Site analysis is the first and most important step in aligning golf course management with research-based BMPs designed to protect water quality. A site analysis describes site maintenance areas, chemical storage and handling practices, equipment cleaning, and other priority areas on the golf course associated with topography and environmental sensitivity. Following this thorough assessment, the feasibility of land use and management BMPs should be considered to ensure reasonable water quality protection.
BMPs can be incorporated into the design for a new course or course renovation. For an existing golf course, the golf course superintendent can undertake a site analysis to identify specific areas of interest to focus the implementation of BMPs. For a new golf course development or a renovation project, the New York State requires that a licensed golf course designer guide the site analysis process to ensure compliance with relevant regulations. Designers and others involved in golf course development are encouraged to work closely with local community groups and regulatory bodies during planning and siting and throughout the development process. For every site, local environmental issues and conditions must be addressed.
The first step in a site analysis is to develop a better understanding of how a golf course fits into the landscape. The site assessment begins with identifying high priority areas and the current potential for water quality impacts. Note that the high priority areas are more often located where equipment is cleaned and fertilizer and pesticides are stored and handled because these areas have the potential for large volume releases.