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A Way To Safely Deter Canada Geese June 15, 2018 By Patrick O'Brien, agronomist, Southeast Region

Placing a laser emitter in lakes can help deter Canada geese from inhabiting golf courses.

Canada geese are a nuisance at many golf courses because they are attracted to open areas and aquatic habitats. Their feeding habits and droppings can cause significant damage to the turf in key playing areas. Many strategies have been tried over the years to deter these birds from golf courses, but success has been limited.

In recent years, green lasers have been one of the most successful tools for deterring geese. These animals are startled by the bright green light emitted from the laser. A new product improves upon handheld versions by mounting the laser on a floating doughnut placed in the middle of a lake. The floating doughnut is stabilized in the water by a cable anchored to the lake bottom. The cost of the cable and anchor is typically less than $20.

The green laser is solar powered and computer controlled, delivering a 360-degree beam every seven minutes. Interestingly, green laser beams appear to be more effective than red laser beams.

This technology requires minimal power and no moving parts. The green laser beams are only observable during the early morning, late evening and nighttime. During most daytime hours, golfers never see the green laser beam because the sunlight is too bright. After this technology was installed at one golf course last April, all the Canada geese had left the property. It seems this is a very effective tool for deterring Canada geese.


Southeast Region Agronomists:

Chris Hartwiger, director, USGA Course Consulting Service –

Steve Kammerer, regional director –

Patrick M. O’Brien, agronomist –

Todd Lowe, agronomist –

Addison Barden, agronomist –

Information on the USGA’s Course Consulting Service

Contact the Green Section Staff

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