The Loop

Alister Mackenzie's goat track

October 07, 2010

Pasatiempo Golf Club in Santa Cruz, Calif., an Alister Mackenzie design that is regarded among the best public courses in the U.S., has started employing 200 goats to clear brush in the otherwise largely inaccessible steep terrain on the back nine, the Santa Cruz Sentinel reported.

Operation Landscape Goat, as the project is called, was the idea of course superintendent Paul Chojnacky, who was viewing photographs from the '20s and '30s and saw peaks of hills that were no longer visible because of overgrowth. While pondering what he could do about it, he came across a company, Brush Goats 4 Hire, and put the goats to work.

"In the short time the goats have been grazing," Kimberly White wrote, "they've cut down so much of the overgrowth that the individual peaks on the hills now can be seen as they once stood in those historical pictures."

The goats are expected to be working for up to 10 weeks at the course, just up the coast from Pebble Beach and the Monterey Peninsula.

-- John Strege