Title

Interest, incentives, and education towards organic golf course management: A study of Utah golf course superintendents

Document Type

Article

Journal/Book Title/Conference

Applied Turfgrass Science

Publisher

Plant Management Network International

Publication Date

3-20-2012

Abstract

Extensive discussions of sustainability and environmental impact of golf course management have raised interest in how management can be changed to minimize impact. Management using natural organic methods is possible; however, they often do not provide the expected quality, especially during high disease pressure. In the arid West, disease pressure is much lower than humid regions, making organic management more possible. However, many factors influence turf management decisions made by golf course superintendents. We surveyed superintendents in Utah to explore management decisions and interest in organic programs, followed by online education offered on organic management. A survey in the following year explored how their practices changed in response to the education and other factors. In most cases, the superintendents themselves were the primary causes of change at their golf courses. While superintendents expressed some interest in organic practices, incentives to make those changes appeared limited. Interest in environmental issues increased, but for more than half of the respondents, no changes in management occurred. Already, Utah superintendents rely heavily on cultural practices but changes in management towards organic practices will likely require more effective products and management techniques together with interest by others at the golf course facilities.

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