Industry News

Michigan publishes updated BMP guidelines for golf courses

Golf course superintendents lead the development of statewide best management practices with a grant from the Golf Course Superintendents Association of America

Lawrence, Kan. (Jan. 5, 2021) – A collaborative effort by the Michigan Golf Course Superintendents Association and Michigan State University’s Thom Nikolai, Ph.D., has resulted in the publication of “Best Management Practices for Michigan Golf Courses.”

The three groups have been collaborating coming together under the banner of the Michigan Turfgrass Environmental Stewardship Program to establish maintenance guidelines since 1998, but the updated BMPs were developed in part by using the BMP Planning Guide and Template created by Golf Course Superintendents Association of America (GCSAA) and funded and supported by the USGA.

The Michigan GCSA received a $7,000 BMP grant 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.

The BMPs provide guidance in 14 key areas including irrigation, surface water management, pollinator protection and energy.

“This project was a huge undertaking but the ramifications for our members and the entire golf industry are endless,” Adam Ikamas, CGCS, Executive director of the Michigan GCSA said. “This tool has the potential to be one of the most important documents at any golf facility as a custom guide to managing that property and as a nationwide tool to utilize as needed to help educate and guide legislation that can impact golf course superintendents.”

members who served on the BMP steering committee included Scott Pulaski (chairman), superintendent at Walloon Lake Country Club in Petosky, Mich.; Doug Ware, superintendent for the city of Livonia (Mich.) Golf Division;  William “Skip” Connolly, superintendent at Whispering Willows Golf Course in Livonia, Mich; Ryan Moore, superintendent at Forest Lake Country Club in Bloomfield Hills, Mich;  and Thomas Schall, CGCS, superintendent at Oakland University Golf Course in Rochester, Mich. Thom Nikolai, Ph.D., Michigan State University, and Shane Conroy, GCSAA Great Lakes regional field staff representative, reviewed and edited the guidelines.

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

About GCSAA and the EIFG The Golf Course Superintendents Association of America (GCSAA) is a leading golf organization in the United States. Its focus is on golf course management, and since 1926 GCSAA has been the top professional association for the men and women who manage golf courses in the U.S. and worldwide. From its headquarters in Lawrence, Kan., the association provides education, information and representation to nearly 19,000 members in more than 78 countries. The association’s mission is to serve its members, advance their profession and enhance the enjoyment, growth and vitality of the game of golf. Visit GCSAA at, or find us on Facebook or Twitter. Visit our industry-leading magazine at

The Environmental Institute for Golf is the philanthropic organization of the GCSAA. Its mission is to foster sustainability through research, awareness, education, programs and scholarships for the benefit of golf course management professionals, golf facilities and the game. Visit EIFG at, or find us on Facebook or Twitter.

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