Natural Mowers Getting the Boot, It's a Shame.

Last year posted a piece on "Golf Industry Layoffs?"

Martin Kaufmann of Golfweek has filed a rather disheartening piece from Wales on a movement at Pennard Golf Club to remove grazing animals from the golf course.
“For a first-time visitor like me,” Kaufmann writes, “The cattle were an amusing quirk to a tremendous old links. And since none of my shots landed in a cow patty, I could laugh it off. But I can see how it would quickly get old for members. Bennett would love to have the cattle removed from the course and tear down the electric fencing that encircles the greens.”
To say that the ruminants add amusing quirk isn’t wrong, but there’s more to it than that. The animals are part of an established linksland ecosystem–take them away and the place changes. The horses, sheep and cattle eat like crazy, which is one of the reasons why Pennard has superb links turf in the first place, and their manure provides a source of natural fertilizer to keep it healthy.
This 2-minute short shows the beneficial effects of grazing animals on links golf courses. Set in Wales at Pennard, Southerndown, Clyne and Aberdovey. Beautiful courses.

From Out and Back

"It's a Shame": The Original Greenkeepers from outandback on Vimeo.

Here's the rest of that Article:

For reasons that remain slightly unclear to me, there is a fairly noticeable stigma in the UK toward keeping animals on the golf course, but Pennard would be wise to consider the example of another well-known Welsh course. About three hours north, Aberdovey Golf Club recently completed its mission of removing all grazers from its ancient and much-loved links as part of a broader series of changes. (This program as a whole has not been without controversy, but that’s a subject for another time.) The point is, this action had a major impact–Aberdovey vintage 2009 played like the pissed-off nephew of Royal Portrush. 
In fairness, it has been an exceedingly wet year in Wales, allowing the perimeter dune grasses to grow unchecked, but it was clear that the club either hadn’t figured out how to manage the growth, or were content to let it go and boost golf ball sales by 25%. Maybe I’m wrong, but the animals might have helped. They sure do at Southerndown (see below).
I’m hoping to update this post with some comments from relevant club representatives in the days to come. Assuming Kaufmann’s reporting from Pennard was accurate, I was moved late last night to produce this piece of agitprop video journalism to express my feelings the facts on the matter.