(By Marc Whiteny)

At the recent 65th Annual Meeting of the American Society of Golf Course Architects (ASGCA), members played a round at the Heritage Golf Course at Westmoor in Westminster, Colo.

Step to the tee on the par three seventh hole at The Heritage Golf Course at Westmoor and a golfer needs to make several decisions. How will the wind speed and direction impact club selection? If the hole placement is at the front of the green do I take a chance of landing short and ending up in the water? And where are the herons?

Yes, the herons. A Great Blue Heron rookery nests in trees on the seventh hole in an area protected as part of Audubon International’s Signature Sanctuary Program. Heritage is one of 91 courses in the world to be named a Certified Bronze Signature Sanctuary member, a level first achieved in 2002 and maintained since. Signature Sanctuary designation means the landowner understands the concept of sustainability and has implemented those concepts during the design, construction and post construction maintenance of the project. In all, there are six specific areas of the course which are highlighted in The Heritage management plan for maintaining the golf course.

Another key environmental concern is water. The Heritage has faced this issue head-on since the course designed by Hurdzan/Fry Environmental Golf Design and Senior Design Associate Bill Kerman, ASGCA opened in 1999. The Heritage offers sweeping views of the mountains, wetland bird sanctuaries, natural prairie grasses and you may even spot a few prairie dogs. The course was designed for the average golfer to enjoy with wide rolling fairways and approachable greens, but can also challenge the best golfers. The Heritage has been the host multiple times for the Colorado Open and U.S. Open qualifying tournaments.

The Heritage at Westmoor has used reclaimed water from the City of Westminster’s reclaimed water system since the fall of 2000. The City’s reclaimed water system provides a dependable, drought resistant environmentally-sound source of water which is the corner stone of the golf courses water conservation plan to be fully sustainable through the use of renewable resources. Using the philosophy of reduce, reuse, recycle, one billion gallons of potable water have been saved for the City of Westminster through the use of reclaimed water over the past 11 years.

Several years ago when Colorado was hit by drought, The Heritage was able to stay greener longer through use of reclaimed water while other courses struggled to find other sources.

To read more ASGCA news, please visit here.