Scott Griffith Wins Environmental Leadership Award

Tuesday, March 29, 2022

a collage of photographs. The top photos shows Scott Griffith and Birdie, his border collie, standing on the golf green. The second photo is a wideshot of Scott driving a tractor accross the green. The last photo shows Scott standing by a pond and talking.

by Taylor West & Allie White

View article in the Auxiliary Roundup Newsletter (PDF)

A premier public course, the University of Georgia’s Golf Course prides itself on its commitment to environmental stewardship, water management, and sustainability. No one knows this better than the Golf Course’s Superintendent, Scott Griffith.

“My goal as the Golf Course’s Superintendent is to provide the best possible playing conditions on a daily basis,” Scott explained. “It’s all a balancing act. There’s a lot of variables when it comes to maintaining a golf course. You’re at the mercy of the weather so it’s ever changing, but to see the results of your work come together and maintain a course like this? It’s why I come in each day,” Scott went on.

A man who wears many hats, Scott can be found overseeing general care and upkeep on the course, managing the maintenance team, performing administrative tasks, and handling Birdie. If you’re ever looking for Scott, all you have to do is follow Birdie, the Golf Course’s official bird dog. Just like her handler, the rough coat Border Collie plays an important role in overseeing the course. While Birdie helps manage the wildlife that pose a threat to the course, Scott’s day-to-day revolves around the overall health and quality of the golf course and its impact on the surrounding environment.

Recently, Scott was awarded the Environmental Leadership Award on behalf of the Georgia Golf Course Superintendents Association (GGCSA) for his efforts in creating a template that sets a standard for best practices in the state.

“Scott has been a sustainability leader within the Georgia golf industry for many years,” explained Matt Peterson, PGA manager at the UGA Golf Course, “the GGCSA’s Environmental Leadership Award is very well deserved.”

The GGCSA is made up of Superintendents and golf course professionals from across the state who enhance the game of golf and the golf course management profession through advocacy, education, environmental stewardship, and recognition for the professionals in the industry. “It means a lot to me to be recognized by our peers for our efforts out here at the course,” explained Scott.

Taking the national template for Best Management Practices (BMP), Scott, along with Dr. Gary Hawkins and other community members, adapted the template to set the water quality standards in the state of Georgia. The GGCSA sends out a Best Management Practices guide in partnership with the Golf Course Superintendents Association of America, Environmental Institute for Golf, and the United States Golf Association to highlight the best practices in the industry. Scott’s work to set a best practice for a golf course’s water quality allowed other professionals across the state to make more informed decisions towards their course’s water quality as well.

For his efforts, Scott was invited to speak at the Georgia Environmental Conference on Jekyll Island in fall 2018 to explain their new template to a crowd that consisted of members of the Environmental Protection Agency and other golf course professionals. Scott has been invited back to the Georgia Environmental Conference and will speak again this year.

“I didn’t do it because I wanted to win an award,” explained Scott when asked about setting a best management practice, “I did it because I saw a gap in the BMPs and wanted to make sure the golf course maintained a low impact on the water quality in the area.”

While Scott’s stride towards environmental stewardship, sustainability, and water management are being recognized across the state, Auxiliary Services is lucky to have him as the UGA Golf Course Superintendent. “Scott has always done a fantastic job of maintaining the golf course in an environmentally friendly way,” furthered Matt Peterson, “I’m very proud of Scott’s accomplishments and am grateful for all that he does to make the UGA Golf Course such a great facility!”