The Environmental Research Program designs to determine the effects of golf courses on people, wildlife and the environment. The significant loss of herbicides at the University of Georgia run-off project served to focus on the need for more run-off work in the next phase of the environmental research program. In 1989 the United States Golf Association (USGA) decided to sponsor a significant amount of research on environmental issues. The area identified to receive the greatest amount of work concerned the effects of fertilisers and pesticides on surface and groundwater resources. In sponsoring environmental research, the USGA's Turfgrass and Environmental Research Committee adopted a mass balance approach, studying what happens to fertilisers and pesticides applied to golf courses. Results from USGA-sponsored run-off studies showed that dense turf cover reduces the potential for run-off losses of nitrogen, and significant run-off losses are more likely to occur on compacted soils.