Radrick Farms GC uses flock of Boer goats to help maintain course

Sean Dudley
By Sean Dudley
  • Lovely Golf Course

    The project aims to take a viable environmentally friendly approach to clearing unwanted or invasive species

  • Lovely Golf Course

    Electric fences keep the goats contained and protects them from predators

The team at the University of Michigan’s Radrick Farms Golf Course has taken a novel approach to course maintenance with the introduction of a flock of Boer goats.

The goats were introduced for an initial trial period this June, during which time various factors were monitored. This included how fast an area can be cleared by the goats, what vegetation they like to eat the most, and how well they adjust and enjoy life on the golf course.

Goats have been used for maintenance purposes at golf clubs before, including at the historic Pasatiempo Golf Club in California.

“To our knowledge, Radrick Farms may be the first golf course in Michigan to utilise goats for vegetative management,” said Dan Mausolf, the club’s superintendent. “This project is potentially a viable environmentally friendly approach to clearing unwanted or invasive species. Regardless of the results, this should be an entertaining experiment to say the least.”

An electric fence is used to contain the goats and protect them from potential predators. Golfers have been advised to treat the area containing the goats as if it were ground under repair and retrieve balls.

The Radrick Farms course was originally designed by Pete Dye in 1962 but didn’t open until 1965. The course has Audobon Cooperative Sanctuary and ‘Clean Corportate Citizen’ certifications.