Golf Course Harmony: Geese Management and Golfer Satisfaction
During the winter months, PGA WEST® residents are not the only ones who head south for warmer weather. With cooler temperatures arriving in the north, migrating birds are usually not far behind our Members in search of a sunny, warm climate.
The last several seasons have seen an increase in the number of migrating birds to the Coachella Valley, particularly the Canadian goose. The geese become an issue in large quantities because of the mess they leave behind on the playing surfaces of golf courses.
Over the past several months, the Golf Course Maintenance (GCM) staff have been working to reduce the number of geese on the course by implementing the use of non-lethal removal techniques. The most effective technique has been to create an environment of constant disturbance for the geese causing them to seek shelter elsewhere.
This is accomplished with a product called the Laser Lake, a floating laser unit that is placed on the surface of a golf course water feature. During the night, the laser emits a sweeping 360-degree low voltage green light just above the surface of the water. It operates every 15 minutes and is solar powered and recharged by the sun during the day. By placing these units in strategic locations on the lakes throughout the property, GCM staff has been able to greatly reduce the number of geese that reside permanently on site.