In 2009, the Carolinas Golf Course Superintendents Association – whose members make sure golfers play on the best, and most eco-friendly, courses possible – pioneered a program which auctioned off rounds of golf for reduced prices while raising money to further research into turf-grass and related topics.
Three years later, Rounds 4 Research
has been so successful at selling tee times in South Carolina and North Carolina that it is going nation-wide.
The Environmental Institute for Golf (EIFG), the philanthropic arm of the Golf Course Superintendents Association of America (GCSAA), will roll out a campaign this fall modeled on Rounds 4 Research, allowing golfers to gain access to top golf facilities across the country. In its first three years, auctioned rounds by the Carolinas program (which expanded in 2010 to include courses in Georgia, Virginia and Texas) generated nearly $350,000 for research.
Organizers said taking the Rounds 4 Research model nationwide could go a long way to plugging a recent drain on funds for research which helps protect the health and vitality of the $76 billion golf industry. In recent years, economic woes have hurt both agronomic research and rounds played.
Doug Lowe, Carolinas GCSA president, says taking Rounds 4 Research nationwide “the ultimate win-win for everyone involved. It offers golfers both bargain opportunities (while) at the same time it allows golf courses to invest in the future health of the game without actually spending a dime.
“Rounds 4 Research has really helped us all get on the same page for the good of the game.”
Golfers also will benefit, with tee times available for courses both in the Carolinas and nationwide, at discounted rates and/or at courses not usually accessible to vacationers or non-members.
The EIFG, through the GCSAA’s 100 chapters, is now soliciting rounds, which will made available this fall via on-line auction site “Bidding for Good.”
Courses offering rounds for auction, as well as start and end dates of the on-line auction, will be announced in coming months.
To monitor announcements of available courses or for more information, go to www.rounds4research.com