It’s a Ruff Life

A day in the life of a golf dog

It’s no secret that at LebanonTurf we have a soft spot for our furry, four-legged companions. From our sponsorship with the GCSAA Dog Day’s of Golf Calendar to our partnership at the Golf Industry Show with K9’s for Warriors and Flyaway Geese, we love to see pups with a purpose.

These days, you will see more and more golf courses adding dogs to their staff roster. Not only do they add a little more fun to the course, but they also serve as animal control by keeping common nuisances, like geese, at bay. This adds “valuable coworker” to their already well-known title of best friend.

So, we did a little investigating to find out what the average day looks like for a golf course dog—and we can without a doubt say we are more than a little jealous of this job position.

Let’s Go For A Ride

Most days start with a golf cart ride around the course which is a favorite among the golf dogs; because what K9 doesn’t like to feel the wind rushing through their fur? Golf course dogs are taught at a young age to be comfortable riding in the carts. After all, most of these working dogs start their training on the course at eight weeks old. It also can become a learning lesson, like for June 2018 dog of the month Colt, who was involved in an accident with a cart and fractured his front leg. It didn’t take Colt long to realize the “rules of the road” and soon enough he was back to cruising with his owner, Lake Nona Golf & Country Club assistant superintendent Nick Dolimpio.

Someone Call Animal Control

Up next, it’s time for some grounds hunting or what superintendents call animal control. Deer, squirrel, armadillos, geese, lizards—you name it, they chase it. The idea is to keep the other creatures off the course, not to harm them. This also usually includes a dip in the nearest pond to cool off after some much-needed exercise.

Connecting with Guests

After spending much of the day working the course, a lot of the dogs are ready to greet players and staff with a warm hello. They might have an ulterior motive considering most people coming to the course are prepared with treats and lots of attention. Some of the golf dogs have become quite popular too, like Baxter, an eight-year-old brindle English mastiff, and Olive, a two-year-old “schnottie” (a schnauzer and Scottie cross), who provide top-notch public relations and customer service at River Ridge Golf Club in Oxnard, California.

Don’t Forget to Be a Dog

When these dogs aren’t working, they are just like any other four-legged companion. They enjoy going home and spending time with the family that loves them and playing with the many friends these sociable dogs tend to make.

You can find the current GCSSA dog of the month here. The 2019 calendar is available with your subscription to Golf Course Management magazine as well as at the Golf Industry Show.