Huge gator creates unintended hazard on South Louisiana golf course

Source: WAFB
Source: WAFB
Source: WAFB
Source: WAFB
Source: WAFB
Source: WAFB

PATTERSON, LA (WAFB) - A viral video is making rounds of a nine-foot alligator taking a stroll on a South Louisiana golf course.

Bill Marin was golfing on July 9, 2015 at the Atchafalaya Golf Course at Idlewild in Patterson, La. when an unexpected visitor interrupted his golf game.

A large alligator sauntered across the green of the sixth hole. Marin took out his phone and captured the video.

"I was lucky," he said. "Just in the right place at the right time."

Marin's friend David Levingston was one of the first to see the video.

"It was something else," Levingston said. "First and foremost, I was glad I was not on the green with it."

Martin said animal sightings are not rare on the Atchafalaya fairway. He said he was not shocked when he first saw the gator because he has seen them before.

Seth Spillman, a cart attendant at the course, said there are raccoons, water snakes, rat snakes and, of course, the alligators. He said there are three full size gators plus a bunch of little babies.

"It's half golf course, half wildlife preserve," Spillman said. "It just adds to the atmosphere."

Sometimes guests become a tad frightened by the animals. That's where Spillman comes in.

"They call me the animal catcher around here, because I catch everything," he said.

That includes a 30-pound snapping turtle and a six-foot rattle snake. Spillman said no one has ever been hurt because of the animals, though he does have a word of advice for dealing with gators.

"If your ball is too close, you might want to leave it," he said. "Don't pick it up."

A spokesman for the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries said gators are more active in the summer months. They advise staying away from the animals and calling authorities if they are seen wandering around a neighborhood.

Copyright 2015 WAFB. All rights reserved.