aware of.
What golf industry organizations are collaborating with Golfpreserves®?
USGA Green Section, Audubon International, Audubon Lifestyles, International Sustainability Council and
Sustainable Golf & Development. For further information of supporting organizations, including non-golf
supporters, please click on the Supporters tab at the top of this page.
What is carbon sequestration?
In this instance, it is the removal of CO2 from the atmosphere so that it cannot return.
How do plants sequester carbon?
Photosynthesis removes CO2 from the air and binds the carbon in plant structures beneath the surface of
How does the turf grass on golf courses sequester carbon?
Turfgrass sequestration removes carbon from the atmosphere and traps it in a fixed state, including the
roots that are underneath the surface of the ground. Through photosynthesis, plants, grasses and trees
absorb carbon dioxide from the air, store the carbon in sugars, starch, and cellulose and releases
oxygen into the atmosphere.
Why are golf courses considered to be sequesterers of carbon?
The United States golf industry has more than one million acres of turfgrass that sequesters carbon daily!
Do golf courses sequester more carbon than, for example, parks?
Yes, the addition of managed irrigation and fertilization practices on golf courses increases the rate of
Why has so much research of carbon sequestration been done on golf courses?
It is due to the records kept by the Superintendents at golf courses which are typically very extensive and
specific, and the opportunity to develop a sustainable business operation because of the large amount of carbon sequestered at the facility.
How long has this research been available? Are there new findings?
The concept of carbon sequestration has been known for over 50 years. The general topic has been
researched for many years. More specific research into the specific grasses that are sequestering carbon
and at what rate is more recent. The development of computer modeling such as the CENTURY Model
has been on the scene for more than 15 years.
What happens to the sequestered carbon if, for example, there is a fire on the golf course?
Fire does not affect the carbon sequestered on golf courses as the carbon is held below the surface.
What happens if the turf grass has to be replaced?
In general, golf courses bury their turf when they re-grass and the sequestered carbon is held below the surface.
What happens to the carbon that is sequestered by the grass over time?
It becomes part of the soil organic matter and is bound therein.
Do different turf grass varieties possess different sequestering capabilities?
Yes they do. Grass that grows the best in that climate and under those cultivated conditions sequesters
the most carbon. The faster and better it grows, then the more carbon dioxide it removes. Golf facilities
choose the best variety of turfgrass specific to that particular climate.
Are the golf courses a better alternative as far as carbon sequestration goes than the natural
Yes. Golf courses sequester more carbon dioxide from the air than do most natural settings because of
the managed irrigation and fertilization practices.
In what way is the carbon sequestration achieved at golf courses additional?
The existence of the golf course provides additional carbon sequestration above any other urban use.
Due to its construction and management, golf courses are unique compared to its underlying land. This is
confirmed by the scientists participating in the project. Their research is the core of this project.
Is Golfpreserves® going to expand in the future?
Our expansion will be through the number of golf courses signing up with the project. Our dedication is to
a self-sustaining funding for the environmental stewardship of Golf. Golf courses are special for a few
reasons, the most important being that the turf grass grown and maintained on the courses has additional
sequestration above any other urban use.
Is the golf facility transferring any rights to their land?
No. The Project Agreement that grants the marketing rights of the stored carbon to Golfpreserves®
doesn’t give Golfpreserves® any right, title or interest in or access to the golf facility owner's physical property.
Is the golf facility giving away their carbon credits?
No. The golf facility has no carbon credits to give; what it does have is soil organic matter that holds
carbon. Golfpreserves® aggregates and converts the carbon held by the soil organic matter to a
recognized form regarded as a Carbon "Certificate" utilizing known and proprietary processes. The funds generated from the sale of these certificates are used for sustainability research for golf course facilities.
What affiliation does Golfpreserves® have with advertising agency Crispin Porter + Bogusky?
Crispin Porter + Bogusky is a Golfpreserves® partner and has designed and created the corporate identity
for the brand. Crispin Porter +Bogusky is also responsible for all of Golfpreserves® communications and