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Painted greens?


I played a course in Greenville SC this Morning and I'm pretty sure they were painting their greens. 

It sure smelled a whole lot like paint, and after each putt I had to wipe this weird turquoise like paint off of my ball and putter. I understand the need for a golf course to be aesthetically pleasing, but this was just downright inconvenient. I'm also pretty sure that this wasn't great for my lungs or the course/ environment in general. It also took a good deal of scrubbing to get the stuff off of my hands. If I had been wearing khaki shorts instead of blue, I'm sure I would've had to buy new diggs as well. 

Have you guys ever seen this before?

15 Replies

  1. Don O

    I saw green stuff being sprayed around the greens at Charleston National in SC, but it appeared to be a fertilizer mix as much as just coloring.

  2. Tyler H

    I am thinking that that is fertilizer. I know that when I played Cog Hill after the BMW a few years back the greens were in a similar state.

  3. Steve N

    This is common in South Carolina.  That is why we are careful to clean our golf balls with towels, if you know what I mean....

  4. shawn d

    I have seen this before and it does look like paint and has a smell but it is some kind of fertilizer/pesticide/herbicide.  It will be gone in a couple days.

  5. Robert Sellman


    I live over in Spartanburg and Village Greens does it a lot mainly during the winter. Do you live in Greenville?

  6. Cliff B

    The painting technique is done all over the southeast. Couple reasons to paint: One, it is easier to visually see a colored green when hitting a shot versus hitting into a brown green that is the same color as the rough around it. Two, some or most courses do not overseed due to cost and time it takes to transition from a winter overseed to Bermuda. Hope that gives you some information you wanted.

  7. Cliff B

    Also, the colored water is not harmful. It is a dye to let Superintendents know where applicants have been sprayed.

  8. Tim Tiger

    It looks like fertilizer mix to me.  Seems to be the same color as they use here so they know where they have sprayed.  

    Hope you didn't lick them while out there.  


  9. Mark F

    I too live in Greenville,SC and the course that I play most often, Bonnie Brae GC, was doing spraying last week.  They were spraying a pesticide/fertilizer around all of the greens. Unfortunately, they also sprayed the rakes that were lying near the greens and when I picked one up my hand looked like I had some disease.  I asked the sprayer guy and he said that it was just a dye they use to see where they had sprayed so as not to over-spray and that it was not harmful.  I washed my hands several times over the rest of the day and the coloring was pretty much gone by the time I went to bed.

    Mark F

  10. Hotsauce

    Thanks for all the responses guys. 

    I actually live north of Boston. I'm just down here on business and happened to sneak in a round in Greenwood. I've played golf all over the place and never seen this before. Maybe it was just because I had the first tee time of the day and the greens had been freshly painted.  

    I definitely made sure to wipe my ball on a towel. And I had to wipe my putter after each putt as well. When I tried to wash off my hands in the restroom after the third hole, and I couldn't get the stuff off, I grabbed about 15 paper towel sheets so I could wipe my hands off after each green.

    The guy applying it wasn't wearing a mask, but I could definitely smell it. I even got a little bit of a cough towards the end when I caught up to the sprayer at the 13th hole. 

    The concept of it makes sense, and I sure do hope it's harmless, it just seems like they should have a warning or something. A "wet paint" sign at the least. Good thing I wasn't wearing my white icons- That could've been a disaster

  11. ToddL


    It looks like fertilizer mix to me.  Seems to be the same color as they use here so they know where they have sprayed.  

    Hope you didn't lick them while out there.  


    I agree - looks like a liquid fertilizer to me.  

  12. Skylar T

    I see this all the time and I know it's not paint.  I think they spray to keep the weeds off the greens.  

  13. John L

    We have this at my golf course. they paint the fairways and the greens. it leaves a nasty green film on the clubs

  14. Richard H

    Perhaps ask the staff at the golf course what was on their greens.  That might be the only way to know for sure exactly what you came into contact with.    I saw a thread on a similar topic that may be of interest:;topic=40715.0

    Hopefully that ball in the photo was just pulled out of the cup after making a birdie...



  15. josh w

    that is just the fertalizer

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