Golf Course Management

JAN 2017

Golf Course Management magazine is dedicated to advancing the golf course superintendent profession and helping GCSAA members achieve career success.

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130 GOLF COURSE MANAGEMENT 01.17 practicable on-location means, including economic and technological considerations, for improving water quality in agricultural and urban discharge" (373.4595, F.S.). This definition ensures that the BMP are based on sound science that is verifiable and peer- reviewed, and that they are not economically impractical to the producer, the golf course su - perintendent. Not codifying BMP definitions within a state can result in ambiguity and a lack of common goals among the participat - ing BMP partners. Why the golf industry should develop and implement BMP Best management practices are the shared language recognized by regulators, conserva - tionists, engineers and others as the means to driving improvements. Because BMP are rec - ognized in federal and state TMDL policy as a major component of water-quality improve - ment plans, it is incumbent upon the golf course management industry to be proactive in developing and implementing state-specific BMP related to golf course management. In addition to BMP related to water quality, BMP concerning water quantity (water and drought management) and Integrated Pest Management (IPM) are essential to keeping the golf industry at the forefront of good en - vironmental stewardship. With this in mind, GCSAA has set a goal of having BMP estab - lished for all 50 states by the year 2020. The development of a comprehensive BMP manual can be a time- and labor-inten - sive effort. Therefore, to facilitate meeting the goal of BMP manuals for every state by 2020, GCSAA contracted with faculty from the University of Florida to develop the GCSAA Best Management Practices Planning Guide & Template, funded in part by the United States Golf Association through the Environmental Institute for Golf (Figure 3). The GCSAA Best Management Practices Planning Guide & Template is an easy-to-use roadmap for golf-centric organizations to de - velop and implement BMP programs at the state level with greatly reduced effort and time. The tool provides information on get - ting started and identifying funding sources, and it lays the foundation for states to develop their BMP manuals. The content — gleaned from those who have developed existing pro - grams and further vetted through a GCSAA task group consisting of superintendents, GCSAA chapter leaders, university scientists, environmental professionals, golf course ar - chitects, and industry representatives — is available as a print resource and as an interac - tive, online tool. These resources will be most useful in developing state-specific BMP. After individual state BMP manuals have been de - veloped, the focus will be on getting every golf course in each state to adopt BMP practices at the facility level. The BMP steering committee Selecting committee members The key to successful development of a BMP manual hinges on identifying a group of committed individuals who will take respon - sibility for establishing and carrying out the plan. GCSAA chapter leaders need to identify key contributors and organize a BMP steering committee tasked with leading the develop - ment effort. Generally, five to seven individu- als can effectively lead the process. Successful BMP development and subse - quent implementation requires buy-in from all interested stakeholders: golf course superin - tendents, owners, government agencies, con- servation organizations, policymakers, elected officials, etc. Experience suggests that forming partnerships to develop and implement BMP can be mutually beneficial. Watershed organizations love to show - case water-quality projects, implementation of BMP, and especially proactive efforts/so - lutions through stakeholder engagement like golf 's BMP development. Watershed groups are easily identified through the EPA's website. Regulatory agencies can provide advice on environmental impacts and regulatory man - dates, develop cost-share funds to publish and distribute, and conduct educational outreach programs when appropriate. Furthermore, regulatory agencies must demonstrate that the adopted BMP will have measurable impact on the TMDL. Land-grant university faculty need to be engaged to provide unbiased technical input and advice to ensure that the BMP are science- based. University extension faculty are essen - tial to the cause and can evaluate the effort in terms of feasibility, cost and environmental im - pact, and may be able to provide research when not enough information is known. Further, ex - tension specialists and county agents should be enlisted to disseminate the information and teach educational components of the BMP. Figure 3. GCSAA contracted with faculty from the University of Florida to develop a planning guide and template to facilitate the development of BMP manuals for each state by the year 2020.

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