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Lost Balls, Nature's Call And Poison Ivy Leave Golfers Scratching

Armen Hareyan's picture

Players with less than perfect aim or an itch to relieve themselves on the course have given new meaning to the term scratch golfer.

More than 22% of core golfers have been afflicted with poison ivy, oak or sumac on their arms, legs or groin while golfing, according to a new national survey conducted by buji, makers of skin car products for active bodies.

The survey found that poison ivy reactions are more than irritating to golfers; they are costing them strokes on the course and even missed opportunities to play the game. Over 12% of golfers have added strokes to their game and 11% have had to forfeit a day of golf as a result of the relentless itch and irritation of poison ivy.

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"Poison ivy is the leading cause of allergic reactions in America. We knew it was a problem for golfers, but we were surprised to learn just how significant its impact is," says Cadey O'Leary, president and founder of buji, LLC. "Knowing poison ivy's prevalence, doesn't it make sense to protect yourself against it? You wouldn't venture out in humid areas without insect repellent, so why not take some precautions to protect yourself from the plants' wrath while on the course?"

Global warming plays another factor in the equation. According to a study conducted by Duke and Harvard University Scientists poison ivy grows faster and stronger as carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere increase. Additionally, the CO2 driven vine also produces more urushiol, its rash causing chemical (the original study appeared in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences).

The buji survey was conducted on-line specifically with golfers, ages 25- 55, with 62% core golfers, hitting the course at least 20 times per year. Additional findings include: