Playing golf abroad is every golfers dream but do you know exactly what might be lurking in the rough as you’re passing by? Rounds of golf just got a bit more interesting as we explore the wildlife crossing the fairways.
Many courses across the UK are home to species such as birds, bats and butterflies, as well as an enormous amount of wildflowers. The UK golf scene is practically a wildlife haven and many greenkeepers and club members are working together to maintain this grassland and ensure the plethora of animals are safe in the natural environment of the course.
Lymm golf course even has it’s own wildlife expert, Brian Ankers who produces articles on regular wildlife sightings around the course. There are so many new developments being built over our famous green land that the golf courses are becoming the only sanctuaries our wildlife can find.
Naturally, different courses are homes to varying wildlife species, but it’s not just the UK where wildlife is upon us. Globally, golf courses are renowned for being surrounded by beautiful scenery, but on some courses, you see slightly more than a few exotic birds.
There is nothing better than teeing off at 8 am to the sound of the songbird, with a slight breeze and the occasional hare jumping out, but imagine having to wait to tee off because of bears fighting on the green. Not the sort of scenery you would witness in the UK, but unfortunately for the Canadian golfer, this isn’t uncommon.
It’s always suggested to have your camera ready when you’re playing in a foreign location, if anything, you are likely to spot rare, warm-blooded birds flying above.
Canada isn’t the only place you’ll be floored by the wildlife, courses in Florida are home to the alligator. The half a ton beast is known to sit on the bank, and some have even been spotted taking a stroll across the fairways.
Usually you will see their eyes showing above the water, so if you’re shot hasn’t worked in your favour, I’d just leave the ball to the predator. The palm trees on American courses are beyond desirable and are often well kept, making the course a pleasure to play on.
One course in Australia is inhibited by bull sharks, whilst others share the fairway with turtles, pelicans and the classic kangaroo. Some of these global courses become more like a nature reserve for wild animals.
If you’re playing golf in the Middle East, you’ll find the animal’s natural environment is extremely dry and often man-made. Luckily, the wildlife in the desert is climatized to the temperature. Lots of burrows allow for fawns and spiders whilst camels and wild cacti surround the non-coastal courses.
If you’re heading into Europe to play, you can expect to be greeted by the local lizards and experience golf on a well-conditioned green filled with palm trees and beautifully bright coloured plants. If you see red funnel-shaped flowers you can rest assured hummingbirds are nearby. Iguana’s, wild boar, red deer, water snakes and frogs are some of the animals you will meet along the fairway.
Lots of club members like photographing and reporting on their wildlife sightings. Environmentally friendly clubs around the globe tend to plant nectar-bearing plants to ensure the wildlife are fed and often leave large grassy areas just off the course to house the animals wanting to take shelter there.
So next time you’re out on the course, don’t just go looking for your ball, have a look around and make sure you don’t miss the unique habiting wildlife.