Our Experts Explain

What steps should golf courses be taking to protect water quality?


 

 

Protecting water quality is obviously a very important responsibility of golf courses to the environment and its community. Recommended steps include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • One of the best ways to protect surface water quality is to use riparian vegetated buffers along the banks of golf course wetlands, streams and other water bodies. Buffers function as filters that catch and trap sediment, nutrients, pesticides and pollutants before reaching surface waters. Buffer strips and vegetation along water bodies, or throughout drainage swales and channels, also help to prevent soil erosion, further protecting water quality.
  • Turf areas adjacent to water bodies can be designated as “no-spray” or “limited-spray” zones, which reduce the risk of applied plant protectants from entering water sources.
  • Wetlands, if on or adjacent to your golf course, should be managed as natural areas with their habitat structure and existing hydrology fully protected. Furthermore, be aware that there are municipal, state and federal agencies that administer statutes and regulations protecting wetlands, so it is recommended to work with such agencies.
  • Use soil cultivation techniques such as spiking, slicing and aeration to improve water infiltration and minimize runoff during irrigation or rainfall events.
  •  Fertilizing in small amounts, commonly referred to as “spoon feeding,” helps reduce the potential for fertilizer runoff. When making larger fertilizer applications, use slow-release fertilizers. For fertilizers and plant protectants that are required to be watered into the soil, make sure to do so appropriately.
  • Avoid overwatering that could cause excessive soil leaching or produce surface water runoff.
  • Properly designed, modern irrigation systems will help to make the best use of water and reduce runoff.
  • When it comes to the maintenance facility, properly store, handle and dispose of chemicals; ensure that spills are contained; and clean equipment in a way that does not allow chemicals to enter water sources.
  • Ultimately, one of the best things all golf facilities can do to protect water quality is to maintain healthy turf. Not only does healthy turf require less fertilizer and plant protectants than weak turf, but a dense stand of turf is very efficient in filtering and cleansing water. A healthy stand of turf will prevent soil erosion, reduce surface water runoff and intercept pollutants in the water before reaching groundwater sources.
  • Curious if your golf facility impacts water quality in your area? If water bodies run through your golf course, test water quality where water enters the property and also where it exits. Once this is known, corrective measures can be taken, if necessary.

 

Partner Links
AmEx image
AmEx image
AmEx image
AmEx image
Chevron
   

The USGA and Chevron have committed to using the game of golf to encourage students in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) disciplines. This commitment has led to the creation of extensive golf-focused STEM teaching tools, and has resulted in charitable contributions to support golf-related programs through Eagles for Education™

At U.S. Open Championships the Chevron STEM ZONE™ is an interactive experience highlighting the science and math behind the game of golf through a variety of hands-on exhibits and experiments.

The partnership has also produced educational materials such as the Science of Golf video series and a nationally-distributed newspaper insert which are provided to teachers as tools to enhance existing curriculum in schools. These lessons teach the science behind the USGA’s equipment testing, handicapping, and agronomy efforts.

For more interactive experiences featuring golf-focused STEM lessons, visit the partnership homepage.

Chevron image
Rolex
   

Rolex has been a longtime supporter of the USGA and salutes the sportsmanship and great traditions unique to the game. This support includes the Rules of Golf where Rolex has partnered with the USGA to ensure golfers understand and appreciate the game.

As the official timekeeper of the USGA and its championships, they also provide clocks throughout host sites for spectator convenience.

For more information on Rolex and their celebration of the game, visit the Rolex and Golf homepage.



Rolex image
IBM
   

IBM has partnered with the USGA to bring the same technology, expertise, and innovation it provides to businesses all over the world to the USGA and golf's national championship.

IBM provides the information technology to develop and host the U.S. Open’s official website, www.usopen.com, as well as the mobile apps and scoring systems for the three U.S. Open championships. These real-time technology solutions provide an enhanced experience for fans following the championship onsite and online.

For more information on IBM and the technology that powers the U.S. Open and businesses worldwide, visit http://www.usopen.com/IBM

AmEx image
Lexus
   

Lexus is committed to partnering with the USGA to deliver a best-in-class experience for the world’s best golfers by providing a fleet of courtesy luxury vehicles for all USGA Championships.

At each U.S. Open, Women’s Open and Senior Open, Lexus provides spectators with access to unique experiences ranging from the opportunity to have a picture taken with both the U.S. Open and U.S. Women’s Open trophies to autograph signings with legendary Lexus Golf Ambassadors in the Lexus Performance Drive Pavilion.

For more information on Lexus, visit http://www.lexus.com/

AmEx image
American Express
   

Together, American Express and the USGA have been providing world-class service to golf fans since 2006. By creating interactive U.S. Open experiences both onsite and online, American Express enhances the USGA’s effort to make the game more accessible and enjoyable for fans.

For more information on American Express visit www.americanexpress.com/entertainment


AmEx image