4 things you probably didn’t know could harm golf courses
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If you want to abide by golf’s golden rule and leave the course in better condition than you found it, you probably know the maintenance basics. Fix ball marks. Rake bunkers. Fill or replace divots. Refrain from riding buggies over sodden turf, and such.
But being mindful involves more than that, because course damage isn’t only done by clubs and carts. It can also be inflicted by products and substances that golfers leave behind.
In the interest of good stewardship, we asked the folks at the Green Section of the USGA for a rundown of other potentially harmful stuff.
Bug Spray and Aerosol Sunscreen
Insect repellent doesn’t just kill insects. It can do a number on turf, too. The same is true of aerosol sunscreen. The stuff that keeps you from bronzing can turn grass brown. Any doubt? Just click online, where you’ll find ample photographic evidence. The outlines are as clear as the chalk drawings of a crime.
There are lots of ways to take relief. But be advised: urine in large quantities can kill grass due to its high quantities of ammonium. On-course bathrooms are there for a reason. And unless you’ve appeared in a recent Depends ad, we’re guessing that you can probably wait. We get it, though. When you gotta go, you gotta go. Just don’t do your business on playable turf.
Beer and Other Booze
Spilled alcohol alone isn’t likely to cause harm. Being liquids, it simply drains away from turf and out of bunker sand. But alcohol ingested in excess quantities can be another story, given one of its common side effects. You know how Johnny Miller once said that Craig Parry’s swing would make Ben Hogan puke? Booze does the same thing to some people. And that left to linger can smother turf.