January 8, 2010

Geese on the Golf Course

Canada Geese are everywhere, eating away at any grass they can find. That’s bad news for local golf courses like Naperbrook.

The Naperville Park District is attacking the problem. For the 3rd year in a row they are using more than a dozen plywood dogs to keep the geese away. The K-9s resemble predators and the birds want nothing to do with them.

“Anywhere there’s open water, there tends to be a lot of geese and this is just a low cost way to combat that problem,” said Kevin Carlson, Superintendent of Golf Gounds for the Naperville Park District.

In this the season of giving, the birds leave too many gifts behind and they tear up the turf. It’s an issue when it comes time to re-open for golf in the spring.

“They tend to migrate right to the short grass and the greens. They peck away pretty good at it,” said Tim Dunn, Head Golf Professional at Naperbrook.

Even though the dogs aren’t real, the silhouettes are fooling passersby.

“You know as people drive by I do get phone calls or comments that we have real dogs walking around the course,” said Dunn.

Humans aren’t the only ones being tricked. So far the geese are staying off course.

“We haven’t had any geese this winter. Eventually they’ll catch on, but overall we’re pretty happy with it,” said Carlson.

The dogs will be taken down at the beginning of March, weather permitting.


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