This week the PGA Tour heads to Harbour Town Golf Links for the 2019 RBC Heritage. With the Masters in the rearview, players can breathe easy now that they won’t have to face Augusta National’s par-3 12th for another year. But Harbour Town presents one course hazard not seen at Augusta: alligators.
Gators are a fixture on golf courses throughout much of the southeastern United States. They even make occasional starring roles on the PGA Tour, frightening players as they ply their trade. At the Heritage, there are regular run-ins with gators, but one incident in particular stands out.
Back at the 2012 event, veteran PGA Tour caddie Kip Henley was carrying Brian Gay’s clubs, when one of Gay’s shots came to rest on the side of a pond, directly next to a large gator.
Feeling it was his responsibility to clear the way for his boss to hit, Henley acted fast… and fearlessly. The caddie casually grabbed a nearby bunker rake, and proceeded to face off with the gator, as if the animal presented no threat at all. Eventually, Henley succeeded in shoving the big-toothed beast into the water.
Check out the moment below, via the PGA Tour’s Twitter feed.
— PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) April 18, 2019
Believe it or not, that wasn’t the last time Henley faced off with a gator at the Heritage. In 2017, cameras caught Henley shooing away another gator using the same weapon as in 2012.
Update: Five years later and still fearless.
Kip earlier today at Harbour Town.
(Insta: chrisropero) pic.twitter.com/Ko819rNnnP
— Skratch (@Skratch) April 13, 2017
Thankfully no one was hurt, but don’t let Henley’s success made you complacent around alligators on the course. If you find yourself in this situation, just steer clear and let the gator have your ball. Your loved ones (and the gator) will thank you.