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Golf Australia Express : Issue 50
GOLF IS A GAME THAT celebrates the beauty of nature yet voices of concern surrounding the environmental impact of course maintenance are growing in volume. A 1995 Toxic Fairways report produced by the Attorney General of New York well represented the developing focus on the type and amount of chemical fertilisers used on golf courses. Golf courses are beset by numerous ailments. Weeds, discolouration and algae blooms on once picturesque water hazards are only a few of the problems that fill greenkeepers' days and nights with thoughts on how to satisfy the public demand for a beautiful track. Their answers are more often than not found through the marketing literature of agricultural fertilisers and chemicals. Concern over the environmental side effects of these products has been developing momentum over the past two decades. Reports from international bodies such as the World Watch Institute, coupled with the establishment in 2005 of the Australian Golf Environmental Initiative display a developing understanding of run-off from courses and the impact it has on surrounding waterways. While extremists call for a moratorium to be placed on the creation of all golf courses around the world (look up the Global Anti-Golf Movement for a laugh), players are assured that there is little evidence to suggest these products will cause serious harm. Nevertheless, the voice of sanity calls for caution in our behaviour on the course. According to Florida toxicologist COURSE MAINTENANCE NEEDS TO MOVE WITH THE TIMES AND MINIMISE CHEMICAL USE ON OUR FAIRWAYS, WRITES WILL HONE. GIVING'EM A SPRAY with Will Hone IN HONING Dr Christopher J. Borgert, and University of Florida researcher Raymond H. Snyder and professor George H. Snyder, putting a tee in your mouth after a drive---or even a blade of grass---is a habit we would do well to avoid. For those who smoke, putting a cigarette on the ground to take your shot can increase the toxicity of an already dangerous substance, and is not recommended. From such concern grows a certain market. Just as the organic section of fruit and vegetable markets has grown from scratch over recent decades, organic golf courses have arrived on our shores. Kabi Golf Course in Queensland is possibly the first organic course in Australia, and proud of it. With an 18-hole par 3, and 9 full-length holes, it is a groundbreaker that surely represents the future. Organic golf may involve some sacrifice in the form of aesthetics, but in return we contribute to a sustainable future. I think that is something worth working towards and I look forward to seeing the spread around the country. OTG Putting a tee in your mouth after a drive---or even a blade of grass---is a habit we would do well to avoid. DO YOU AGREE? TELL US YOUR THOUGHTS