In order to manage a golf course in an environmentally sensitive and responsible manner, management zones can be established throughout the course. Management zones are defined as areas that have distinct management practices based on the area’s position in the watershed and the drainage basin analysis conducted for the watershed. Management zones work hand-in-hand with source prevention BMPs, such as IPM. Management zones include the following:
Management Zone A: These zones may or may not be part of the playable area AND are considered to be of the highest risk for water quality issues. Therefore, any management of these areas should be focused on minimizing any chemical use, preventing direct discharge into water bodies, and maximizing resident time for water moving along the surface in this zone.
Management Zone B: These zones are part of the playable area and therefore require an increased level of maintenance, but pose significantly less risk than in Zone A. Additionally, when wind speed is greater than 10 mph, a shroud should be used on spray equipment to avoid drift. Therefore, management of these areas should allow for additional chemical use while still minimizing the potential for movement into surface or groundwater.
Management zones should be clearly marked on course maps and the maintenance crew should be familiar with these areas. The use of GPS/GIS systems for precision mapping of these zones and identifying boundary locations can assist the crew in following the management zone guidelines.