Top 9 animal encounters on the golf course in 2017

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Imagine -- you hit your golf ball in the middle of the fairway... and into the middle of a herd of kangaroos. That was just one of our nine favorite on-course animal encounters from 2017.
By T.J. Auclair
PGA.com
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Series: Golf Buzz

Published: Wednesday, November 08, 2017 | 1:25 p.m.

Isn't it great to get outdoors, especially when it means a trip to the golf course?

While you're out there, it's a certainty that you're going to encounter wildlife of some kind.

Sometimes it's as heartwarming as seeing a beautiful doe with her young. Other times, it could be a nasty snake or gator that has you in an all-out sprint back to the clubhouse.

RELATED: 2016 on-course animal encounters | Rules for when animals obstruct your shot

Here's a look at nine of our favorite animal encounters on the golf course in 2017 that happened while cameras were rolling.

9. Former European Ryder Cup player fired up the trusty video camera on his phone to capture a mongoose and a snake playing a game of "catch me if you can" in Sun City, South Africa.

8. As is often the case, gators took up a lot of real estate in this year's animal encounters. The first entry comes from New Orleans and the Zurich Classic, when a brave (?) Rickie Fowler used a bunker rake to give a gator a nudge into some nearby water so that playing partner Thomas Pieters could play a bunker shot. If you ask us, that's going above and beyond by Fowler.

7. Rookie Cody Gribble decided at Bay Hill in March that if anyone was going to do the scaring, it was going to be him instead of the gator. Check out how Gribble, winner of the 2016 Sanderson Farms Open, love-tapped the gators tail and sent the mini-dinosaur jumping into the lake.

6. Elk are beautiful to see up close. Unless they're chasing you, which is exactly what happened to a golfer in Sweden back in June. Thankfully, no one was hurt.

5. So it's not uncommon to see gators on the course when playing golf in certain areas of the country. What is strange, however, is watching them battle it out in a near-death match. That's what happened in April at a course in Ocean Isle Beach, N.C. The guy filming is nuts, by the way.

4. Zimbali Country Club in South Africa. May, 2017. Enormous snake slithering across the course. What do you do? If you're the guy in the green shirt, you simply go ahead and extract it with your bare hands. No. Thank. You.

3. In February, a man named Tony Aarts was enjoying a round of golf on a course in Florida... until moments after hitting a shot when an alligator grabbed him by the foot and dragged him into the nearby water. Little did the gator know, he picked the wrong dude to mess with. Aarts fought back, hitting the gator over the head with his putter before finally being freed.

2. Nothing to see here from this video posted in May at Leopard Creek Golf Course in Malelane, South Africa. Just two of the deadliest snakes in the world -- black mambas -- fighting over a mate. Yikes.

1. Enough of the frightening stuff. Let's finish it off on a happy note. Check out this video from Australia when a golfer finds his ball in a fairway... along with an entire herd of kangaroos. What a surreal scene.


 

T.J. Auclair is a Senior Interactive Producer for PGA.com and has covered professional golf since 1998, traveling to over 60 major championships. You can follow him on Twitter, @tjauclair.