Environmentally Friendly Golf Course Mower

Environmentally Friendly Golf Course Mower 1945 photo of goat at golf course

Environmentally Friendly Golf Course Mower

This 1945 photo shows a goat used by Seabees to keep their South Pacific golf course trimmed.

“With lawn mowers something unheard of in the South Pacific combat zone, fairways and greens of the Yankee Bee Country Club are kept “mowed” by CGK (Chief Greens Keeper), “Jimmy”, a three-month old goat. A Sea Bee unit, builders of this unusual course traded one can of chow to a Marine Corps Sergeant for the pet goat. Jimmy proved to be one of the most valuable investments for this unique golf course. At first he ate grass everywhere, except in the space desired but now he has been tied with a 50 foot rope to the area desired to be trimmed and each day moved a different spot.”

The Seabees are the US Naval Construction Force. The name comes from Naval Construction Battalions (C-Bs). During the Second World War, Seabees operated on six continents, building more than 300 bases, and innumerable airstrips, piers, wharves and so forth. If it needed built and was in striking distance of a coast, the Seebees got the job.

But back to golf and the environmentally friendly golf course mower.

Animals keeping courses trimmed was not a new thing. One of golf’s founding legends is that the original courses were areas cleared by herds of sheep; that traps were created by sheep nestling down for the night; and that shepherds used their crooks as clubs.I don’t know if any of that is true, but it sounds good.

Similarly one of the founding legends of my home courseWashtenaw Golf Club — has it that sheep were originally used to keep the fairways mowed through use of a movable pen.

There has been a lot of ink spilled in recent years about the environmental impact of golf. Perhaps some modern course could experiment with doing things the old fashioned way and employ some environmentally friendly golf goats and sheep.

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