Sit! Stay! ... And enjoy a scroll through this gallery of tail-wagging, hardworking golf course companions.
The 18th annual “Dog of the Year” contest will be held on the floor of the virtual Golf Industry Show in February, and attendees’ votes will determine which of these quite fetching calendar pups will be crowned king or queen for 2021. The winning dog will earn $3,000 for his or her golf course superintendent’s local golf course association and a $500 cash prize from LebanonTurf.
Mulligan, calendar cover pup
Mulligan is a 5-year-old dapple miniature dachshund who spends much of his time at Morris (Ill.) Country Club. His workdays consist of chasing squirrels and the occasional goose, begging for scraps from the crew, and defending the shop from intruders, such as salespeople. After a long day on the job, Mulligan relishes long naps on the couch and patrolling the backyard for rabbits.
Craig Watson is the superintendent at Morris Country Club, where he has worked for four years. A seven-year GCSAA member, Craig graduated from Kansas State University in 2012 with a degree in golf course management. Outside of work, Craig enjoys traveling with his wife, Jenn. They are looking forward to welcoming their first child in January 2021.
Photo by Craig Watson
Floki, Miss December 2020
Floki is a 9-month-old border collie/mini poodle mix and the beloved golf course pup at Scarboro Golf & Country Club in Toronto, Ontario. Floki is known for her ability to boost morale in the greens department, where she makes a point to say good morning to each crew member every day. Her greatest love is running alongside the cart of her owner, Lesley, and chasing squirrels, deer and the odd coyote. Floki is also fond of water and likes to swim in the creek that runs through the property whenever she gets the chance. Come wintertime, her job will be to keep Canada geese off the property. When not at work, Floki delights in pack walks and games of frisbee with her two human sisters, and she can often be found playfully terrorizing the family cat.
Lesley Thomas is a 32-year veteran of Scarboro Golf & Country Club and is in her 14th year as the club’s first assistant superintendent. Along with managing turf health and keeping greens fast and firm, Lesley is responsible for overseeing Scarboro’s Audubon International certification, pollinator gardens, and participation in the Monarchs in the Rough program.
Photo by Lesley Thomas
Zero, Mr. January
Zero is a 4-year-old Weimaraner who has been on the golf course at Lake Toxaway (N.C.) Country Club since his first day with his family as a puppy. Swimming and running are Zero’s favorite pastimes, especially when a ball or stick is involved. Zero is a personal golf ball retriever and an avid deer and squirrel chaser, but he isn’t a fan of the black bear cubs that frequent the maintenance shop. Zero is quite the early bird and acts as an alarm clock most mornings with his excitement to get to the golf course, and he entertains the crew with his tricks for treats. Outside of work, Zero loves baseball days with his human brother, Gage.
Tim Moore has been an assistant superintendent at Lake Toxaway Country Club for four years. A five-year member of GCSAA and the Carolinas GCSA, Tim enjoys playing ball with Zero and Gage, and having time in the afternoon for outdoor activities with the family makes the early morning starts worth it. Tim and his wife, Kayla, enjoy scenic waterfall hikes, which make for great adventures with Zero and the family.
Photo by Tim Moore
Cooper and Sadie, Mr. and Miss February
Cooper is a 7-year-old golden retriever who was born to be a golf course dog. Known to his fans as the “Golden Flash,” Cooper has been sprinting the fairways at Cascata in Boulder City, Nev., since he was 4 months old. The newest addition to the family, Sadie, is a 4-year-old English Cream golden retriever. She may not be able to keep up with Cooper on the grass, but she can swim laps around him in the ponds. The pair loves to explore the desert landscape at Cascata, and they keep the course’s grounds free of pesky coots and geese. They can usually be found attentively following their owner, Scott, and they’re full of tail wags when greeting golfers, guests and fellow staff.
Scott Delpiere graduated from Michigan State University in 2010 and is entering his third year as superintendent at Cascata. A 12-year member of GCSAA, Scott has found managing the 85-acre desert-style property to be both challenging and rewarding. When not at work, Scott enjoys playing golf and floating in his pool to beat the desert heat, with Cooper and Sadie often joining for a swim.
Photo by Amanda Spatz
Sadie, Miss March
Sadie is a 2½-year-old Lab mix who calls Carey Park Golf Course in Hutchinson, Kan., home. She likes to chase geese and the occasional squirrel, ride around the course in the golf cart passenger seat, and sometimes attack sprinkler heads. Her favorite activity is jumping into the pond, and she’ll sit patiently on the bank waiting for approval before rocketing into the water. Sadie gladly follows any staff member around the course when they’re mowing, although she does get tired shadowing the fairway mower through all 18 holes.
