New York Times spotlights Vineyard Golf Club for organic management


The private Vineyard Golf Club in Edgartown has gotten much favorable attention. It is President Barack Obama’s favorite course, or at least the Vineyard course he’s played on several times since beginning his vacation here on August 20. The New York Times highlighted the club’s turf management practices, in a front page story published on August 16, “Exclusive golf club is organic, so weeds get in.”

Bill Pennington reported, “Opened eight years ago, the club is thought to be the only completely organic golf course in the United States, its 18 holes groomed without the use of a single synthetic pesticide, fertilizer, herbicide or other artificial chemical treatment.”

Mr. Pennington wrote that the Vineyard Golf Club has become a petri dish for alternative maintenance techniques and the staff “are now seen as environmental pioneers, with many in the golf industry examining their methods.”

Owen Larkin, the man who guided the golf club to completion over a daunting regulatory course, said, “It is gratifying to have our course and it’s environmental practices acclaimed by a newspaper that reaches an international audience. This is a win for Environmental Golf Management that hopefully will show other municipalities that golf courses can be a benefit. On a larger scale the Vineyard Golf Club story should be celebrated by all of us involved in the shaping, permitting and integration into the Island fabric. “Additionally I am pleased to have been involved in a process wherein a developer ( MVGP ) and a conservation body ( Sheriffs Meadow Foundation ) worked together to integrate rare habitat areas within a golf course. This process should be a roadmap for other like minded partnerships in the future. It is great to have the New York Times tell the world that the most environmentally conscious golf course in the United States is located in Edgartown on the island of Martha’s Vineyard.”