An alligator must have wanted to play some golf Monday at Pelican Sound Golf & River Club in Estero, Florida, just outside Fort Myers.
When golfer Marc Goldstein, 68, went looking for his ball after a wayward shot near a pond, he noticed something else was interested in it.
“As I got close I saw that it was lying adjacent to the alligator’s head,” Goldstein said via email. “So I grabbed my phone for a picture, but before I could take one he smiled —that’s my story and I’m sticking to it — and picked it up in his mouth.
“That’s when I switched to video, thankfully. My two playing partners and I laughed like hell. I told them I wasn’t sure of the rules, but that I was taking a free drop regardless!”
After several seconds with the ball in its mouth, the small alligator turned and went into the pond.
“Bye,” Goldstein said as everyone laughed.
Goldstein, a retired real estate agent from the Albany, New York, area, said he enjoys “sane things” like golf, tennis and fishing, but there is another hobby.
“I actually go into the Everglades hunting pythons,” said Goldstein, who’s had a seasonal residence in Estero since 1998. “I haven’t bagged one yet but I’ve encountered two up close.
“I’m not the typical retired guy in Florida I guess. Of course my wife and friends think I’m nuts.”
Goldstein said he didn’t do anything after the alligator took off into the pond with his ball.
“I’m wondering if the gator has a stash somewhere in the pond,” he said. “They make more of them so I don’t think I’ll investigate.”
Greg Hardwig is a sports reporter for the Naples Daily News and The News-Press. Follow him on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter: @NDN_Ghardwig, email him at firstname.lastname@example.org