SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. - You're used to seeing golfers, caddies, and clubs on the golf course, but at the WM Phoenix Open, there's something else on the green drawing attention.
We're talking about the course superintendent's dog, Meet Rye!
Birds can be a problem at any golf course, but at TPC Scottsdale, they have a bit of help keeping the birds at bay.
"We over-seed, so we put down a cool-season turf and when that starts to develop, it's very young and juvenile and birds themselves like to eat that, so we try to keep them off of that, that way we can grow in better turf, so we can have a better golf course," explains Scott Hebert, the course's superintendent.
Rye, an English Springer Spaniel, like the grass she protects, is living anything but the ruff life at TPC Scottsdale. She's the official bird dog of the course and has free rein.
"She runs around the golf course all day, every day, trying to manage the bird population that shows up in the winter. Coots and Wigeons are kind of our primary pests. We do have some Canadian Geese that come in every once in a while, but they usually get scared off pretty quick by her," he said.
Hebert keeps Rye with him all day at the course. They stop for breaks, naps of course, and to get lots of love from the staff and visitors.
"I cruise around with her and if we see a group of them, we'll stop and sneak up on them, and I'll release her, and she'll scare them off, get them out of the water. She'll jump and follow them into the pond and try to get them off property," Hebert said.
Rye, a hunting dog by nature, works year-round but the WM Phoenix Open is by far her favorite event.
"She's done pretty well out here. She's a year and a half, so we're pretty happy with her," Hebert said.
Not all golf courses have a bird dog, and Hebert says it depends on course management, adding that Rye is great for morale among staff and visitors.
Rye, the bird dog, at TPC Scottsdale
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