Wild plants are part of the vista of the golf course. Throughout the season we can witness the beauty of many wild flowering plants that are abundant in the deep rough that border most of the fairways. From time to time we hit balls there and feel obligated to look for them. Please remember that these are naturalized areas where wild plants are allowed to grow. Every effort is made to control those that are injurious to human health but it it’s not possible to remove all of the worst of them.
Members and guests need to remember that the club is not responsible for injuries caused by plants and animals on the course. It is up to each of us to be informed of the risks, however minor, that are present in a natural environment. We are fortunate that we do not have an overabundance of biting insects on the property but we, like most clubs, do have our share of noxious weeds. Although we go to great lengths to control them, they are still present in certain areas on the property.
Probably the worst offender is the wild parsnip. These plants have a two-year life cycle and are very difficult to spot when they are not flowering. Unfortunately, no one is immune from the toxic sap of these plants. When it contacts skin in the presence of sunlight, even on cloudy days, the sap can cause severe rashes, blisters, and discoloration of the skin (phytophotodermatitis). For more information on wild parsnip and how to recognize a wild parsnip and it’s rash please click on this link http://dnr.wi.gov/wnrmag/html/stories/1999/jun99/parsnip.htm . If you see a patch of wild parsnip, please inform the pro shop so that our greens staff can work to eradicate it.
Other plants are more recognizable, such as thistles which are easily identified and poison ivy, which is more prevalent in shaded or wooded areas.
Our best advice is to be reasonably informed and better yet, keep the ball in the fairway!