Monday’s federal government shutdown, coupled with temperatures near 60, surely meant that golfers might be looking to take advantage and get in some swings at Ruggles Golf Course, the 18-hole golf course at Aberdeen Proving Ground.
The public course, however, was closed, but not because Congress couldn’t come to agreement to keep funding government operations. It was closed for the birds, as in geese, that find the greens and almost everywhere else at Ruggles to their liking.
“We are not affected by the government shutdown; MWR, non-appropriated funds, zero affect,” Dave Correll, Head PGA Professional at Ruggles, said Monday.
Hundreds of geese find their way to Ruggles each year, and the birds have long been a problem for those who maintain the course and those who play on it.
“Yes, we have for the last two years, we’ve closed Mondays in January for goose hunts,” Correll said. “It’s a health issue for us, it‘s just a very bad amount of their waste. So that’s the reason we do, we’ve been doing that for the last couple of years.”
Correll says the U.S. Army Garrison has a controlled hunt on the select Mondays. He says there is generally no impact. It’s usually not 60 degrees in January.
“We are non-appropriated funds. We are open for business, in fact many times we benefit in a furlough because the government employees obviously have little to do,” Correll said.
So, for at least one more Monday in January, Ruggles was open for play. It was instead, like many folks think of winter, just another day for the birds.