A comprehensive national planning guide and template for best management practices (BMPs) in golf course management that states can easily adapt to their needs is now available online through GCSAA. The BMP program is funded through the Environmental Institute for Golf (EIFG), the philanthropic arm of GCSAA.
The BMP Planning Guide and Template is a big step toward the initiative to have golf courses in all 50 states adopt science-based agronomic practices that support proactive environmental stewardship of the land. The template, covering key areas such as nutrient use, drought and water management, integrated pest management and others, is available at http://www.gcsaa.org/bmp.
“It is vital to the long-term success of this profession that we proactively work with legislators, regulators and consumers to build full trust for superintendents and the work they do to provide quality playing surfaces while protecting the environment,” said Rhett Evans, GCSAA CEO.
The planning guide is generously funded and supported by the U.S. Golf Association (USGA), which began funding turfgrass research in 1920. The USGA has also invested generally to ensure sustainability for the game.
GCSAA-affiliated chapters in Florida, Georgia, Michigan, New York, Oregon and Virginia already provide successful examples of the value of adopting BMPs. And nine more affiliated chapters from other states have been awarded grants to get started, through funding from the PGA Tour.
One of those chapters is the Connecticut Association of Golf Course Superintendents, whose effort is being spearheaded by Pete Gorman, the golf course superintendent at Pine Orchard Yacht and Country Club in Branford, Conn., and the secretary-treasurer of the Connecticut association.
“We want Connecticut to be at the forefront of the BMP project,” said Gorman, whose state includes 179 golf courses. “We want to be a resource for other states and other industries going forward. GCSAA is taking the lead in helping all of us be leaders in best management practices, such as water conservation and all environmental topics. It’s a commitment to our profession.”
The BMP Planning Guide and Template was initiated by GCSAA leaders working with professional turfgrass and horticultural scientists at the University of Florida and further vetted through a task group consisting of superintendents, university scientists, environmental professionals, golf course architects and other industry representatives.