OKATIE, S.C. (WCIV) — Some golfers take twisted pleasure in playing their ball "as it lies" after errant shots on the course, sometimes resorting to bizarre and improbable escape shot attempts rather than accepting a stroke penalty.
We'd hope most would draw the line at alligators. A South Carolina man made the wise choice after he found himself dealing with an amazingly bad lie this week.
In something almost out of Happy Gilmore, golfer David Ksieniewicz said his ball came to a rest neatly atop the back of a roughly 7-foot alligator while playing a round at Okatie's Spring Island Club on Monday.
Fortunately, the official U.S. Golf Association rules account for such a thing in what it calls "abnormal course conditions." That allows players to take "relief" by moving their ball or dropping a new ball in a safe and reasonable location for their next shot without assessing a stroke penalty.
Rule 16.2(a) specifies "dangerous animals" qualify for such relief if their presence near a ball "could cause serious physical injury to the player if he or she had to play the ball as it lies."
"Which is good, because we determined that my dad should probably consider this dangerously shanked shot unplayable and start over," said Kristine Robinson, who shared the photo of the ball on the alligator's back.
David bid adieu to the ball, and kept playing without molesting or approaching the alligator, which not all golfers have the good sense to do.
It is illegal to harass alligators in South Carolina. Report anyone observed doing so to the South Carolina Dept. of Natural Resources by calling 1-800-922- 5431.