Matt Miller is a graduate of Kansas State University and has been the superintendent at Carey Park Golf Course since 2002. A GCSAA Class A superintendent and 26-year member of the association, Matt is the current president of the Kansas GCSA. In his free time, he and his wife, Lori, enjoy watching their daughters, Haley and Macy, participate in sports as well as playing golf as a family.
Photo by Haley Miller
Rusty, Mr. April
Rusty was the best thing to happen in 2020. He is the fully trained border collie who was raffled off by Flyaway Geese at the 2020 Golf Industry Show in Orlando, Fla. Though just 2 years old, Rusty has the instincts of a seasoned golf course dog and has settled into his duties at Westlake Golf and Country Club in Jackson, N.J., where he keeps the course’s 23 ponds free of geese. Rusty loves to swim and accompany his owner, Jennifer, on morning checks of the course, and his affectionate personality always lifts crew morale.
GCSAA Class A superintendent Jennifer Torres is a 2006 graduate of the Rutgers Professional Golf Turf Management program. She is a 13-year member of GCSAA, a GCSAA grassroots ambassador, and a member of the GCSA of New Jersey board of directors. Jennifer has been the superintendent at Westlake Golf and Country Club since fall 2019, and she can often be found working on the course alongside family members. Her son, who has worked with her for many years, encouraged her to enter the contest at GIS to win Rusty. (Read even more about Rusty in Hot diggity: Goose dog makes a splash at new golf course home.) When not on the job, Jennifer enjoys spending time with her family and baking for family and friends.
Photo by Jennifer Torres
Wando, Mr. May
Wando is a 1-year-old Irish Doodle and the lead goose chaser and morale booster at Westmoor Country Club in Brookfield, Wis. His name comes from an establishment in Madison, Wis., where his owners, Patrick and Trina, met. A minor Instagram celebrity (@wandothedood), Wando likes keeping Patrick company on the golf course and wading in the ponds on warm summer days (especially right after a bath and despite his mom’s wishes). Wando is loving and good-natured, and he makes even the toughest workdays enjoyable.
Patrick Reuteman is the GCSAA Class A superintendent at Westmoor Country Club. He is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Madison and has been a GCSAA member for eight years. Patrick began his career at Westmoor in high school and became superintendent in 2017. In addition to spending time with his wife, Trina, and Wando, Patrick enjoys all things Wisconsin, including sports, the outdoors and attending concerts.
Photo by Patrick Reuteman
Scarlet, Miss June
Scarlet is a 6-year-old Fox Red Labrador retriever who loves playing chase with any furry friend who may be scurrying about the grounds of Evanston Golf Club, located just north of Chicago. Her favorite pastime is collecting treats from members and staff, yet Scarlet is all business when called upon to clear geese from the club property. When not busy with her geese-expelling duties, Scarlet can most often be found escorting her owner, Daniel, around the golf course.
Daniel Charlton is the GCSAA Class A superintendent at Evanston Golf Club and has been a GCSAA member for 25 years. Scarlet’s name may have something to do with Daniel’s alma mater, Ohio State University. Go Buckeyes!
Photo by Jonah Charlton
Sawyer, Mr. July
Sawyer is a 3-year-old Plott Hound mix who was rescued as a puppy. Sawyer’s breed is known for hunting, so he has a keen sense of smell and is always ready to chase deer, fox and geese off the grounds at Merion Golf Club in Ardmore, Pa. He loves to run alongside the golf cart, chase his tennis ball and swim in the streams. When not at work, Sawyer is usually roughhousing with his brother, Kasey (Mr. December 2018), or seeking out belly rubs. Sawyer also enjoys hiking, kayaking and watching Penn State football games.
Scott Musser is a senior assistant superintendent at Merion Golf Club, where he has worked for two years. A six-year member of GCSAA, Scott earned a degree in biology with a concentration in ecology and conservation from West Chester University in 2015, and also has a certificate in turfgrass management from Penn State University. When not at the club, Scott enjoys spending time with his wife, Jackie, playing ice hockey or golf, hunting, fishing, and watching his beloved Flyers, Eagles and Nittany Lions.
Photo by Scott Musser
Laci, Miss August
Laci is a 4-year-old Austrian shepherd who loves going to work every morning at Saucon Valley Country Club in Bethlehem, Pa., with her superintendent, Frank. Laci’s ideal job is chasing geese and squirrels, and she began her career at 4 months old at Manasquan River Golf Course, where she mastered being the best shotgun rider. Laci likes to spend her weekends off relaxing in the air conditioning or jumping off the diving board. If Laci could spend all day in the water, she would.
