Birdies, eagles and... goats? You'll find all three at Settlers' Ghost Golf Course near Barrie, Ontario, now that Whipper and Snipper have been “hired” to keep the rough down to a manageable level. The pair of six-month-old Carl Spackler wannabes are low-maintenance, work through their lunch hour (actually, work IS their lunch hour) and as a bonus will occasionally “feed” the grounds using all-natural, organic fertilizer of their own design.
“If you look back old school in Scotland where golf originated,” explained course superintendent Chris Gulliver, “it was goats and sheep that kept most of those golf courses trimmed and weed-free.” Fast-forward to the 21st century and the so-called “Settlers' Goats” are keeping the tradition alive!
Gulliver says it wasn't easy to convince skeptics on the Settlers' Ghost Golf Course board of the benefits of having grass-munching goats but they came around once the numbers were crunched. “The cost of these two goats is equivalent to about one carton of herbicide,” says Gulliver, who added “The thing is that, once the weed killer is gone, it's gone. The goats are going to be here for years.”
They may also start a trend, at least in Canada where the pair appear to be the first gainfully employed golf course goats. Cost factors aside, goat greenskeepers also address the thorny issue of herbicide and pesticide use by golf courses, who have been under pressure lately by municipalities eager to lighten their environmental footprint.
“We're fortunate enough to be surrounded by wildlife, which we take very seriously,” stated Gulliver, “and I am always researching ways that we can become more environmentally friendly.” With Whipper and Snipper keeping the nines neat, he may have hit on a solution that's not baaad at all. (via Toronto Sun and Simcoe.com)