This year a crucial pesticide has been taken off the market for golf clubs, a chemical called Carbendazim. This chemical is used by many of us golf clubs to prevent wormcasts appearing on our surfaces. Some clubs spray their greens and tees, but we have always applied the chemical to our fairways too.
Why do we want to suppress worms? The wormcasts that they leave behind cause us lots of problems. They smear under foot and trolley wheels, creating muddy areas, they are unsightly, they can block up mowers, they cause uneven playing surfaces, they prevent good surface drainage, they help weeds germinate, and they smother grass so it can’t grow effectively.
The chemical was been taken off the market earlier this year as it was deemed to be too dangerous to the environment, even though it has been used for decades, and there is no replacement that has come onto the market so golf clubs are actively looking at other ways to control the worms. On the right is a poster that is being circulated by the British & International Golf Greenkeepers Association with information about the ban.
Please be patient with your golf club this winter if you feel the the playing surfaces are messier and wetter than they have been in previous winters, it’s probably not their fault!
Every club is facing this issue at the moment and we are all going to be doing our best to keep our courses as good as possible this winter!