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Complete! Golf course environmental BMPs established for all 50 states

From sea to shining sea, golf courses can look to the state-specific resources for making environmentally sound decisions and demonstrating stewardship. View all the guides here.

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Golf course state BMPs
Three years after launching the initiative to establish golf course best management practices (BMPs) for all 50 states by the end of 2020, GCSAA has announced the project’s successful completion. As of Dec. 31, 2020, each state has published its own BMP guide that outlines golf course maintenance practices that protect and enhance the environment and are tailored to the state’s unique geographic conditions and regulatory climate.

“Our goal to develop BMP manuals across the nation in such a short time frame was ambitious, but we knew these documents were a must as we work proactively with legislators, regulators and communities to demonstrate how superintendents are dedicated environmental stewards,” says GCSAA CEO Rhett Evans. “This is truly a watershed moment for our members, the game of golf, and the people and wildlife who benefit from the agronomic and environmental practices superintendents engage in every day.”

While the steering committees that led each state’s efforts were made up primarily of GCSAA members, the groups worked closely with others in the golf industry, university faculty and officials from various state agencies to author the BMPs.

To aid the efforts, GCSAA created the BMP Planning Guide and Template to offer a blueprint for the state documents, which address topics such as water conservation and management, nutrient management, waste disposal, integrated pest management, and pollinator protection. The USGA provided funding for the BMP Planning Guide and Template.

GCSAA further assisted the state BMP projects via grants, which were funded in part by the PGA Tour through GCSAA’s philanthropic organization, the Environmental Institute for Golf. The PGA of America, Jack Harrell Jr., and Herbert V. Kohler Jr. also contributed financial support for the creation of the state BMP manuals.

“We are extremely proud of the GCSAA members who gave of their time and talents to spearhead the effort, but it’s a testament to the collaborative nature of the golf industry and the widespread understanding that the benefits of our environmental practices go well beyond the golf course that so many individuals and organizations were involved,” Evans says. “We thank the many volunteers and supporters who helped make this vision a reality.”

Prior to the launch of the initiative in 2017, seven states — Florida, Michigan, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Virginia and Washington — had already developed comprehensive golf course BMPs. These states updated their documents using GCSAA’s new resources.

With the establishment of state BMPs, the initiative will now move on to its next phase: facility BMP manuals. Using the BMP Planning Guide and Template and their state guide, individual golf facilities can create a course-specific BMP manual to direct and document agronomic and environmental practices. Such handbooks also provide an easy, detailed reference to help golfers, lawmakers and community members better understand the operations behind the maintenance of one of their local green spaces.

U.S. Sen. Angus King of Maine, who contributed the forward to the Maine BMP manual, sees the value of such guides for state residents.

“Maine’s golf courses are gaining wide recognition as a valued recreational resource,” King says. “At the same time, our communities want to know that golf courses are correctly managing their water resources, including protecting valuable wetlands and employing good IPM and nutrient management methods. This manual provides extensive guidance.”

Learn more about GCSAA’s golf course best management practices initiative.

Golf course best management practices: 50 state BMP manuals

Alabama
BMPs for the Continued Enhancement of Environmental Quality of Alabama Golf Courses

Alaska
Best Management Practices for Alaska Golf Courses

Arizona
Arizona Golf Industry Best Management Practices Guide

Hawaii golf courses

Arkansas
Best Management Practices for Arkansas Golf Courses

California
California Golf Industry Best Management Practices Guide
Mejores Prácticas de Gestión CGCSA Guía Oficial

Colorado
Colorado Golf Industry Best Management Practices Guide

Connecticut
Connecticut Golf Industry Best Management Practices

Delaware
Best Management Practices for Delaware Golf Courses

Florida
Best Management Practices for the Enhancement of Environmental Quality on Florida Golf Courses

Georgia
Best Management Practices for Georgia Golf Courses
Best Management Practices: Water-Use Efficiency/Conservation Plan for Golf Courses

Hawaii
Hawai’i Golf Course Maintenance Best Management Practices

Idaho
Best Management Practices for Idaho Golf Courses

Missouri golf courses

Illinois
Best Management Practices for Golf in Illinois

Indiana
Best Management Practices for Indiana Golf Courses

Iowa
Best Management Practices for Iowa Golf Courses

Kansas
Kansas Best Management Practices

Kentucky
Best Management Practices for Kentucky Golf Courses

Louisiana
Nutrient BMPs for Golf Courses in Louisiana and Mississippi
Water Resource Management BMPs for Golf Courses in Louisiana and Mississippi

Maine
Best Management Practices for Maine Golf Courses

Maryland
Best Management Practices for Maryland Golf Courses

Massachusetts
Best Management Practices for Massachusetts Golf Courses

Michigan
Best Management Practices for Michigan Golf Courses

Minnesota
Minnesota Golf Course Reference Handbook of Management Practices
Best Management Practices: Water-Use Efficiency/Conservation Plan For Minnesota Golf Courses
Minnesota Department of Agriculture: Agency Bulletins Specific to Golf Course Management

New Hampshire golf courses

Mississippi
Nutrient BMPs for Golf Courses in Louisiana and Mississippi
Water Resource Management BMPs for Golf Courses in Louisiana and Mississippi

Missouri
Missouri Best Management Practices

Montana
Best Management Practices for Montana Golf Courses

Nebraska
Best Management Practices for Nebraska Golf Courses

Nevada
Nevada Golf Industry Best Management Practices Guide

New Hampshire
Best Management Practices for New Hampshire Golf Courses

New Jersey
New Jersey Golf Industry Best Management Practices

New Mexico
Rio Grande GCSA Best Management Practices

New York
Best Management Practices for New York State Golf Courses, Second Edition

North Carolina
Best Management Practices for Carolinas Golf Courses

North Dakota
Best Management Practices for North Dakota Golf Courses

Oklahoma golf courses

Ohio
Best Management Practices for Ohio Golf Courses

Oklahoma
Oklahoma Golf Industry Best Management Practices

Oregon
Environmental Stewardship Guidelines, Second Edition

Pennsylvania
Best Management Practices for Pennsylvania Golf Courses

Rhode Island
Best Management Practices for New England Golf Courses

South Carolina
Best Management Practices for Carolinas Golf Courses

South Dakota
Best Management Practices for South Dakota Golf Courses

Tennessee
Best Management Practices for Tennessee Golf Courses

Texas
Texas Golf Industry Best Management Practices Guide

Utah
Best Management Practices for Utah Golf Courses

South Dakota golf courses

Vermont
Best Management Practices for Vermont Golf Courses

Virginia
Environmental Best Management Practices for Virginia’s Golf Courses, Second Edition

Washington
Environmental Stewardship Guidelines, Second Edition

West Virginia
Best Management Practices for West Virginia Golf Courses

Wisconsin
Wisconsin Golf Industry Best Management Practices

Wyoming
Best Management Practices for Wyoming Golf Courses