Golf Course Management

JUL 2018

Golf Course Management magazine is dedicated to advancing the golf course superintendent profession and helping GCSAA members achieve career success.

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50 GOLF COURSE MANAGEMENT 07.18 to be patient. "It's like I have brought them a Christmas present that they can't open for two weeks," Gibson says. "It also is like having a new em - ployee; you teach them how to do things be- fore they can do everything. ey (handlers) just can't stand it. ey want to work the dog so bad. It is really important to understand how to handle a dog correctly. We spent 20 years learning how best to do it." Gibson, a certified wildlife damage control agent for the state of North Carolina, does her homework too. Finding the right environ - ment for each dog is critical, which is why she asks prospective owners to complete question - naires. Some of the questions include whether they have children at home and if is it impor - tant to have a dog that swims. "It's almost like a matchmaking service," she says. It appears that Jack and Storm have met their match — and they are off and running. Jack and 'Ville John Ballard, CGCS, fires up his John Deere 825i Gator. Jack the border collie is fired up too. "I get the speedometer going to 30 mph, and he can keep up running along the side of me. at's pretty impressive," says Ballard, who oversees the University of Louisville Golf Club in Kentucky. A 23-year GCSAA member, Ballard says that adding a border collie to his operation wasn't necessarily on his radar, although he does have two large bodies of water on the property that attract geese. He attended one of the demonstrations that Gibson orchestrated at GIS, threw his name into the contest, then went on his way to partake in show events. Later that day, Ballard began to receive calls, texts and handshakes of congratulations, in - cluding in-person best wishes from GCSAA Director of Chapter Outreach Steve Randall. at is how he learned that he had won a bor - der collie. Generally, it takes about 30 days before the dog is settled in its new home and is confi - dent in its handler (Gibson spends a day with the handler when she delivers a dog). In her manual, Gibson states that a dog's lack of con - fidence in the handler can cause the dog to be uncomfortable. Ultimately, their job is to make the birds leave, and they are not done until all the birds are gone. e only reward they need, Gibson says in the manual, is "lots of praise and more birds to chase." So far, Jack has proved to be well-man - nered and good-tempered and gets along very well with Ballard's chocolate Labrador re - triever, Bela, who served as the geese chaser before Jack came aboard. Loud honking sig - nals the arrival of geese, with their long, black Jack is the border collie that was won by John Ballard, CGCS, who oversees University of Louisville Golf Club. Jack (pictured with Ballard) came aboard in May. "When you give him a command or call his name, he cocks his head. You can tell the wheels are spinning," Ballard says. Photos courtesy of John Ballard

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