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Lions and Tigers and Gators, Oh MY! - Wednesday, March 18, 2015
Lions and Tigers and Gators, Oh MY! Ten of the Wildest and Weirdest Animals Ever Seen on the Green!
By Hannah Birss

Up here in the great white North, the wildlife on our golf courses is pretty normal. We have squirrels, some frogs and maybe a few salamanders, and at worst breed of hell-geese that make sure to remind the world that not all Canadians are super polite. In the meantime, all around the rest of the world the weirdest and wackiest animals keep popping up all over the course. How would you feel to come across a shark in the middle of the twelfth hole, or realize that a monkey is going through your bag? For many golfers around the world, that’s might actually something you actually need to worry about and seeing fangs and fur and scales hanging out around the tee is no big deal. For the rest of us, here are ten of the wildest animals ever seen on the green. 

1. A Leopard Shark
I bet whoever was on the 12th tee of San Juan Hills Golf Club in Southern California must have had one hell of a story to tell after a 2-foot-long leopard shark dropped out of the sky and decided to flop around, startling everyone within earshot of the screams it had to invoke. So how did it get there? The best guess is that the shark, which weighed in at a measly two pounds, was probably plucked from the ocean by a bird before the bird realized it was holding, y’know, a shark, and dropped it onto the green. I wonder if anyone had it made into a golf trophy?

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Or maybe he just really wanted to work on his swing?
Original image found here

2. Kangaroos
It’s not unusual to see kangaroos hopping their way around Australia, but it’s not always normal to see them hopping around on a golf course. During the 2013 Women’s Australian Open, pro golfers like Karrie Webb had to wait for a herd of kangaroos to clear out before they could play through. 

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I bet they were just “hopping” mad!
Original image found here.

3. A LITERAL LAKE FULL OF SHARKS
This just in – confirmation that even the most innocent looking golf course in Australia is populated by things that would love to kill you. If you go over to Brisbane to the Carbrook Golf Club, you’ll want to make sure you stay far away from the water hazards – one of them is a lake full of bull sharks. That’s right. Bull sharks. Sharks that grow up to ten feet in length and can regularly be seen poking their fins up through the water to remind you of your mortality. Yikes. 

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Definitely something you want to see when you’re teeing off.
Original image found here.

4. Bighorn Sheep
During the Bob Hope Chrysler Classic back in 2010, a family of eight bighorn sheep decided that they were a little peckish and that a golf tournament wasn’t going to stop them from filling their bellies with some delicious manicured grass. They waited until the golfers were nearly on top of them before they calmly walked back up onto their rocks for a better view of the game.

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That was a “baaaad” shot.
Original image found here.

5. Groundskeeping Goats
Alright, technically these animals aren’t wild, nor did they wander onto the golf course to disturb some poor golfer’s game. Instead, they were placed there intentionally. Two friendly goats are the new groundskeepers at Settler’s Ghost Golf Club in Craighurst, Ontario. The two goats, Whipper and Snipper, are the two newest employees that have been put in charge of making sure the grass is clipped short and the weeds non-existent. So far, not only have the goats become hugely popular among residents, but they’ve cut costs in crazy ways – no pesticides needed. 

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But do they make house calls?
Original image found here.

6. All of Africa
Hans Merensky Golf Course is located in Phalaborwa, South Africa and features an 19 hold, par 72 course. It also features all of the local wildlife – hippos, giraffes, warthogs, impalas, and even the occasional cheetah enjoying a snack. All completely and totally normal.

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Move along, nothing to see here.
Original image found here.

7. Monkeys and Cobras
At Singapore Island Country Club in Singapore, they’re used to regularly having to deal with exotic wildlife craving a round of golf so badly that they’re willing to . One of the most notable encounters occurring in 1982, when Jim Stewart ended up killing a ten foot cobra, only to have another snake come out of its mouth. While a lot has changed in terms of who gets in (no snakes allowed), you can still get to see some of our furry little cousins hanging out around the holes.

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Put a pair of slacks on them and a club in their hand, and we’ll refer to them as “members”.
Original image found here.

8. Nile Crocodiles
Some of us might be used to alligators, but crocodiles are a whole other matter. If you’re in the mood to play it a little risky, you can go to Lost City Golf Course, in Sun City, South Africa where the 13th hole has a water hazard home to rough 40 aggressive Nile crocodiles with some of them surpassing six feet in size. Obviously, players are advised to bring extra balls and not to venture in if your shot hits the water. 

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Of course it’s the 13th hole. Of courseeee it is.
Original image found here.

9. Black Bears
Whether it’s the black bear running across the green during the US Senior Open, or four bear cubs playing around on the Mountainside Golf Course in British Columbia, it turns out black bears are a far more common sight on golf courses than previously believed. Not pictured: the pallet load of Charmin’ they were delivering to the clubhouse.

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They’re so cute, they’re “unbearable”. Really, I need to stop with the animal puns. It’s starting to get out of hand. 
Original image found here.

10. Alligator
What list on golf course wildlife would be complete without an entry on the Southern golfers near-constant companion? One of the most notable gators on the green is Tripod, the aptly named three legged gator that made his presence known during the 2013 PGA Zurich Classic Tournament. Tripod marched all twelve feet of himself over to the side of the 12th fairway to get a better look at the action before he made his way through a sand trap and back to the water.

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See you later, alligator.
Original image found here.

What’s the craziest animal you’ve ever seen on a golf course? Let us know in the comments below!

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