It was a very hot day at the Nedbank Challenge Tournament at the Gary Player Golf Course in Sun City South Africa on Thursday 1oth November when the players and spectators on the 16th hole were shocked to witness the green being invaded by approximately 20 mongooses.
The mongooses ran onto the green and were courteous enough to ignore the ball with only a short smell and inspection as they passed by. So fortunately, the game was able to continue without interference. The following day, the mongooses returned to the course and were seen relaxing in the sun in the short rough adjacent to the fairway. Again, they caused no problems and the game continued while the mongooses enjoyed themselves spectating and relaxing in the sun. Apparently, the mongooses have not been seen again over the weekend.
The incident reminded one of the Eat Drink Golf team of an incident that occurred to him about three years ago when he was working in Switzerland. He and three friends arranged a four-ball at the Verbier Golf Course in the Alps. The course is very difficult because it winds around the side of the mountains and many of the fairways are very steep. They had played up to one of the greens playing uphill and were chatting as they walked up towards the green. Suddenly, they were stunned into silence when the green wainvaded by a fox. The fox was a lot less courteous than the mongooses at Sun City and it quickly picked one of the balls up in his mouth and ran into the adjacent bushes. The group gingerly approached the bushes but the fox had disappeared leaving no sign of the ball. Apparently, the fox had become a regular visitor to the course and was well known to the locals who had named him ‘Foxy’. Unfortunately, he was not easy to locate and they suspected that he, and his collection of golf balls, were well-hidden under ground.
Please let us know if you have experienced anything similar on your golf travels – badgers, foxes, birds or any other animals!