GCSAA applauds passage of Florida law recognizing golf course best management practices

Florida H.B. 967 was signed into law by Gov. Ron DeSantis on June 20.


Aerial view of Ghost Creek golf course
Photo by Montana Pritchard

The Golf Course Superintendents Association of America (GCSAA) is commending the signing of Florida H.B. 967 into law by Gov. Ron DeSantis, which recognizes Florida’s Golf Course Best Management Practices Certification program.

The bill was signed on June 20 and will go into effect on July 1.

“With Governor DeSantis’ signature, the new law recognizes the significant role that the golf industry has in Florida, and it also acknowledges the long record of environmental stewardship that Florida golf superintendents have embraced,” said J. Bryan Unruh, Ph.D., professor at the University of Florida and associate director of the West Florida Research and Education Center.

The Florida BMPs are one of the earliest success stories of GCSAA’s BMP initiative, which spearheaded the development of golf course BMP guidelines in all 50 states. The Florida Golf Course BMP Certification Program was launched in 2012 and has been administered by the University of Florida, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences’ Turfgrass Science Program since 2020. This voluntary program, now memorialized in state statute, affords BMP-certified golf course superintendents exemption from certain local training and ordinances relating to water and fertilizer use. However, the certification program does not exempt superintendents from complying with the rules and requirements for golf courses located in an area within a basin management action plan, a scientifically based program designed to fairly and equitably allocate pollution loads to both nonpoint and point sources.

In addition to University of Florida and Unruh, other key players in the passing of the law include members of the Florida Golf Course Superintendents Association; Florida GCSA President Andy Jorgensen, CGCS; the Southern Group; Florida State Sen. Joe Gruters (R-FL 23) and Florida State Rep. Keith Truenow (R-31), who originally introduced the bill.

“The passing of Bill 967 is a testament to the dedication superintendents and others in the turf industry have to maintaining golf courses through environmental best practices,” GCSAA Chief Executive Officer Rhett Evans said. “Florida was one of the earliest adopters of state golf course BMPs, so it is not surprising that industry leaders in the state were committed to seeing them recognized by law. We congratulate everyone in Florida for their hard work and success.”

For more information about GCSAA’s golf course BMP initiative, visit gcsaa.org/bmp.