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May I Borrow Your Alligator Ball Retriever?


A poor golf shot can put a player in some pretty unusual places. But a misdirected shot at Robber’s Row Golf Course in Hilton Head, S.C., would be hard to beat. After Mike Rothermund, 74, hit his tee shot on No. 12, it took a 2-foot bounce and came to rest on the back of a sunbathing alligator.

“I’ve been playing golf for about 55 years and I’ve seen a lot of crazy things,” Rothermund told the hometown Island Packet newspaper, “but never anything like this.”

Not wanting to dare retrieve the ball, Rothermund obeyed the course rules and took a drop with a new ball without penalty.

“It was one of the funniest things I had ever seen,” said playing partner Tom Lindon, 77. “The alligator didn’t move an inch. To us that was a lucky shot, and in no way would we penalize him for that.”

Wildlife biologist Dean Harrigal, explained to the Island Packet that an alligator wouldn’t have felt a golf ball hit its back because of the hard, bony plates there. “If it would have been a bowling ball, he might have felt it.”