Silvies Valley Ranch in Oregon, USA, has opened a new seven-hole short course, McVeigh’s Gauntlet, designed by Dan Hixson.
The opening ceremony was led by Silvies Valley Ranch vice president of livestock and guest services Colby Marshall and included remarks from Hixson and Akbar Christi of Seamus Golf, which manufactured the custom-made backpacks for the club’s goat caddies. ‘Bruce LeGoat’ and ‘Mike LeChevon’ were introduced to attendees, before a first official round of the half-mile long course.
McVeigh’s Gauntlet has been designed as a “fun, care-free course to help players settle bets and test their accuracy on a series of undulating par threes and par fours, carved into a ‘razor back’”.
The goat caddies get a 20-minute break between rounds, along with a healthy snack of organic antelope brush and juniper, and a drink of spring water. Golfers must take a short training course to have a caddie and are given a two-way radio for questions or to summon a member of staff “if any disagreements occur with their caddie”.
The custom-made goat backpacks carry up to six clubs, a dozen golf balls, tees, six cans of refreshments, as well as a few dozen peanuts for themselves.
According to the resort, Silvies Valley Ranch has the largest herd of organic meat goats in the world. “This goat caddie program at Silvies Valley Ranch showcases the American Range goats for ecological restoration and provides a new economic opportunity for ranches in Frontier Oregon.”
Hixson also designed the reversible Craddock and Hankins courses at Silvies Valley Ranch, which opened in 2017.