Whether water is plentiful or limited, it is an essential natural resource that must be managed efficiently by everyone, including golf courses. There are three main issues related water use and conservation that affects golf courses in every part of the country, even those in high rainfall areas:
1. The transportation, transfer and pumping of water is linked to energy consumption. Even if the water is free, there is a cost associated with every gallon of water that is pumped. As a result, efficient water use makes good economic sense.
2. Water quality protection is another key issues associated with golf’s use of water. Fertilizers and pest control materials that are not properly applied to turf have the potential to contaminate surface water and negatively impact the environment.
3. Water use has a major influence on the playability of a golf course. Judicious water use that emphasizes firm, fast conditions is more enjoyable for all skill levels of golfers and is a goal that the USGA strongly supports.
The following resources provide details on research and projects related to water quality protection on golf courses as well as the impact of water on playability.