Gator, But No Aid

Gator, But No Aid

When golfing in Florida, they usually tell out-of-state golfers to be mindful of alligators. “If your ball goes in the water, you may just want to leave it there,” is a typical piece of advice. 

A few years ago, a group of us were playing a small-stakes game in Florida. I hit a drive that decided to leak to the right side of fairway and toward a body of water. We lost sight of the ball as it appeared to land safely just past a small rise. As we approached the area, we slowed and made a cautious, wide arc around an 8-foot alligator. Tentatively, we looked for the ball. The gator turned his head slowly and opened his mouth just a tad—enough for us to see a white sphere. Was it my ball? Someone else’s ball? A small animal?

I told my friends I’d just drop and hit from approximately where the ball should have been. Nothing doing, my friends told me. Lost ball is stroke and distance, they decided. “You’re hitting three—unless you want to play your first ball,” I was told. 



—Bill Monn, vice president of client management, Ewald Consulting