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James had become an avid golfer over the past few years and enjoyed spending time outdoors on the beautifully groomed golf courses. One day after playing a round with some friends, James began to think about how perfect his favorite golf courses appear, and what it takes to keep the grounds looking so nice. He was concerned about whether he might be exposed to pesticides while golfing. James decided to call the National Pesticide Information Center for more information about pesticide use on golf courses.

Take Home Message

The Pesticide Specialist explained that pesticides are used on golf courses and other recreational areas to maintain the health and appearance of the turf.

James learned that most golf courses have highly trained golf course superintendents who manage the course, including turf management and pest control strategies. It is also common to have at least one certified pesticide applicator on staff to ensure that pesticides are being used properly.

When pesticides are used, activity on the golf course may pose a possible risk of exposure to pesticide residues. The most likely way for golfers to be exposed is through direct skin contact with the turf, such as on bare hands, arms, and lower legs. The Pesticide Specialist discussed some optional ways for James to minimize his pesticide exposure on the golf course:

The Pesticide Specialist also said that James could contact the golf course superintendent to find out what pesticides are typically applied to the course. He could also learn about practices they may use to help reduce pesticide exposure:

The Pesticide Specialist also directed James to some websites where he can learn more about golf course management practices and pesticides:
Assessing Chemical Hazards on Golf Courses (USGA)
Determining Golfer Exposure and Hazard to Pesticides (UMass)
Golf Course Superintendents Association of America - Pesticides