Markets in everything

by on September 17, 2009 at 5:41 pm in Economics | Permalink

Occasionally I get jaded and think there won't be a surprising one of these ever again.  But then Allison Kasic comes along and restores my faith in the creativity of humankind.  Here goes:

Mountain climbers. Livestock guarders. Long-range spitters. And now
llamas have a new distinguishing role to add to their resume: golf
caddy. Yes, for $40 the llamas at Sherwood Forest Country Club
will carry your bags, accompany you on a nine-hole run, and maybe even
channel their peaceful temperament into quiet but unwavering moral
support.

There is also a reason on the cost side:

Because of their soft, padded feet, llamas do not make marks on the
green and actually leave the courses with less damage than golf carts.

There is another reason given in the text, which I don't wish to reproduce here.  And it is possible to train them to do this work, or so it is claimed.  Finally:

“Some people have more fun walking the animals around than playing golf,” says Lautenschlager…

Addendum: Via John de Palma, more on llama markets.

Dennis Tuchler September 17, 2009 at 5:49 pm

but llamas are not yet able to tell you what club to use.

chappy September 17, 2009 at 6:35 pm

Because of their soft, padded feet, llamas do not make marks on the green and actually leave the courses with less damage than golf carts.

This makes no sense!? No self respecting golfer would ever park their golf cart on the green. Further, how much would a human caddy cost? They wouldn’t make marks either, might do it for $40 and could find your ball and suggest a club. Unless a llama is cheaper than both a human or the cost of a cart, this is purely a gimmick.

Yan September 17, 2009 at 8:21 pm

The llamas must be hired from the alpaca farm
http://www.marginalrevolution.com/marginalrevolution/2008/10/the-countercy-1.html

They are gorgeous animals with horrid manners. They spit. It is hard to imagine them being retrievers.

Bill September 17, 2009 at 11:00 pm

If they eat grass, they can also work part time tending the greens.

jimi September 18, 2009 at 12:16 am

Here Here, Rob! A man who knows the true essence of the sport!

usb kabel September 18, 2009 at 5:01 am

I would say it’s fine, so long as the client eventually tells his dates. This is unless use of this kind of service becomes the norm and more expected by all dates.

Andy O. September 18, 2009 at 12:27 pm

A friend of mine founded the course in NC that claims to have the first llama caddie program – Talamore Golf Club in Southern Pines, NC near Pinehurst.

Tom September 18, 2009 at 1:55 pm

Llamas have been used as caddies for quite some time, this is not new.

Alex September 18, 2009 at 4:19 pm

I’ll be golfing there in a few weeks. Very much looking forward to it.

Phoebe September 20, 2009 at 11:53 pm

I was disappointed that that the posted links, within the blog, did not have any information about llamas caddying for golfers. Then again, one must think that if llamas were to carry out the intended duties of a caddy, then the market for human caddies would surely go down. What caddy would the average golfer prefer, a cute and cuddly llama or your average run of the mill golf course worker? I guess the preference lies with the consumer.
One may say that the opportunity cost would be that llamas cannot give an insight as to what golf club to use out on the greens. However, the loss of verbal communication with a caddy may not be considered a loss for some people. Thus, the cost is dependent on the individual. All in all, llama caddying, if there is such a thing, may prove to be beneficial for both the golf club and the golfer. Also, llama caddying may be worth looking in to when determining marginal costs of the golf course.

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