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Home Field: The Broadmoor Golf Courses, Colorado Springs, CO

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Located outside Colorado Springs, CO, the base of the Cheyenne Mountains, the Broadmoor Resort has been hailed as the “Grand Dame of the Rockies” and “one of the most iconic properties in the American West.” Over a century old, the resort has hosted millions of guests, including celebrities, royalty, and even the 2003 NATO summit. It has been the site for numerous important sporting events, from elite tennis tournaments to hockey and skating championships. 

However, the Broadmoor perhaps is most associated with golf. Consistently ranked among America’s best courses, “Historic Hotels of America” included it among the top 25 Most Historic Golf Courses in America for 2022. 

Situated over 6,200 feet above sea level, the Broadmoor pairs two expertly designed golf courses and impossible-to-match views of the Rockies. It has hosted United States Golf Association (USGA) championships, for both men and women, since 1959, with the Senior Open returning there in 2025.

Photo Courtesy The Broadmoor

You might think the resort might be content with its impressive legacy; however, the Broadmoor can also boast about its environmental record, particularly its golf courses. 

It is known as “one of the most well-known eco-friendly golf courses” in America, with its East and West Courses receiving Audubon Sanctuary certification. A participant in the USGA’s Carbon Transfer program, the Broadmoor operates E-Z-GO electric carts on its greens, and it also was among the first golf courses in Colorado to donate the carbon stored on its turfgrass.

Going a step further, the Broadmoor replaced more than 50 acres of turfgrass with native wildflowers and grasses, while planting wildflowers has improved the butterfly and bee populations.

A conscious effort also has been made to use eco-friendly insecticides and pesticides that won’t harm local creatures. 

“We take a holistic approach,” Zach Bauer, superintendent of the West Course, told USA Today in 2017. “Consequently, the wildlife congregates on the course to everyone’s delight.” Many fans will remember how a black bear wandered on the East Course’s 13th fairway during the 2008 U.S. Senior Open. 

Photo Courtesy The Broadmoor

Broadmoor’s most extensive green program involves controlling water consumption on the greens. Some of the methods are on the low-tech side. Non-potable water is recycled for irrigation, while hand watering serves to decrease usage in high playability areas, along with creating good playing conditions. 

The greens are regularly verticut and aerified to foster water infiltration and deep rooting. Irrigation audits can detect what nozzles and seals need replacing; a change on 500+ sprinkler seals and nozzles resulted in a 10% growth in irrigation efficiency. 

High-tech measures have also been employed by the Broadmoor. A sophisticated computer system controls 3,000 sprinkler heads on the two courses. The arc and trajectory can be adjusted individually for each sprinkler

“If there’s a tree in front of the head, you can adjust the nozzle so it doesn’t go underneath the tree and wastewater,” explained Fred Dickman, Broadmoor’s director of golf maintenance.

A central irrigation computer receives information on the courses every five minutes from underground moisture and temperature sensors and gets data from two onsite weather stations, which all serve to optimize water usage. “There’s no guesswork,” Dickman elaborated. “There’s a lot of science behind it.”

 Photo Courtesy The Broadmoor

The Broadmoor’s sustainability initiative covers the resort’s entire operations. A state-of-the-art comprehensive Energy Management System controls electricity usage — and increased efficiency — throughout the resort. Energy loss was reduced with the addition of better-insulated window frames and thermal panes. 

More than 30,000 standard light fixtures were replaced with compact fluorescents, cold cathode fluorescents, and LEDs. These changes alone, it has been estimated, could lower the annual electricity consumption by nearly 5 million kilowatt hours and generate a saving in energy costs of more than $280,000 per year.

The resort has also shown an attention to detail when it comes to its sustainability efforts

Broadmoor’s recycling program incorporates everything from office paper and tennis balls to clothes hangers and dry-cleaning plastic bags. Mulching mowers are employed to return grass clippings and end-of-season flowers into the soil. 

Cooking grease is also recycled into biodiesel. Vegetables and herbs grown in an onsite greenhouse and garden not only provide the hotel restaurants with hyper-fresh organic produce but also cut down on carbon emissions by eliminating transportation. 

While the Broadmoor is justifiably proud of preserving its past glories, it is impressively working to safeguard the future, too — a green one.

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