The Augusta syndrome, golfers see Augusta and say ‘why doesn't my golf course look like that – blemish-free, no weeds’? 
But such standards come at a cost to the environment. Fertilizers, pesticides, herbicides and astonishing amounts of water are all necessary ingredients. They point to phosphorus-based fertilizers, which run off into local lakes and streams during watering and rainstorms, causing algae blooms that suck up oxygen and kill aquatic life. And because turf is mowed to very low heights, grass is stressed and vulnerable to pests, which leads to greater pesticide use.

And then there is the issue of water use. World Watch Institute - estimates the amount of water used per day to irrigate the world's golf course at 9.5 billion litres. The same amount of water would support 4.7 billion people at the UN daily minimum.

Yet ecologist Jim Sluiter maintains that in urban areas, a golf course can, in fact, be more environmentally-friendly than a housing development or a shopping complex. And in rural areas, it's often less harmful than an industrial farming operation.

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