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The Dark Side of Golf. By: Brendan Bartow. The Dark Side of Golf. Excessive Water Usage Synthetic Chemical pollution Destruction of local ecosystems. A single golf course in the U.S. soaks up more than 300,000 gallons of water in one day .

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The Dark Side of Golf

By: Brendan Bartow

the dark side of golf
The Dark Side of Golf
  • Excessive Water Usage
  • Synthetic Chemical pollution
  • Destruction of local ecosystems

A single golf course in the U.S. soaks up more than 300,000 gallons of water in one day.

In 2010, the United States had 18,514 golf courses.

More than 5.5 million gallons of water are used each day on golf courses in the United States.

synthetic chemicals
Synthetic Chemicals
  • Golf courses rely on Pesticides and Fertilizers to maintain their pristine look.
  • Insecticides, herbicides, fungicides and bactericides are all different pesticides.

A 1990 study of 52 Long Island golf courses found that:

    • 18 pounds of pesticides per year, per acre were applied.
    • This is an astonishing 7 times the average amount used on farm land.
  • Of the 30 most commonly used pesticides:
    • 19 can cause cancer
    • 30 are linked with birth defects
    • 21 effect reproduction organs
    • 15 are nervous system toxins

Pesticides are harmful to both animals and humans.

    • A man by the name of Steve Herzog was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin\'s lymphoma after treating Yale University Golf Course with pesticides for 15 years.
    • Pesticides can cause mutations in animals and damage their reproductive organs.

Diseased Frogs


Run off water from golf courses carries pesticides into local water systems.

When the pesticides spread, they contaminate more animals and humans.

habitat destruction
Habitat Destruction
  • Golf courses take up 3,507 square miles of land. Approximately 3 times the size of Rhode Island.
lack of biodiversity
Lack of Biodiversity
  • The lack of biodiversity on a golf course is bad for the ecosystem.
    • A lack of biodiversity causes
      • Plant diseases to spread easier.
      • Ecosystems to fail.


What happens to all of the old golf clubs and balls?

more n aturalistic g olf courses
More Naturalistic Golf Courses
  • Buffer zones provide:
    • A safe haven for animals.
    • A natural filter for run off water.
    • Only placed in “out of play” areas.
    • A natural habitat for both animals and sightseers to enjoy.
helpful pests
Helpful Pests
  • Not all pests are harmful.
  • Some insects:
  • Beneficial insects and animals on golf courses can can cut down on the need for pesticides and fertilizers.
    • One lady bug can eat up to 100 aphids in one day!
    • Bat’s and birds eat many harmful insects.
    • Certain fish can control algae levels in ponds.
  • Pollinate flowers
  • Eat harmful insects
  • Break down plant matter
how to be smarter with water
How to be smarter with water.
  • Effluent Water: treated and cleaned sewage water.
      • Perfectly safe for watering.
      • Cheap and easy to buy.
      • Always available.
  • Recapturing Systems
      • Allows for water to be reused.
      • More sustainable.
  • Water only at proper times.
synthetic chemical alternatives
Synthetic Chemical Alternatives
  • Natural remedies:
        • Water combined with rosemary will deter ticks and fleas.
        • Boric Acid powder and honey will deter ants.
        • Mild dishwashing soap and cooking oil also controls various insects.
        • Baking soda and detergent controls many types of fungi.
  • Golf courses should aim to become more naturalistic to improve their ecosystems.
  • Creating buffer zones can act as a natural filter for run off water while providing animal habitats.
  • Introducing certain beneficial insects and animals can control harmful pests.
  • By using effluent water and drainage-recapturing systems golf courses can use water more sustainably.
  • Organic and natural pesticides and fertilizers should be used to cut back on pollution.
  • Golf courses should offer club and ball recycling services to improve the overall sustainability of the sport.