Top 9 animal encounters on the golf course in 2016

animal encounters
Part of playing golf means you're going to run into some wildlife out on the course occasionally. Here are nine of our favorite animal encounters in 2016.
By T.J. Auclair
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Series: Golf Buzz

Published: Thursday, December 01, 2016 | 11:58 a.m.

Getting out on the golf course for four hours. Ahhh. There's nothing better, am I right?

The perfectly manicured fairways and greens, the smell of freshly cut grass, the trees, the serenity, the... OH MY GOSH! LOOK OUT! IT'S A GATOR!

Wait, what? Yes. Along with all the beauty that comes with lovely golf courses, there are those moments out there where you're going to inevitably run into some wildlife. Maybe it's a coyote, a fox, a gator, who knows?

RELATED: Rule for when animals obstruct your golf shot

What we do know is that these are nine of the best animal encounters on the golf course in 2016...

9. Gators fight on course in Tampa Bay area. Back in March, two alligators at the municipal Bobby Jones Golf Club in Sarasota, Fla., unleashed their fury on one another. One brave golfer, Barbara Mossop, figured it was worth capturing on video.

We can only assume that Gator 1 was infuriated after missing a short putt he felt Gator 2 should have conceded. We get it.

8. 20 Mongoose run onto the green at European Tour's Nedbank Golf Challenge on the Race to Dubai. I don't know about you, but when I flip on the Golf Channel and see a tournament being played in South Africa, I'm almost more excited about the exotic animals that might appear on the screen than I am about the golf. Like this from November.

7. The capybaras at the Olympic Golf Course in Rio. Remember those mini monsters? They looked like part dog/part beaver/part PLEASE STAY AWAY FROM ME. They were everywhere on the course. It was wild.

6. Komodo Dragon at the CIMB Classic in Malaysia in October. One of the images that pops up when you look up a Komodo Dragon on Wikipedia is that of the giant lizard feeding on "a water buffalo carcass." Yep. You can get directly off my golf course, Komodo Dragon!

5. Bear cubs play with flag stick in Canada. Bear cubs are so cute... until you remember that when you see them, it means Mama Bear isn't far behind. Based on this video, it looks like Mama Bear isn't a fan of slow play either, prompting her cubs to move along and get off the green. This happened in September at Waterton Lakes Golf Course in southern Alberta.

4. Spider monkeys in Mayakoba at the OHL Classic in November. Love this video. Just spider monkey who is clearly a big golf fan, trying to get a great vantage point of the action in Mexico.


Come at me, bro.

A video posted by PGA TOUR (@pgatour) on

3. A cobra on the course in Taiwan. If I came across a cobra on a golf course, I'd be out of there faster than you could say, "Pro V1" -- I certainly wouldn't be throwing one at it.

2. Baboons. At the same event that brought us mongoose earlier in this list, we also got to see some baboons.

1. A python at the HSBC-Champions in China. Not a huge snake guy here. I can admit it. Luckily for the players in the field, this freak was removed from the course.


And let us not forget that snake that scared the bejesus out of Smylie Kaufman during a pro-am in Las Vegas recently... you know, even if it was fake.

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