Frank Perrone, a nine-year member of GCSAA, is in his third year as the superintendent of the Weyhill Course at Saucon Valley Country Club. Frank graduated from Delaware Valley University in 2014 and still supports his fellow Aggies. When away from the course, Frank enjoys spending time with his family and venturing to new places with his fiancée, Alexa, and Laci by his side.
Photo by Francis Perrone
Bogey, Mr. September
Bogey is a 6-month-old German shorthaired pointer who loves having over 180 acres to run at Tavistock Country Club in Haddonfield, N.J. He has been on the job since he was 8 weeks old, and he can typically be found riding around in the golf cart with his owner, Jeff. Bogey’s favorite activities include greeting crew members every morning while also trying to steal some of their breakfast, helping dig holes for irrigation repairs, and chasing the leaves blown about by backpack blowers. As Bogey gets older, Jeff hopes he can be trained to help control geese on the golf course.
Jeff Breyer graduated from Delaware Valley University in 2017 with a bachelor’s degree in turfgrass management. He has been an assistant superintendent at Tavistock Country Club for four years and a GCSAA member for five. Jeff grew up one town over from Tavistock, in Barrington, and now lives on the golf course with his wife, Brenna. When not at work, he enjoys watching the Philadelphia Eagles, spending time outdoors with family and friends, and building furniture in his wood shop.
Photo by Jeff Breyer
Bruno, Mr. October
Bruno is a 3-month-old German shorthaired pointer who left his 10 littermates at just 8 weeks old to join the team at Dauphin Highlands Golf Course, located just outside Harrisburg, Pa. Bruno wakes up eager to get to the golf course before dawn, and he takes his morning tour of the course very seriously, running squirrels into trees, keeping geese on the move, watching deer and looking out for the elusive trophy buck that roams the course, and he does it all while carefully avoiding the spray of the sprinklers. All of Bruno’s golf course friends get an enthusiastic greeting plus their pockets checked for possible treats. After work, Bruno heads home for some playful roughhousing with his best friend, Nittany, a black Lab.
Jon Szekeres, a 1990 graduate of Penn State University’s turfgrass management program, is the superintendent at Dauphin Highlands Golf Course, where he has worked since 1994. A 25-year GCSAA member, Jon has attended the Masters for over 30 years to help with the tournament. He enjoys cooking, archery, hunting, photography, playing golf and watching sports, especially Steelers football.
Photo by Jon Szekeres
Ace and Aspen, Mr. and Miss October
Ace is a 5-year-old Belgian Malinois, and his sister, Aspen, is a 4-year-old German shepherd. The duo spends maintenance Mondays romping around Old Chatham Golf Club, located in the heart of North Carolina. Their workdays include chasing off geese and playing in bunkers (which the maintenance staff doesn’t appreciate!). Aspen can typically be found swimming in one of the course’s two ponds or riding shotgun in the golf cart with her owner, Wesley. Ace is particularly fond of squirrel watching and hunting for lost golf balls. After a hard day’s work, both enjoy settling in for a well-deserved nap.
Wesley Deans, a graduate of North Carolina State University, is the senior assistant superintendent at Old Chatham Golf Club in Durham, N.C. Wesley was born and raised in North Carolina and has been a GCSAA member for five years. Outside of work, he enjoys hunting, fishing, playing golf, working out at the gym, hanging at the coast, and spending time with his wife.
Photo by Abbigale Deans
Cody, Mr. December
Cody is a 3-year-old border collie who came to Willow Creek Country Club in Sandy, Utah, in 2017, when he was 1½ years old. Cody is obedient and upbeat, and he loves being around the water. His dogged persistence keeps the golf course’s waterways clear of geese. His favorite summertime activity is attacking water, whether from the hose or the sprinklers. Cody loves his job and is always eager to please. The only thing he asks for in return is love and pets — lots and lots of pets. For Cody’s owner, Phill, riding the course with Cody every day is one of the things that makes his job the best.
Phill Cahoon has been the assistant superintendent at Willow Creek Country Club for seven and a half years and loves living in Utah. He graduated from Cal Poly Pomona in 2011 with a bachelor’s degree in plant science with an emphasis in turf. When not at work, Phill loves spending time with his wife and four kids and discovering the natural beauty of Utah.
Photo by Phill Cahoon