Environmental issues in turf management
Introduction Golf has grown dramatically in popularity during the past 20 years, with more than 25 million golfers in the United States of America alone. It now faces one of its greatest challenges from people who believe that golf courses and course maintenance practices are having a deleterious impact on the environment. One of the greatest fears is that the fertiliser and pestiddes used to maintain golf courses will pollute drinking water supplies, which could include both surface and groundwater sources. Many people are concerned about the effects of high nutrient levels on human health and the ecology of surface waters, and about the potential effects of elevated pestidde levels in drinking water on cancer and other human and wildlife health problems. Claims have been made by some people that up to 100 per cent of the fertilisers and pestiddes applied to golf course turf end up in local water supplies, a claim with no basis in fact, but one that has generated emotional reactions from people who are unaware of what happens to chemicals in the environment.