Turf & Rec

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Keep golf exempt in B.C. from pesticide regulations


December 9, 2011
By Mike Jiggens


Topics

A critical stage has arrived in the British Columbia government’s
examination of chemical pest control products and their future use on
turfgrass, including golf courses.

A consultation process met its deadline on Dec. 16. Up until then, the government entertained submissions from those engaged in the turf maintenance industry, activists and any other concerned parties.

The golf industry in the province is especially sitting on pins and needles, not knowing what its future might be like in the event a provincial ban is enacted and one which could include golf.

A similar exercise was conducted in Ontario a few years ago, leading toward the eventual cosmetic pesticide ban which has now been in effect for three full seasons. Golf was granted an exemption of sorts, but new regulations were put in place to forever change the way golf superintendents conduct their business.

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Golf in British Columbia cannot afford to be lumped into one general policy which would outlaw pesticides everywhere. Golf is more than just a game. It is big business and a key component of the province’s tourism industry. It generates billions of dollars in revenue and helps fuel other sideline industries.

Take a look at page 58 of this issue to see just what golf courses might look like without pesticides being available when necessary. It’s pretty scary. At the very least, golf in British Columbia must be treated the same as it is in Ontario if the industry is to survive and prosper. If the provincial government cannot see fit to grant it a similar exemption, it will only succeed in destroying its own economy.

Every once in a while, I receive items in the mail I’m asked to test drive and then share my findings with our readers. Often, these items are sent by companies which believe our publication is read by golfers as opposed to golf superintendents and their brethren in the turf maintenance industry.

A little while ago, I was sent a product called the Power Wedge, which looks like a door wedge but is meant to help synchronize your legs, hips and arms during the golf swing in order to avoid off-balance ball-striking. When using the Power Wedge, the properly sequenced “click” sound as the club passes through impact means you’re shifting your weight off your back foot with solid timing.

So why am I talking about a golf training device in a turf magazine? Aside from the fact there are few things more embarrassing in golf than taking a divot with your driver when the ball is teed up—which is often the result of a poorly-timed, off-balance swing—superintendents can do without having to repair divots on par five and long par four tees which unnecessarily adds to their crews’ workloads.

If superintendents can convince their club pros to stock this product in the pro shop, it can help to both improve members’ games as well as decrease the number of divots on par four and five tees. Everybody wins.
It’s not a terribly pricey item, about $20. For more information, visit http://www.sklz.ca/golf/powerwedge.aspx.