Settler’s Hill Honored by the ASGCA

Congratulations to Settler’s Hill Golf Course, Batavia-based architect Greg Martin, and GolfVisions for having been named as an honoree of the 2023 American Society of Golf Course Architects Environmental Excellence Award. Projects from nine golf facilities across the United States have been cited for their work with ASGCA members in addressing unique environmental challenges.

Renovation of this 30-year-old course was unique as many existing holes reside on a landfill, while others border neighboring oak/hickory forests and landfill transition areas. All drainage, both overland and underground, needed to be carried to specified locations off the landfill cap prior to release; additionally, the approval of public and private entities needed to be met.

The Master Plan by Greg Martin included new irrigation, full underground and overland drainage, reconstructed greens, tees, bunkers, reshaped fairways, and cart paths. 80,000 cubic yards of clean, free, offsite fill was imported to provide the cover to safely install drainage and irrigation improvements. Drainage was developed to be more comprehensive and considerate of water quality to surrounding landscapes.

18th Hole - Settler's Hill Golf Course

18th Hole – Settler’s Hill Golf Course

The Environmental Excellence Awards program of the ASGCA was introduced in 2019 to recognize innovative work being done at golf facilities to address their environmental needs. Golf course architects work with course owners, operators, managers and superintendents to positively impact the game and each facility’s host community.

The submissions were reviewed by a panel of golf industry and environmental leaders, including representatives of GEO Foundation, Golf Course Superintendents Association of America and National Golf Course Owners Association.

“This is an impressive array of projects illustrating the good work being done for the benefit of golfers and the environment,” ASGCA President Mike Benkusky said. “The more than two dozen facilities that have been recognized since this program began are a testament to the combined efforts of architects, owners, course managers and superintendents. And Ewing Irrigation & Landscape Supply has been there to support the program since the start.”

With the completion of the Master Plan upgrades, Settler’s Hill – from former landfill to current environmentally considerate golf course — may now be the ultimate recycling success story.


Greg Miles

Greg Miles has been a writer following golf in Chicago since 1990. For the past 30 years he has been a member of the Golf Writers Association of America and currently is classified as a GWAA "Life Member". He played his first round of golf on his 11th birthday, and since then has played more than 7,300 rounds of golf in his lifetime at 517 different courses. He has interviewed more than 280 golfers across all the professional tours along with famous celebrity golfers. Additionally, he is a member of several other competitive and honorary golf associations, as well as the Golf Nut Society.

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