Submitted to: Trade Journal Publication
Publication Type: Trade Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: March 1, 2006
Publication Date: July 1, 2006
Citation: King, K.W. 2006. Nutrient loss from a golf course watershed. USGA Green Section Record. July-August. p. 20-25. Technical Abstract: Golf courses account for approximately 3% of all turfgrass in the U.S. and are among the most intensively managed land uses in the urban landscape. Concerns of potentially adverse water quality effects stemming from substantial water and fertilizer inputs to these systems have elevated. Watershed scale data to address these concerns is limited. To assess the impact of golf course management on nutrient transport to surface water bodies, surface and subsurface nutrient transport was measured from the Morris Williams Municipal Golf Course in Austin, TX for 5 years (April 1, 1998 to March 31, 2003). Storm water runoff accounted for 1.2 kg ha-1 yr-1 NO3+NO2-N, 0.23 kg ha-1 yr-1 of NH4-N and 0.51 kg ha-1 yr-1 DRP. These storm flow amounts represent approximately 3.3% of applied N and 6.3% of applied P over the contributing area for the same period. Subsurface NO3-N concentrations and load from the turf area were approximately 10% of those values reported for typical row crop agriculture. Median DRP concentrations were 0.11 mg L-1 and 0.09 mg L-1 from each drain while DRP loading was 0.46 kg ha-1. Our results suggest NO3-N transport in surface and subsurface drainage from this golf course is not a water quality issue. However, our findings suggest significant DRP transport through the drainage features of this course and a need for an integrated (turf, nutrients, and water) management plan that includes consideration of subsurface drainage fluxes as well as surface losses.