Yes, the bison are supposed to be on the course

By |  May 7, 2015 0 Comments
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Jeff Osterfeld, owner/designer of The Golf Club at Stonelick Hills, with the course’s pet buffalo, Divot and Duff. Photo: The Cincinnati Enquirer/Carrie Blackmore Smith

Seeing animals on the course is not uncommon. Local wildlife can decide to walk across the turf at any time, and if you log onto Twitter it’s easy to find photos of superintendents with their dogs. The Golf Club at Stonelick Hills, Batavia, Ohio, has decided to cross the line between wildlife and pet — but you should probably avoid these guys.

Divot, a 2-year-old bison weighing 700 pounds, and Duff, a 3-year-old tipping the scales at nearly 1,000 pounds, call the 4.5 acres of turf between the first and 10th holes on the course “home.” 

Stonelick Hills’ designer and owner, Jeff Osterfeld — also the creator of the Penn Station East Coast Subs chain — bought the bovine from the Vista Grand Ranch in New Richmond, Ohio, for $2,400 each.

“It was like love at first sight,” says Osterfeld in an article from the Cincinnati Enquirer. “I built the course and kept staring at those 4 acres. I knew it would be a big spectacle, adds to the allure of the place.”

Osterfeld’s traces his affinity for the large animals back to his childhood and seeing them at the zoo. While he was in a fraternity at Miami University, Osterfeld chose the nickname “Buffalo” among his friends that referred to themselves as the “Zoo Crew.”

Divot and Duff arrived last fall, and the course celebrated their arrival with a party for members and friends. They served buffalo burgers and guests wet their whistles with Hairy Buffalo, a concoction that mixes rum, tequila, vodka, whiskey, gin and fruit punch.

There’s no need to be worried about quality of life for the two living hazards on Stonelick Hills golf course, Dave Carter, executive director of the National Bison Association, told the Enquirer. 

Carter said 4.5 acres of space is enough for the two animals, and they only need to be fed in the winter because they will eat grass the rest of the year. The animals are also sturdy enough to withstand an airborne golf ball and will not eat one hit into the pen.

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