Oh Deer! Wild Critters on the Golf Course

by, Jo Carol Hebert 

An alligator on the ‘fairway’? Kangaroos on the ‘greens’? A giraffe in the ‘rough’?

Are we on a golf course or in a zoo!?

That Wonderful Game of Golf

Golf could be one of the first games people ever played – hitting a rock along the IMG_8681-687x1030ground with a stick. Today, golf is a worldwide sporting event. People play golf for fortune, fame, and fun. But all golfers are serious about trying to hit that little ball down a long fairway and into that little hole on the green.

Uninvited Guests on the Golf Course

Wild animals abound in the natural habitats surrounding golf courses. And they don’t care about the business of humans. They go where they want to go. And wherever they go, they act like animals. Their random visits to golf courses in their habitats can disrupt the focus of the players and delay the game. But, generally, the unexpected drama of animals on the course is tolerated with patience and amusement by both golfers and spectators.

Alligators Galore


In Florida, USA, home of the Everglades swamplands, alligators are common sights on the golf courses. Some are even ‘adopted’ by the golfers.

  • Big George, was a ‘pet’ alligator of a golf course.
  • Goliath, the Alligator strolls across the fairways. He snacks on a turtle for breakfast near the 7th green.
  • Chubbs, the Alligator, is a famous reptile resident on a Florida golf course. Chubbs is a huge 15-foot ‘gator’ with only one eye. He likes to nap on the 17th green. Golfers accept him but keep their distance

Other Florida golf course alligators have been seen fighting other alligators, fighting a python and even snatching a golf ball out of the air!

South Africa, It’s a Jungle Out There!

Can you guess the wild animals that might be on the golf courses of Africa?


  1. A Curious Giraffe joined the spectators. He stood politely and watched the game. The spectators watched the giraffe watching the game. Then, the curious giraffe ambled back into the brush.               
  2. Golfers wisely waited while two very deadly Black Mamba snakes finished their fight and slithered away.   
  3. Baboons often monkey around on the golf courses. Sometimes they chase the golfers! Once, a game was delayed while a ‘troop’ of baboons attacked a leopard near the course.
  4. Harry the Hippo wallows in the mud of a lake near one South African golf green. Golfers stop on their way to watch him.
  5. A “pride” of Lions watch golfers from a distance.
  6. Herds of elephants, antelopes, and zebras, graze on the sweet, green grass of the fairways.

Australia’s Awesome Golf Course Animals


What is the first animal you think of in Australia?

Of course, it’s a Kangaroo!

A ‘mob’ of Eastern Grey Kangaroos roam the fairways in Australia by the hundreds. The ‘roos’ enjoy family outings with baby ‘Joeys” in their mother’s pouch. Respectful golfers play on around them.

One course has a resident Koala named Bamboo.

Galahs and Gohannas (cockatoos and lizards) are frequent visitors to the courses of Australia.

Dingoes (wild dogs), deadly snakes, and crocodiles show up to steal the show.

But the most bizarre golf course animal encounter in the world is also in Australia. A nearby river flooded  years ago. Six Bull sharks made their way into a lake by the 14th green. These 10-foot carnivores were happy to stay and reproduce. It has become a welcome tourist attraction for the golf course. Everybody is happy too, except the children that used to dive in the lake to retrieve stray balls for money.

 Feathered Friends on Fairways


An angry mother Killdeer bird attacked golfers that accidentally ran over her nest of four eggs.

Golf balls flying through the air sometimes hit birds flying through the air.

Birds carry golf balls into their nests.

Golfers wait patiently while ‘gaggles of geese’ waddle across the greens.

Other ‘Critters’ on the Course

Plague of tiny young grass frogs take over Greenwood Course at East Horton Golf Club, Hampshire, Britain - 01 Aug 2012

Frogs and rabbits hop merrily along beside golfers.

Insects buzz in golfer’s ears. A dragonfly perched on Tiger Woods cap for a round of play.

A ‘scurry” of squirrels dig up the immaculate greens to hide their nuts.

Cats and dogs cavort across the screen of televised golf games.

A swarm of bees caused dignified golfers to drop to their stomachs and cover their heads.

Herds of cows, Longhorn Sheep, antelopes, and deer nibble on the expensive green carpets of grass.

An Ostrich is roped and led away.

So, What’s the Conclusion Of It All?

People that play golf in the habitats of the Great Outdoors should expect to see wild animals.

For, after all, we have come to play in their backyard.

What golf course visitor is this animal? Hint: it lives in South America and is the largest living rodent!


 Leave us your answer in the comments section.              

Categories: Animals

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