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New York creates Second Edition of BMP guidelines for golf courses

by Feb 18, 2020 | Kate Hiebert

Seven local golf course superintendent associations develop second edition of statewide best management practices with grant from the Golf Course Superintendents Association of America


Lawrence, Kan. (Feb. 18, 2020) – A collaborative effort by golf course superintendents from seven affiliated chapters of the Golf Course Superintendents Association of America (GCSAA) in New York state, Cornell University and the New York Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) has resulted in the publication of “Best Management Practices for New York Golf Courses Second Edition.”


New York was one of the first states to publish BMPs for golf courses when the First Edition was produced in 2014. The updated Second Edition was developed in part by using the BMP Planning Guide and Template created by the Golf Course Superintendents Association of America (GCSAA) and funded and supported by the USGA.  The seven GCSAA-affiliated chapters involved in the effort include Central New York GCSA, Finger Lakes Association of GCS, Hudson Valley GCSA, Long Island GCSA, Metropolitan GCSA, Northeastern GCSA and Western New York GCSA.


The Metropolitan GCSA received $17,000 in BMP grants that GCSAA funded through the association’s Environmental Institute for Golf (EIFG) 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. GCSAA’s goal is to have all 50 states offer established BMPs by 2020.

“We wanted superintendents around the state to have the ability to easily create BMPs for their own facilities. By updating our state BMPS using the GCSAA tool, we developed a straight-forward way for them to utilize that information to create their own facility-specific BMPs,” said 25-year GCSAA member Ken Benoit, CGCS. Benoit is a retired superintendent who was chairman of the New York BMP steering committee and currently serves as executive director of the New York Golf Course Foundation. 


The guide is focused on 11 sections: site analysis; planning, design and construction; irrigation; water quality management and monitoring; nutrient management; cultural Practices; integrated pest management; pesticide management; pollinator protection; maintenance operations; and landscape.


The BMPs not only cover issues superintendents face but have also helped establish dialogues with government entities in the Empire State.


“Historically, our relationship with the DEC didn’t have much depth. We hoped that by partnering with them during the BMP process we could begin to build a meaningful relationship,” Benoit said. “Since the creation of the BMPs, our relationship with DEC has grown beyond our expectations. It’s become a real partnership.”


To read “Best Management Practices for New York Golf Courses Second Edition” and to learn more about GCSAA’s BMP program, visit