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What Do Golf Courses Use To Prevent Weeds?

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Published: 2 April 2024
Written By Ifrah Tanveer

Reviewed by Farrukh Mehmood

Facts checked by Zafar Mehmood

What do golf courses use to prevent weeds? Alright! Careful control of plant growth is necessary to keep golf courses looking immaculate because unchecked weeds can quickly detract from the course’s aesthetic appeal. In response, golf courses utilize a variety of weed-controlling tactics, including the use of mulch, the application of herbicides, and hand weed removal.

By the end of this guide, you’ll have enough knowledge regarding the prevention of weeds. 

How Are Herbicides Used On Golf Courses To Keep Weeds Out?

Herbicides are used by golf courses to inhibit the growth of weeds by taking advantage of the effectiveness and user-friendliness of these chemicals that kill plants. Herbicides are effective, but you must use caution because they can harm beneficial plants as well.

Pre-emergent and post-emergent herbicides are the two primary types of herbicides used on golf courses. Herbicides applied before flowers sprout aim to stop the growth of weed seeds before they even germinate. Treflan and Pendimethalin are two such.

Conversely, weeds that have already germinated are eradicated with post-emergent herbicides. Common examples in this category are roundup and glyphosate. Effective weed control is facilitated by the thoughtful selection and application of these herbicides, which also reduce the risk to the golf course’s desirable vegetation. 

Mechanical extraction

Hand weeding is a labor-intensive but plant-friendly technique that is especially useful in places herbicides are not appropriate, like near water hazards. When using this manual method, keep the following advice in mind:

  1. Put on Protective Gloves: When pulling weeds, protect your hands by donning gloves.
  1. Loosen the Soil: Before extracting the weed, carefully loosen the soil surrounding it with a digging motion to make removal easier.
  1. Grasp at the Base: Taking a firm hold, grasp the weed at its base and carefully pull it out of the ground.
  1. Remove Whole Root: Make sure the entire weed, including its root system, is extracted in order to stop it from growing back.
  1. Wet the Soil: To facilitate weed removal and increase its efficacy, wet the soil with water if resistance is encountered.


Mulching is a layer of protection applied to the soil to prevent weed growth and retain soil moisture. Leaves, straw, and wood chips are common mulching materials. Mulch is a useful tool for controlling weeds, but because it degrades naturally over time, it must be replaced on a regular basis. Furthermore, mulch enhances a golf course’s aesthetic appeal.

Here are some detailed instructions for mulching:


  • a grass mower
  • A rake
  • Fabric landscape sheeting or plastic mulch


  1. Set Up the Space: Using a lawnmower and rake, level and smooth the designated area to produce an even surface.
  1. Install Landscape Sheeting: To further prevent weed growth, cover the area with a layer of landscape sheeting or plastic mulch.
  1. Unbag Mulch: To make distribution easier, transfer the fresh mulch into a wheelbarrow.
  1. Mulch Distribution: Using a shovel or your hands, distribute small mounds of mulch evenly around the chosen area.

The Advantages of Golf Courses Utilizing Weed Control Systems:

For “What Do Golf Courses Use To Prevent Weeds?” There are several advantages to using a weed prevention system on golf courses that go beyond aesthetic concerns.  Prioritizing employee and customer safety alongside the facility’s aesthetics is imperative for golf course owners.

Unchecked weed growth can be extremely dangerous, especially when it comes to plants like poison ivy, which can cause skin irritations, allergic reactions, or more serious health issues.

The following are the main advantages of weed prevention for golf courses:

  1. Enhanced Safety: By reducing the chance of exposure to toxic or allergic plants, weed prevention systems help to create a safe environment for workers and clients. Maintaining everyone’s health on the golf course depends on this.
  1. Cost and Time Savings: Proactive weed prevention systems cut down on the amount of time and money needed for intensive weed control operations. As a result, less money is spent on manual labor, herbicides, and other control techniques, which saves money. In addition, it saves time that would be needed for continuous weed control.
  1. Preservation of Aesthetics: Golf courses can preserve an aesthetically beautiful landscape free from the encroachment of unsightly and possibly dangerous weeds by controlling weed growth from the beginning. This enhances the overall enjoyment of both visitors and players.
  1. Effective Resource Allocation: By allowing for more strategic resource allocation, weed prevention systems free up golf course owners to concentrate on other areas of course upkeep and improvement rather than continuously battling weed problems.

What is the Price of Installing and Maintaining A System to Prevent Weed Growth?

A golf course’s weed prevention system installation and upkeep costs can differ depending on the course’s size and the type of system selected. Installation fees typically range from $500 to $2000, and annual maintenance costs are approximately $100. These numbers, however, are approximations and may be impacted by particular elements that are particular to every golf course.

Installing landscape fabric is a popular way for a low-cost solution. The actions to take are as follows:

  1. Eliminate All Vegetation: Using the proper equipment, such as a garden hoe or shovel, clear the area of any weeds, grass, and other vegetation.
  1. Clear and Level the Soil: To ensure a successful fabric installation, make sure the soil is level and free of debris.
  1. Lay the Landscape Fabric: To stop weed growth, cover the prepared soil with landscape fabric.
  1. Fasten the Fabric: To keep the fabric in place, use staples or other fasteners.
  1. Plant Through the Fabric: Create the appropriate planting apertures in the fabric, making sure the weed prevention is directed toward the right areas.
  1. Add Mulch: To increase the fabric’s usefulness and visual appeal, cover it with mulch.

