(Pictured: Metropolitan Golf Links, Oakland, Calif.)
Course superintendents from clubs in those states, along with other advisors and contributors, developed the guidelines as a resource for efficient, environmentally sustainable management of golf facilities in keeping with regional needs and regulatory concerns. Their completion represents further progress toward the national Golf Course Superintendents Association of America’s goal to have Best Management Practices from all 50 states by the end of 2020.
The California Golf Course Superintendents Association, along with representatives from five other organizations in the state, has published the California Golf Course Industry Best Management Practices (BMP) Guide, a resource for efficient, environmentally sustainable management of the state’s golf facilities in keeping with regional needs and regulatory concerns.
The California BMP steering committee included superintendents from all six regional Golf Course Superintendents Association (GCSA) chapters in the state: the GCSA of Central California, Hi-Lo Desert GCSA, GCSA of Northern California, San Diego GCSA, Sierra Nevada GCSA and GCSA of Southern California.
“It was important that we all came together to develop a document that was as diverse as California,” says Gary Ingram, CGCS, chairman of the California BMPs steering committee and Superintendent at Metropolitan Golf Links in Oakland, Calif. “The overall goal is to use this template to help develop facility BMPs. The development of the document emphasizes how we are truly environmental stewards and our how our facilities make a positive impact on our communities.”
(Ingram and Metropolitan Golf Links were featured in the February 2020 issue of Club + Resort Business for the property’s exemplary approach to environmental stewardship: https://clubandresortbusiness.com/superintendent-helps-california-club-turn-problems-into-solutions/)
The BMPs have 18 areas of focus that range from more universal topics such as pollinator protection and energy conservation to targeted topics such as seaside golf and golf courses constructed on former landfills.
Others who served on the California BMPs steering committee included:
– Jim Abate, Director of International and TPC Agronomy, PGA Tour;
– Jim Ferrin, CGCS, Superintendent, Timber Creek Golf Course at Sun City Roseville, Roseville, Calif.;
– Pat Gross, Regional Director, USGA Green Section’s West Region;
– Ali Harivandi, Ph.D., Environmental Horticulturist Emeritus, University of California Cooperative Extension;
– Josh Heptig, Superintendent, San Luis Obispo (Calif.) County Parks;
– Jeff Jensen, GCSAA field staff representative, Southwest region;
– Glenn Mathews, CGCS, Superintendent, Visalia (Calif.) Country Club;
– Nathan Radwick, Director of Golf Course Management, Braemar Country Club, Tarzana, Calif.;
– Jim Schmid, Director of Golf Course Operations, The Lakes Country Club, Palm Desert, Calif.;
– Terry Vassey, Ph.D., former Superintendent, PGA West, La Quinta, Calif.;
– Kurtis Wolford, Superintendent, Woodbridge (Calif.) Golf and Country Club;
– Vince Zellefrow, Superintendent, El Camino Country Club, Oceanside, Calif.;
– Jim Baird, Ph.D., Turfgrass Specialist, University of California, Riverside;
– Maggie Reiter, University of California Cooperative Extension adviser;
– Marc Connerly, Executive Director, California Golf Course Owners Association, Hi-Lo Desert GCSA, GCSA of Northern California and GCSA of Southern California;
– Irene Cline, Executive Director, California GCSA, Central California GCSA and Sierra Nevada GCSA.
In addition to the state and regional GCSAA chapters, other groups involved in the development of the BMP guide were the California Alliance for Golf, California Golf Course Owners Association, Southern California Section of the PGA of America, Southern California Golf Association, and Blankinship & Associates Inc., an environmental and engineering firm who oversaw the project development and management.
California’s BMPs were developed in part using the BMP Planning Guide and Template from the national Golf Course Superintendents Association of America (GCSAA), which was funded by the association’s Environmental Institute for Golf (EIFG) through support from the United States Golf Association.
The California GCSA received a $15,000 BMP grant from GCSAA, funded in part by the PGA Tour. The BMP grant program administers funding through the EIFG to GCSAA-affiliated chapters for developing new guides or updating existing guides, or for verification programs.
The GCSAA also announced that a collaborative effort by golf course superintendents in North Dakota and the North Central Turfgrass Association (NCTA) has resulted in the publication of “Best Management Practices for North Dakota Golf Courses.”
The document covers 12 key issues, which include irrigation, water management, nutrient management, and pollinator protection that pertain to the state’s varied terrain and climes.
“We may have different geographical climates, but there are issues we deal with in every part of the state, such as weather,” said Garrett Schultz, Superintendent at Prairie West Golf Club in Mandan, N.D., and chairman of the North Dakota BMP Steering Committee.
“North Dakota has the most golf courses per capita of any state, and now [with the BMPs] we have a strong basis to show that we all can provide great playing conditions using sound environmental practices,” Schultz added.
Others members of the steering committee included:
- Sam Bauer, executive director, NCTA;
- Kyle Fick, Superintendent, Bully Pulpit Golf Course, Medora, N.D.;
- Tyler Foster, Superintendent, The Links of North Dakota, Wilston, N.D.;
- Victor Heitkamp, Superintendent, Osgood Golf Course, Fargo, N.D.;
- Lucas Palczewski, Assistant Superintendent, Fargo (N.D.) Park District;
- Joe Rolstad, Superintendent, Fargo (N.D.) Country Club.
In addition to the NCTA, other organizations involved in the BMPs included North Dakota State University, the University of North Dakota, North Dakota Golf Association, the North Dakota Department of Agriculture and the State Water Commission.
The North Dakota BMPs were also developed in part by using the BMP Planning Guide and Template created by the GCSAA and funded and supported by the USGA.
The NCTA also received a $10,000 BMP grant that GCSAA funded through the EIFG and in part by the PGA Tour. The BMP grant program provides funding through the EIFG to chapters for developing new guides, updating existing guides or for verification programs.
The GCSAA’s goal is to have all 50 states offer established BMPs by the end of 2020.
To read both the California and North Dakota guidelines, as well as those developed for other states, and to learn more about GCSAA’s BMP program, visit www.gcsaa.org/bmp.