Folks in the other military services routinely joke about how much Air Force types like playing golf. Sure, all the services have golf courses, but the flyboys have the most.
We took note of this last Friday when we posted, without comment, an Air Force contract solicitation labeled “Golf Course Herbicide,” which sounded like one of the service’s core chemical-warfare competencies.
The golf course fairways were devastated in the heat and drought of 2011. Thinning of the turf allowed all sorts of weeds to germinate, most of which were Khakiweed, Knotweed and Yellow Wood Sorrel. This has made for very rough fairways making a shot to the green very difficult…These annual weeds could have been controlled to a point with a winter premergent product, but due to budget restraints, this application was missed.
Then on Monday we stumbled upon this Air Force solicitation:
Completed project must protect local national residents who live on the perimeter of the 18th hole, and their property from damage caused by preventing errant tee shots from leaving the property.
That is disconcerting. For years, the Air Force has improved the accuracy of its bombs, but apparently can’t do the same for its little dimpled white balls.
Running each of the services through the Federal Business Opportunities website along with the word “golf” for the past 12 months turns up 14 hits for the Air Force, eight for the Army, four for the Navy and only one for the Marines.
This is serious business. For example, take this Air Force plan for golf-course work in Texas last year:
…it had to be reissued to add a couple of course requirements:
At a minimum, the Contractor shall satisfy the following experience/certification criteria:
— Worked for the Air Force in at least two prior occasions in golf course planning and/or greens planning, design and construction
In addition, at a minimum, the Contractor shall be a member of at least two of the following societies or associations:
— American Society of Golf Course Architects
— European Institute of Golf Course Architects
— European Golf Course Owners Association
— American Society Landscape Architects
Also, at a minimum, the Contractor shall have earned at least two of the following professionally-accredited degrees:
— B.S. Turfgrass Management
— B.S Landscape Architecture
— B.S. Business Administration
Lackland is the site of the biggest sex scandal in Air Force history. Thirty-two instructors assaulted or otherwise maltreated 65 raw recruits there, at the service’s lone training base for enlisted personnel, between 2009 and 2012 . Which isn’t to suggest that there’s any link between the two, other than you can choose to focus on forging recruits into airmen, or curing that slice.