Regarding environmental concerns, using chemicals of any kind, including weed control systems, brings them into question. However, these systems are usually considered safe for the environment when used in accordance with guidelines and regulations.

Minimizing the impact on the environment is facilitated by proper installation and ongoing maintenance. Golf courses must use approved products, adhere to best practices, and remain aware of any possible environmental effects of the weed prevention strategies they have chosen.

Does Using Iron Kill Weeds?

Iron can indeed be used as a herbicide to eradicate weeds. One common form of iron used for this purpose is iron sulfate. Iron sulfate is applied, and the intended weeds turn brown and eventually die. Turf areas such as golf courses frequently use this technique. 

It is important to remember that, even though iron sulfate is thought to be environmentally safe when applied as directed, incorrect application can have negative consequences.

Usually applied in the early spring or late fall, caution must be taken to adhere to suggested guidelines in order to guarantee minimal impact on the environment and efficient weed control. Like any herbicide, correct application is essential to getting the intended effects without endangering the environment.

Does Weeds Die When Fertilized?

Weeds cannot be killed by standard fertilizers because they lack herbicidal qualities. In actuality, regular fertilizers can encourage the growth of weeds because they supply the soil with necessary nutrients that all plants, including weeds, can use.

To manage weeds, certain fertilizers are designed to contain herbicides in addition to other ingredients. They are frequently called feed and weed fertilizers. They blend the advantages of herbicide-treated weeds with the benefits of fertilization. It is important to remember that these products should only be applied sparingly because doing so could damage both the intended grass or plants and the weeds.

Herbicides are included in a few weed and feed fertilizers to control weeds. These include:

  1. Scotts Turf Builder Starter Food For New Grass Plus Weed Preventer
  2. BioAdvanced Weed & Feed Crabgrass Killer
  3. Spectracide Weed & Feed Ready-to-Spray
  4. Miracle-Gro Shake ‘N Feed All Purpose Plant Food

Problems With Maintaining a Weed-Free Golf Course:

Maintaining a weed-free golf course presents a number of difficulties, and total eradication might not be possible even with intensive efforts. The following are some difficulties in controlling weeds on golf courses:

  1. Weeds’ Persistent Nature: Weeds are adaptable and can flourish in a variety of environments. Certain weeds have extensive root systems, which makes total eradication challenging.
  1. Environmental Factors: Certain weather patterns can encourage the growth of weeds, especially in regions with high levels of moisture or precipitation. Too much water can encourage the germination and growth of weeds. 
  1. Introduction by Outside Sources: Human activity, animals, and birds can all introduce weeds. Seeds can accidentally spread throughout the golf course by sticking to shoes, gear, or clothes.
  1. Wind Dispersal: The wind has the ability to carry weed seeds, enabling them to move and settle in various parts of the course. This makes stopping the spread of weeds difficult.
  1. Continuous Seed Movement: Weeds depend on the movement of their seeds to spread. Small mammals and birds, for example, may unintentionally assist in the weed seeds’ dissemination throughout the golf course.
  1. Some weed species are extremely invasive and have the ability to displace desirable turfgrasses. It might be necessary to take more drastic and focused measures to control invasive weeds.

Alternative Methods of Weed Prevention:

Greener techniques that eliminate or reduce the use of chemical herbicides are alternatives for controlling weeds on golf courses. Here are a few substitutes:

  1. Boiling Water: By preventing seed germination, boiling water effectively stops the growth of weeds. However, it is less common for weed control on golf courses due to its limited applicability on a large scale.
  1. Vinegar Mix: While white vinegar, salt, and liquid dish soap can kill weeds, they may also damage plants that are intended for planting. Because of the possible harm to the grass, its use is uncommon on golf courses.
  1. Mowing the Lawn: One very good way to stop weed growth is to mow your lawn on a regular basis. It keeps things looking well-groomed and prevents weeds from taking root. This procedure is essential to maintaining golf courses. 

Conclusion- What Do Golf Courses Use To Prevent Weeds?

In summary, “What Do Golf Courses Use To Prevent Weeds?” Golf courses’ flawless green lawns require careful upkeep, which frequently includes using herbicides to stop weed growth. To stop light and prevent weed growth, more and more golf courses are using organic methods like mulch and covers.

Even though this option could be more expensive and time-consuming, it can produce equally amazing results and benefits the environment. You will therefore be aware of the environmentally friendly effort being made to preserve the golf course’s beauty the next time you see someone carefully spreading mulch around the greens.

Frequently Asked Questions- What do golf courses use to prevent weeds?

Can mowing the lawn effectively prevent weed growth on golf courses?

In order to stop weed growth on golf courses, regular mowing is an essential practice. It prevents weeds from taking root and aids in maintaining the desired appearance.

Are there alternative methods to herbicides for weed prevention on golf courses?

Yes, you can kill weeds with boiling water and make a mixture with vinegar as alternatives to herbicides. On large-scale golf courses, these techniques might not be as popular or have as many advantages. 

What is the role of mulch in weed prevention on golf courses?

When mulch is applied to the ground, it blocks sunlight, which inhibits the growth of weeds. Although it can be more costly and time-consuming than traditional herbicides, it is thought to be a more environmentally friendly option.

Is weed prevention a continuous challenge for golf courses?

Yes, it is a constant challenge to keep the golf course free of weeds. It is imperative that golf courses implement proactive and ongoing weed prevention strategies due to various factors such as weather patterns, seed dispersal, and outside interactions.

Muhammad Zafar