When a golfer runs into the pro shop complaining about a swarm of bees on the golf course, most in the golf industry see a crisis. Scott Witte, CGCS, sees an opportunity.
An opportunity to educate, to inform and to further spread the gospel of the important role golf courses can play in the growth of habitat for pollinators. It's a passion that has driven Witte's personal and professional development for more than two decades, and one that is obviously front and center at the facility he manages, the 27-hole Cantigny Golf in Wheaton, Ill., about an hour west of downtown Chicago.
"There is this strange power and allure that bees have that hooks people once they learn about them. They definitely hooked me," says Witte (@SCOTTAWITTE on Twitter), a 30-year GCSAA member who has been at Cantigny for nearly 22 years. "And working with them the way we have definitely shows that golf is part of the solution, not the problem. It proves golf can coexist with bees."
On Tuesday, Witte had another opportunity to share that passion and educate a whole new group of visitors when he and Cantigny hosted an event, organized by Bayer and it's bee care division, dubbed the "Feed a Bee Experience," which highlighted Witte's efforts as well as the importance of healthy pollinator habitat to the world's overall food supply.