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Six Questions Every Golf Course Should Be Asking About Water Use—Part 6

This is the final installment of our six-part series on water management for golf courses. Read Part 5

Question 6: Have we effectively communicated to our golfers the importance of conserving water and how our efforts will impact the appearance and playing quality of the golf course?

Communicating the water management plan to stakeholders is a critical part of the process. To most golfers, green is good—brown is bad. But if golfers understand how and why irrigation is managed on the golf course and how it affects their game, there is a greater chance they will be supportive of efforts to conserve water resources and tolerate a little brown when necessary. Taking the time to explain these issues to golfers and members of the community builds understanding and support, especially when tough decisions need to be made about water allocations.

Communication can take several forms, including:

  • Casual conversations with golfers to give them a quick update on water issues at the course.
  • Regular meeting with the general manager, golf professional and superintendent to share information and to make sure each is conveying the same story with golfers and the general public.
  • Informational posters and bulletin boards in the clubhouse regarding golf course water use.
  • Website and social media post highlighting water conservation efforts and recent developments.
  • Attending and speaking at community meetings and water board meetings.

An essential part of this process is having a written plan. To assist with these efforts, the GCSAA has worked with chapters in each state to develop Best Management Practices Templates to help superintendents develop site-specific written documents outlining the various programs and practices that are in place to manage the golf course in an environmentally responsible manner. 

The written plan benefits not only the golf facility, but also the golfers and surrounding community by detailing golf course maintenance practices, including irrigation and water management. The written document also serves as a measuring stick to show where progress is being made and areas where improvement is possible.

Asking and answering these six questions about water for your golf facility can form the basis of an effective management plan that addresses both short term needs to help your golf facility stay in business and also meet the challenges that may be just around the corner.

TAGS: Water Management, Golf, Water Conservation