Golf courses and their supporting industries benefit New York State residents directly and indirectly:
- Environmental benefits. Golf courses provide open space, and their well-managed turfgrass protect water and other natural resources.
- Economic benefits. The golf industry contributes more than $3 billion and 50,000 jobs annually to the state’s economy. Golf fundraisers also contribute approximately $100 million annually to charities across the state, funding countless diverse and worthy causes.
- Recreational and health benefits. Golf courses provide excellent recreational and health benefits for golfers of all ages. A Swedish study found golfers who walk when playing live five years longer than non–golfers.
As the stewards of golf courses in NY, superintendents are dedicated to protecting New York’s natural resources and embrace the responsibility to maintain these facilities in harmony with the natural environment. The golf industry has led the effort in establishing Best Management Practices (BMPs) for golf courses in New York State. These BMPs will help those in the golf industry work in concert with policymakers and regulators in a shared commitment to water quality protection.
Authors from Cornell University have integrated the latest research on BMPs specifically for New York’s climate and environment; however, neighboring New Jersey and Connecticut will benefit as well. The research-based, voluntary BMP guidelines are designed to protect and preserve New York’s water resources that enhance open space using current advances in golf turf management.
This effort to provide extensive guidance for environmental stewardship is being conducted in the best traditions of golf, as defined by golf’s inherent values: honesty, integrity, and fair play (including upholding the rules when no one is watching). These are core values of golf turf professionals and serve as the basis for this innovative environmental effort.