LIFE'S BETTER IN THE MOUNTAINS

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

But Can They Read the Greens?

Golf carts have largely displaced caddies. And more and more golfers carry their clubs in the interest of physical fitness. There are fewer caddies around most clubs.

A caddy is the person who carries the golfer's clubs. Caddies know the golf course comprehensively and give advice to the golfer about the lay of the course and how the greens break. So how in the world can an animal be a golf caddy?

A local public course offers llama golf caddies. That's right...llamas. The other day I was out riding (in our summer-like heat) and saw them on the course. Of course I stopped to snap a few photographs. This group of golfers has two llama caddies, and also three other llamas who are simply walking the course with them. I'm not at all certain why they have the non-working llamas. Perhaps they are apprentice caddies.



One little problem with llama caddies is their grazing when they should be walking. The leader gives the llama leads a slight tug to get their attention.


The llamas stop grazing and walk along.



Club selection must be done by the golfer. None of the llamas seemed to have any suggestions for which golf club to use. They would graze every time the group stopped.




The golfer seems to be praising his llama.




Stopping to graze once again.



Some of the llamas in the group were not carrying clubs. The caddies were each carrying two golf bags while the others simply walked the course with the golfers.






The five llamas and the golfers head off to the next hole. Quite interesting to watch, but I'm not sure they will really catch on. Perhaps the tourists will find sufficient novelty in hiring a llama.


What a basketball game we saw last night! Exciting down to the wire. I was so hoping Butler would win and I rather resented the constant David v. Goliath comparisons. The Butler team on the floor had every reason to be there. Yes, Butler University is small, but their players have more talent than most huge university teams. They are well-coached, disciplined, and fun to watch. Too bad they couldn't topple Duke but they have every reason to be proud. Interesting little fact...when Duke's coach took his team to the NCAA Tournament for the first time, Butler's coach was in the first grade.

24 comments:

Vicki Lane said...

Attractive beasts! But, one wonders, are the golfers supposed to remove any poops that may occur? Or leave them as mini hazards for the next party of golfers?

Rae said...

What a surprise to see llamas on the golf course. I suppose they are more eco-friendly than golf carts and cheaper than caddies.
I agree about the game last night. I was disappointed in Butler's loss. Although I like Duke's coach K, I get tired of all the mighty Duke hype.
Butler earned their way to the game and it would have been nice to see them finish it at the top.

Cicero Sings said...

I guess that is one way to keep the greens mowed and fertilized!

George said...

Since I grew up in Indiana I was hoping Butler would win, but they played a great game and did themselves proud. Llamas haven't shown up on our golf courses yet. Perhaps the three non-caddy llamas you saw were part of the 'mowing' crew. It will be interesting to see how long the llamas last as caddies.

robin andrea said...

I have to say these photos were a complete surprise. I have never seen such a thing, and it wouldn't have ever occurred to me that llamas would be used as caddies. It's an interesting idea. They are such beautiful creatures.

Busy Bee Suz said...

How funny is that....
I think Llama's are cute. BUT, they spit (if they are annoyed)and they poop. That part is not fun.

Rudee said...

I like these caddies. Not only do they carry clubs, they carry fiber. What's not to like? They're beautiful pack animals, which is why the others are probably tagging along. They're a pack. They also spit, so the golfers better watch out for that.

I thought the month of March offered up some remarkable ball. Most of the games have been close and outstanding. I'm a little sad Michigan State lost to Butler, but still, I'd have liked to have seen Butler go all the way.

FOLKWAYS NOTEBOOK said...

Llama are in peril grazing on golf course greens. VERY TOXIC! Also, don't Llama like to spit on people? Crazy idea to use animals in such a Disney fashion. -- barbara

kks said...

crazy! Llama caddies? never seem or heard of such a thing...i like it! too bad i don't golf!!
xoxo

TSannie said...

Wish Butler'd won as well.
And exactly how do they keep those llama's from llama pooping all over the golf course?

Shelley said...

Now I"ve seen everything - a llama caddy?! LOL! I think they would make a lovely pet - they seem sweet! I was routing for Butler too - the underdog teams always grab my heart.

Bird Girl said...

Well now I've seen everything! Llama caddies - can't wait to show this post to my hubby. What a cool catch!

The Thundering Herd said...

Mmmm - that might create new "hazards" on the course. Was driving through Rutherford County the other day and saw Bison grazing in a field. Had to do a doubletake.

Rebus said...

The grass is indeed toxic to ruminants due to endophyte fungus in the turf grass. It's typically a neurotoxin and a vasoconstrictor.

Pooping is not a problem. Llamas poop in community potty piles and will hold it as long as they can until back at the pile. If they should go, it's just dry pellets that don't smell. The urine may be a bit strong/salty for the grass and could brown it.

Ruth said...

Wow! The things I learn from bloggers. Animals are great for decreasing human stress. The golfers likely have a more enjoyable game with their four-legged, silent caddies. Community poop piles.. Ideal!

Brenda Kay Ledford said...

This sure is an interesting posting. I didn't know they use llamas on the golf course. I really enjoyed reading this.

Barb said...

What will they think of next? Perhaps the llamas diffuse the stress of a bad game? Ha! What happens when nature calls? Is there a llama poop scoop...

JeanMac said...

Funniest thing I've ever seen!

merrilymarylee said...

That's so funny!

We were pulling for Butler, too. Hubby wore his Butler t-shirt nonstop. It was nice to see teams with academically-strong athletes. Some of the colleges have all freshmen starters because they're going pro at the end of the season.

Daughter said that she ran over to Butler to sign her boys up for basketball camp again and the coach came out to take the applications and chat awhile. Nice guy!

NCmountainwoman said...

Thanks for your comments. I always appreciate them. I can't imagine the idea of llama caddies will really "take off." I'm sure it's more another way to bring more people to the golf course in this economy.

Vicki - I'm told the llamas have a specific "potty" place and do not poop on the course.

Rudee - You are right. One of the neighbors told me the course wants a pack to go out together. If there aren't enough golfers to take them, they will use club employees to walk along with them.

Barbara and Rebus - You make valid points. I don't know much about toxins on the course, but this is a public course and not a pristine private club. Since the llamas are so expensive I suspect they have determined the grass is not harmful to them.

Betsy from Tennessee said...

Wonder who walks behind the llamas with the "pooper scoopers"????? ha ha ha... I have never heard of such a thing.
Hugs,
Betsy

Sam said...

Well, I'm not sure I would like it. My brother-in-law decided he wanted to be a llama farmer, but quickly sold his llama when he realized they love to spit and they read your emotions like a book. If he had a frustrating day the llamas would first spit on him then knock him down and kneel on him!

Sam

carol said...

I thought both teams played a great game and did themselves proud. As Coach K said, "We won, but Butler did not lose." It could have, and almost did, go the other way.
Where is this golf course? Live in Macon County in summer, would be interested to visit. Bet I could get MerrilyMerryLee and DB to come too!

NCmountainwoman said...

Carol - The llamas are at Sherwood Forest Golf Course in a little community called Cedar Mountain. It is about 13 miles from downtown Brevard. Here is their link:
www.sherwoodforestnc.org/golf_course.html

The llamas do not caddy every day. Love to have you visit in our neck of the woods.