Arizona publishes BMP guidelines for golf courses

The Cactus & Pine GCSA led the establishment of statewide best management practices, which have an emphasis on irrigation and water quality.


Arizona golf course
Photo courtesy of Ryan Kreizenbeck

Members of the Cactus & Pine GCSA have collaborated with related organizations in Arizona to publish the “Arizona Golf Industry Best Management Practices Guide.”

The Arizona BMPs were developed in part using the BMP Planning Guide and Template from GCSAA, which was funded by the association’s Environmental Institute for Golf (EIFG) through support from the USGA.

The Cactus & Pine GCSA received a $10,000 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. GCSAA’s goal is to have all 50 states offer established BMPs by 2020.

“I think the key to the BMPs is to make sure everything is covered and all the right people are involved,” says Douglas Dykstra, CGCS, superintendent at White Mountain Country Club in Pinetop, Ariz., who served as chairman of the Arizona BMP project. “It’s a living, breathing document, and as things change, it can be updated. That’s the beauty of it.”

The Arizona BMP committee consisted of 23 members, among them Cactus & Pine GCSA superintendents and Carmella Ruggiero, Cactus & Pine GCSA executive director. Other groups involved in the creation of the BMPs were the University of Arizona, United States Golf Association, American Society of Golf Course Architects, the Arizona Department of Agriculture, Arizona Department of Water Resources, and the Maricopa County Environmental Services Department.

The Arizona Golf Industry Best Management Practices Guide includes information on golf course planning, design and construction; irrigation; surface water management; water quality monitoring and management; nutrient management; cultural practices; integrated pest management; pesticide management; pollinator protection; and energy use.

Arizona’s BMPs place particular focus on irrigation, surface water management and water quality management. The state’s superintendents are aware of the public perception of the golf industry as a large consumer of water, and recognize that the industry needs to be part of the solution in meeting mandated conservation goals, including those being discussed in accordance with the recent Lower Colorado Basin Drought Contingency Plan.

“Water is a huge issue for us,” Dykstra says. “The BMPs give us another tool and way to document and show that we are doing our part.”

Currently, 40 states have completed or are in the process of completing BMPs. View all state BMP documents and learn more about GCSAA’s BMP program.