Lawn-Based Pest Control is a topic that tugs at the heartstrings of both golfers and non-golfers alike. Traditionally at odds, these two groups certainly agree on the value of recreation in a natural, wild and pristine environment. Without any damn interruptions from wildlife!
With that in mind, we bring you the world's first comprehensive guide to Lawn-Based Pest Control. Here you'll find techniques for controlling such common pests as cows, gophers and, of course, alligators.
Our techniques have been well-tested in the wild, but have never been revealed in a single, easy-to-reference guide. Until now. Enjoy, and let us know how it works out. Or, on second thought, don't. We'll be out enjoying nature. Without the animals.
Bambi, Meet Tiger
Deer love golf, it's true. And who can blame them? Their short game is nothing special, but look out for those woods. On the other hand, controlling deer is serious business. Just ask the Baltusrol Golf Club in New Jersey — they're pushing to allow hunters on to their course to take care of their deer problem. But they really needn't go that far. We've got a much simpler solution.
Added Bonus: Put An End to Those Silly Tiger Jokes
A couple of hungry tigers on your favorite golf course would not only help keep the deer population in check, but would also be a beautiful addition to an already scenic wilderness environment. And, as an added benefit, it would free up some tee times and make it much easier to book your Sunday foursome at the last minute.
"Hey Bob, think you can get us a tee time at Baltusrol this morning?"
"Oh yeah. Just bring some raw steaks and we should be fine."
And what will Baltusrol do with these tigers when they're not hunting buck? Easy... they'll put them to work. Tigers make excellent caddies, provided they've had enough to eat.
Fig. 1: Who you calling a philanderer?!
Put an End to The Cow Chip Shot
The problem of cows taking over golf courses has become an epidemic. No less an authority than the New York Times recognizes this. Check out their story entitled "Cow Swallows a Golf Ball and Dies." And, if that kind of thing could happen back in 1897, imagine how bad the problem has gotten today.
How do we clear our golf courses and lawns of these menacing creatures? Two words: one irons.
By now I'm sure you've heard Lee Trevino's advice — "If you're out on the golf course and a lightning storm rolls in, just hold up a one iron. Even God can't hit a one iron."
Lee was exactly right, which is why one-irons have gone the way of the persimmons wood and the gutta percha ball. But it's time to bring them back... to scare off the cows.
With that in mind, courses infested with unwanted cows should offer a free round to anyone with a bag full of one-irons.
Go ahead, pull one out and take a mighty lash. Watch your golf ball fly perilously close to the ground like a drunk crop duster. Be sure to make a full shoulder turn as you will need to create enough club head speed to fully frighten the cow. You get no points for simply amusing it.
Fig. 2: "Under the Hereford, left of the Guernsey, then roll it up next to Ol' Bess."
Take a Lesson From the Pros
Devious. Sneaky. Deadly. These three words bring to mind one and only one lawn-based pest. We speak, of course, of the Gopher.
Who Ya Gonna Call?
It's no surprise, then, that the gopher is the subject of the most well-known media coverage of lawn-based pest-removal. Witness Exhibit A — Carl Spackler in Caddyshack.
Carl taught us the value of patience, ingenuity, and a whole lot of dynamite in dealing with the most persistent of all pests. Should this humble how-to guide result in the creation of a Pest-Removal Hall of Fame, Carl will be our first inductee.
See for yourself...
Fig. 3: Beware the Varmint Cong
Bring Your Dog to Golf Day
Stories of unwanted foxes interfering with the great game of golf abound. And we're not just talking about the sly foxes of children's fairy tales. These foxes bite and, worse yet, approach unsuspecting players who are in the act of putting!
Clearly these pests must be controlled.
Unleash the Hounds
In the wilderness, bobcats and panthers do an adequate job of keeping the fox population in check. But seeding a golf course with panthers can be expensive. This is why your favorite golf course needs to sponsor a "Golf with Fido Day." Bring your wily Weimaraner, your diligent Dalmatian, or your gargantuan Great Dane.
I'd like to see those stubborn foxes stand up to my dog Penelope. Before I could get a tee in the ground, she'd have the neck of one of those sly devils in her mouth, spinning it around like a noise maker on New Year's Eve.
