Bonterra Vineyards is taking golf course greens to another level. The wine brand, which is produced from organically grown grapes, has teamed with Audubon International to help golf courses become more environmentally friendly.
The "Greening the greens" campaign kicked off during last week's Ryder Cup competition where the American team beat the Europeans for the first time since 1999. Bonterra Vineyards is the "Official Wine of the PGA of America."
Under the initiative, the first 100 golf courses that want to become greener, can sign up at Bonterragreensthegreens.com. Bonterra will then get the courses started by paying for the registration fee for the Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary Program.
"When it comes to organic vineyard practices, Bonterra is known as an industry leader," said Don Freytag, global brand director for Bonterra which is owned by Brown-Forman, Louisville, Ky. "We were looking for ways to weave our story and heritage into our existing partnership with the PGA of America and developed the 'Greening the Greens' program. The program is our small way to help minimize golf's impact on the environment and to help golf courses take a step in the right direction."
Under the program, courses like the Valhalla Golf Course, will work to reduce the use of pesticide and increase the amount of wildlife like deer, foxes and birds. Valhalla, which hosted the Ryder Cup, became the first to sign up under the Bonterra effort.
It's neighboring course, The Charlie Vettiner Golf Course in Louisville, Ky., is 90% complete with its certification. It has no-mow zones that help provide a sanctuary for wildlife while cutting down on manpower hours. Local bird groups in the area help take care of the birdfeeders that are scattered about the course. Gardeners in the community tend to gardens on the course.
About 13% of the country's 16,000 golf courses are currently enrolled with Audubon International's program.