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Blue Dot 212: USGA Science: Making Golf Courses More Environmentally Sustainable


Dave talks with two scientists from the United States Golf Association about their efforts to make golf courses more environmentally friendly in a world where green spaces are highly valued, and water is an increasingly precious commodity.

Matt Pringle discusses the high-tech "Deacon" program named after Arnold Palmer's father, who was a golf pro and course manager in Latrobe, Pennsylvania, when Arnie was growing up.

Deacon uses a data-driven system to help golf courses manage precious resources to enhance resource conservation and make the game more enjoyable for players.

Dave also visits with Cole Thompson, who is head of the USGA's Turf Management and Environmental Research Program, which strives to make golf courses more efficient in using water and other resources.

From putting surfaces to rough and fairways, golf is literally going green in the 21st century, thanks to data-driven science.

Deacon Map

Dave Schlom has taught the physical sciences at Corning Union High School since 1991. A lifelong amateur astronomer and astronomy educator, he has a passion for both the earth and the space sciences, which are the principal areas of focus for guests on Blue Dot. He started doing radio interviews on space and astronomy topics for local stations like KFM and KPAY in the 1980s and into the 90s, where he was a popular go-to guest for local radio personalities. He is also an expert on the history and geology of Lassen Volcanic National Park, where he has served as a volunteer for decades. Dave enjoys a quiet life at home with his partner in life, Cheryl, and their two dogs, Elvis and Pearl, at their Red Bluff residence.
Matt Fidler is a producer and sound designer with over 15 years’ experience producing nationally distributed public radio programs. He has worked for shows such as Freakonomics Radio, Selected Shorts, Studio 360, The New Yorker Radio Hour and The Takeaway. In 2017, Matt launched the language podcast Very Bad Words, hitting the #28 spot in the iTunes podcast charts.