Golfers please remember to pick up your dog poop. And of course there is no penalty for balls stolen from the green by a Labrador. (Take a free drop nearest to the crime scene.)
Fig. 4: "We'll let them play through"
Them's Good Eatin'
Crows steal golf balls, frighten golfers with their menacing screeches and cause endless online debate that distracts from endless online debate about putter size.
And they're crafty. Which means we need to get smart in our approach to chasing them off.
Required: One Cranky Neighbor With Shotgun
Crows mate for life. Awwwwwww. That's perfect, since we can use this knowledge to lure them off of the golf course and into our grumpy neighbor's yard. And if our neighbor just happens to be Clint Eastwood in Gran Torino? All the better.
Should be simple enough — I've seen some pretty intricate remote control planes flying around at the park. I'll design a remote control crow sex goddess. Give it a sultry "Squawk" and a large pair of crow knockers and let cupid do his thing.
Sing with me now... "Why do birds suddenly appear, every time you are near? Hey crows, GET THE HELL OFF MY LAWN!"
Fig. 5: The Eagle Has Landed
Damn Funny If Only It Weren't True
Beetles can be an especially annoying pest to deal with when attempting to keep a lawn pristine. They're tiny, mostly silent, and have a voracious appetite for all things vegetative.
No, Actually, It's Still Funny
Luckily, keeping them under control is a straightforward matter. Just follow the lead of the Australian Goverment: import an exotic species of toad from a land far away and let it go to work. And if you're worried that the toad may multiply uncontrollably since it has no natural predator in its new environment, thereby creating a problem much worse than the original?
Relax, you're over-thinking things. Or at least you're thinking more than the Australian Government did when it tried this technique.
The good news is that golfers — and Australians — are a resourceful bunch. Just let a few of them loose on the course after hours with an old VW bus and watch the fun begin.
Fig. 6: You can't make this stuff up
Send Those Geese Back to Canada
Every American golf course has a problem with Canada Geese. And, while we had hopes that recent, restrictive immigration laws would help keep these foreign-born pests out of our country, we were also prepared to call in the authorities if necessary.
But we are now ready to recommend a new, more innovative approach that will put a halt to the problem at its source.
Lead Them on a Wild Goose Chase
In deference to PETA, we've decided NOT to recommend combining golf with hunting (Gol-Funting anyone?). That would certainly take care of the geese, but might give high-paying repeat customers a severe case of the yips.
No, instead we're going to trot out Amy from 1996 Hollywood sleeper Fly Away Home. Amy raised a bunch of orphaned geese from chicks and then single-handedly deported them in an ultralight airplane. In Amy's honor, we will be opening a summer camp for teenage girls and teaching them to fly ultralights in lieu of joining the girl scouts.
The way we see it, everyone wins. The girls learn a valuable skill, we get our golf courses cleaned up and America's collective waistline can stop fearing Girl Scout Cookie Season.
Fig. 7: Kids + Geese + Golf. I Smell an Oscar!
Here Gator, Gator, Gator....
Alligators and golf are, quite simply, a bad match. Check out these 180,000 articles for more on the topic. Needless to say, it ain't pretty — one guy even scored a quadruple-bogey.
I Said Marshmallows, Not S'Mores!
We've touched on this topic before. But, in that context, it was a matter of protecting yourself in the face of danger. Now we're talking about something much more important — protecting the sanctity and serenity of golf courses throughout the Southeast USA. If golfers cannot golf in peace, without the threat of alligators chasing their balls, then what kind of nation have we become?
The solution remains the same, however. Alligators love marshmallows, and this craving must be exploited in the name of peace. At ZipGolfer, we've developed a special, water-insoluable, exploding marshmallow that can be covertly placed in water hazards throughout Gator Country.
Ignoring frequent explosions and dodging the occasional hunk of flying, charred gator flesh are a small price to pay for being able to line up a 20-foot putt without keeping one eye on the nearest sand-trap rake.
Fig. 8: Keep Head Down, Left Elbow Straight
A Last Word
It's true that we haven't covered all the pests you might encounter during your regular scramble. But the rest should be pretty obvious. Got Moles? Try rubber mallets. Herring? Horseradish. Evil spirits come back to haunt an ancient burial ground? Lay off the magic mushrooms.
For other pests, you'll need to ask for special help in the comments below.