The city of Rincon’s newest employee is Bond. Just Bond.
While he’s no operative of MI6, Bond has a special duty for the city and its Lost Plantation Golf Course — chase away the flocks of geese that have been creating nuisances for golfers and the course grounds crew.
It’s just normal duty for a young border collie.
“There are a lot of reasons to be excited about having Bond come work for the city of Rincon,” said City Manager Wesley Corbitt.
The geese — and their effects on a course — have been a longstanding problem at Lost Plantation.
“We’ve had geese for the five years I’ve been here,” said course superintendent Seth Zeigler.
The biggest problems aren’t what geese bring but what they leave. An adult goose can defecate up to two pounds a day. With approximately 70 geese calling the course home, that’s nearly 140 pounds of fecal matter a day.
“As one who plays golf occasionally and you come here and there’s, uh, material on the golf course, it makes it difficult for the golfers,” Corbitt said. “But then also it’s a health hazard, too.”
Lost Plantation golf pro Paul Johnson also endorsed Bond’s hiring.
“I can’t wait,” he said. “This is going to enhance what we’ve done here at Lost Plantation.”
Ridding the course of the geese will make it easier for Zeigler and his staff to care for and treat the course and could reduce the amount of chemicals they have to use because of the geese droppings, Johnson said.
Bond’s ability to chase the geese away also should make for a better golfing experience.
“We have had some issues on several holes where the geese have moved in,” Johnson said. “This is going to eradicate the stepping in doo-doo. It’s not real fun to be in the middle of the fairway, getting ready to hit your shot, and your ball has goose you-know all over it. From my standpoint, it enhances what we’ve done here at Lost Plantation.”
Said Corbitt: “We’ve put a lot of money into the maintenance. The greens are in great shape. The fairways are the best they’ve ever been. The dog just adds another dimension to making a quality golf course that people can enjoy. We have a great golf course.”
Zeigler first brought up the idea of using a border collie to chase away the geese last month to city council members.
“I talked to fellow superintendents who used border collies, and they were highly recommended,” he said.
Added Corbitt: “I had never heard of a border collie doing this before. But Seth did some research. The idea is if they keep enough pressure on them, they’ll move to another community.”
Council members approved spending $2,000 to purchase the dog, and there are about $500-$600 a year in food, housing and care costs associated with the dog. The city also got help from some of its golfers and residents.
“It was so important to some of the patrons of our golf course that they gave between $1,200 and $1,500,” Corbitt said.
Rebecca Gibson of FlyAway Geese, the company that will train Zeigler and up to two others on how to handle the dog, said border collies have been shown to be the only dog breed that can reason.
“They are super-intelligent,” she said.
Bond is 1 ½ years old, and border collies can live up to 15 years. Bond will live with Zeigler and his family, who already have another dog.
Gibson will conduct on-site training and training will take about two weeks.
“They’re going to train me until I’m comfortable,” Zeigler said.