|▲ Spraying water mixed with sea salt at Jeju Ecoland Golf Club (photo: Ecoland GC)|
There is a golf course in Jeju-do that never sprayed chemical pesticides on the grass since opening. This is Ecoland Golf & Resort (Ecoland GC), which opened in 2009 at Jocheon-up, Jeju City.
According to the Ministry of Environment, only three (as of 2021) golf courses in the nation used no pesticides. Among them, Ecoland GC is the only golf course that has been pesticide-free since such inspections began in 2010. This shows how difficult it is to manage golf course grass without pesticides.
Ecoland GC received approval to build its golf course from the beginning by agreeing not to use any pesticides. This was to minimize the impact on the environment of Gotjawal, known as Jeju’s lungs.
The secret behind taking care of the grass without pesticides was sea salt. After noticing that seawater suppresses the growth of weeds while walking along the coasts of Jeju, salt water was sprayed instead of herbicides, and it was found to be effective in reducing the density of weeds.
On the green, which requires the closest care, holes were made all around and microbes were placed inside rather than using pesticides. As a result, even customers who first complained about the condition of the greens have now changed a lot.
A spokesperson of the golf course said, “Golfers with allergies against pesticides come to our golf course because they feel itchy when going to other regular golf courses,” and added, “We believe that we are still in a stage where we cannot say with complete confidence that pesticide-free management was successful, so we are still working on improving the quality of the grass.”
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