Stonebrae’s Perfect Golf Course Maintenance Crew
In an effort to explore new golf course maintenance technologies and strategies, we invited some guests to help us with our vegetation management plan. On February 28, we welcomed a herd of 400 goats to graze on 25 acres of naturalized vegetation. Over the next 30 days, the goats will work to maintain 30 acres of overgrowth in the native areas around the course. The herd of goats are being accompanied by a fulltime shepherd and dog as they eat most of the thistle and harding grass down to between 2-4” around holes 6, 8, 9, 11 and 12. Let’s get an up-close and personal look at our new maintenance crew on the move!
You may be asking – why were goats used to maintain the golf course? Well, the answer is simple. The fairways and roughs of a golf course are often covered in weeds and large sections of other vegetation, and golf balls are frequently lost there. That’s where the goats come in. Goats actually possess a unique trait that differentiates them from almost every other type of livestock – they prefer to eat brush and foliage over grass because they are ‘browsers’ rather than ‘grazers.’ To give you a better idea, a goat’s diet is made up of 60 percent brush and foliage whereas a cow’s diet is only made up of 10-15 percent brush and foliage.
Plus, the goats move at high speeds, obliterating weeds from the ground level up. By standing on their back legs, goats are able to reach upwards of six feet and eat everything in their sight. It’s easy to see why the goat makes for the perfect golf course maintenance animal. In our effort to preserve the natural spaces in and around Stonebrae in the most environmentally sensitive way, we thought it only fitting to use the most natural of resources to maintain our community and yours!