Sunday, February 5, 2017

Best Management Practices provide a framework for a sustainable approach to golf course management

GCSAA releases online resource at Golf Industry Show
GCSAA rolled out its newly developed Best Management Practices (BMPs) digital template at the annual Golf Industry Show (GIS) in Orlando on Feb. 9. 

The template, funded by the United States Golf Association (USGA) and PGA TOUR will provide golf course superintendents, facility owners and managers, golfers, communities and government agencies with a framework for a sustainable approach to golf course management. 

As the golf industry continues to face critical issues such as water management, nutrient management, pest management, energy efficiency, wildlife preservation and continued pressure from government agencies and activist groups to reduce inputs, the implementation of agronomic and environmental BMPs will be key to the future of successful and profitable golf course operations. 

The template is flexible, allowing states to implement their own BMPs taking into account state specific regulations and environmental concerns.  BMP’s provide the following:

  • Professional Commitment:  BMPs solidify superintendents’ role as agronomic experts and environmental stewards. The implementation of BMPs on the ground demonstrates superintendents’ and their facilities’ dedication to responsible resource management, which in turn, reflects positively on the entire industry. 
  • Community:  By identifying management practices and expectations, BMPs clarify how golf facilities are contributing to the well-being of the community. With clear guidelines, golf course superintendents can improve communication and goodwill within their communities and with the general public.
  • Partnerships:  The development of a BMP program allows interested parties (golf course superintendents, owners, golfers, communities and government agencies) the opportunity to solve long-standing environmental, regulatory and business concerns for the benefit of all. By proactively working with local and state agencies, golf course superintendents are able to communicate management challenges, build trust with legislators and regulators, identify contradictory or confusing regulations, and promote the responsible use of resources.
  • Cost Savings:  Resource conservation is the cornerstone of the development of a BMP program. Facilities that adopt best management practices on the ground realize cost savings associated with using less water, applying less fertilizer and pesticides, reducing managed turf and improving the allocation of other resources.
  • Knowledge:  BMP programs offer golf course superintendents documented support for short- and long-term resource planning, implementation of new management practices and solutions to agronomic challenges. Based on turfgrass management research and collaboration with state and local agencies, BMP programs give superintendents and facilities another tool to strengthen their role as environmental stewards.
  • Growth of the Game:  Shared knowledge about the environment, collaboration and open communication are all essential to establishing a connection with golfers and attracting new players to the game. BMP programs give golfers a better understanding of what golf course superintendents are doing on the course, and why they are doing it – especially in terms of broader environmental issues such as water management and drought planning.
  • Risk Management:  BMP programs that incorporate environmental regulatory compliance, safety and environmental protection practices often help reduce regulatory risks including fines, closures and possible litigation.
For more information on GCSAA’s goal of implementing BMPs in all 50 states by 2020, visit the website at