The well-manicured greens of Seven Canyons Golf Club in Arizona are usually a picturesque haven for golfers seeking a tranquil round. However, in recent weeks, an unexpected menace has disrupted the serenity of the golf course, leaving the greenkeepers grappling with a unique challenge.
Em Casey, the assistant superintendent at Seven Canyons Golf Club, is dealing with an unconventional adversary – javelinas, or collared peccaries. These pig-like creatures have been relentlessly scouring the golf course in search of food, leaving a trail of destruction in their wake.
Typically, it’s not uncommon for greenkeepers to wake up to occasional damage caused by human golfers. Still, this time, the offenders are the javelinas, and their activity is more than just a one-time occurrence – it’s become an ongoing ordeal.
Javelinas are native to the southwestern United States, as well as regions in Central and South America, and parts of the Caribbean. These herbivorous creatures, resembling wild boars, are notorious for digging up the earth as they roam, creating havoc wherever they go.
Seven Canyons Golf Club has had to contend with the persistent problem of javelinas wreaking havoc on their beautifully manicured course. Em Casey, in a 30-second video shared on her Twitter account (@emcaseyturf) on October 22, revealed the extensive damage inflicted by the javelinas on tee boxes, fairways, and rough. She lamented, “What should be one of the most beautiful golf courses in the country is being destroyed by herds of javelina. If anyone has a contact in AZ state govt that can help us find a solution please pass it along.”
In previous posts, Casey had sought ideas on how to prevent the peccaries from returning and damaging the course further. She disclosed that the grounds team was spending 45-50 hours a week repairing the destruction. Suggestions to cull the pig-like creatures or set traps were dismissed as the animals are protected in Arizona. Hunting season for javelinas is only open between January and February when they are less problematic.
In a creative attempt to deter the javelinas, the green staff resorted to covering a section of the course with one-million-Scoville-unit chili oil, which is incredibly spicy. The hope was that the scent and sensation of the spicy oil would repel the creatures. Unfortunately, this tactic did not dissuade the javelinas, as they returned after the application, signifying an ongoing battle between the ground staff and the relentless peccaries.
The situation at Seven Canyons Golf Club serves as a reminder that even the most idyllic locations can face unique challenges, and greenkeepers are willing to go to great lengths to protect their beloved courses from unexpected disruptions.