Untamed Lowcountry

Giant alligator was taking a stroll when Hilton Head golf course got ‘in the way’

It was a beautiful morning on Long Cove Club’s Pete Dye golf course when a 400-pound visitor surprised and delighted fellow golfers.

A 10-foot-long alligator meandered through several greens and the driving range before plopping into a new lagoon on the course, according to assistant golf pro Cory Grimes at the club.

“It was moving from one lagoon to the next, and the golf course and the driving range were in the way,” Grimes said Tuesday.

The creature, who is unnamed outside of the colloquial “big daddy” title being thrown around on Facebook, is one of many gators that calls the club’s lagoons home.

“We have a bunch of them,” Grimes said. “It’s not the biggest, but it’s one of the bigger ones.”

Asked how the club’s members react to a monstrous passerby, he said the course suspends play and “tries to get everyone out of the way.”

That’s exactly what to do when you see a Lowcountry alligator, according to S.C. Department of Natural Resources spokesperson David Lucas.

Lucas said SCDNR’s major piece of advice to everyone is to not feed the alligators.

“Feeding alligators can quickly make them dangerous to people,” Lucas said in August. He said once people do this, the alligators will start associating people with food and be more likely to approach them.

Alligators move around most when they’re mating from mid-April through May, according to the Savannah River Ecology Laboratory.

Especially during mating season, the laboratory suggests you keep your distance.

“Although they may look slow and awkward, alligators are extremely powerful and can move with a startling burst of speed on land over short distances,” according to its alligator guide.

Not-so-subtle gators on Hilton Head golf courses

Alligators also stole a few scenes at last week’s RBC Heritage Presented by Boeing, where a mama gator and her babies were spotted near the 5th hole on Friday.

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Weekend golf with the family.

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Another gator decided to play things a little more low key and not wander too far from the lagoon, The Island Packet reported last week.

It stole the spotlight from Xander Schauffele, who was putting nearby.

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Don’t turn around, @xanderschauffele …

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All eyes, including the commentators’, were on this gator.

“Guys, does Xander know there’s an alligator behind him? I don’t think he sees it, but I saw it,” the commenter joked.

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Katherine Kokal moved to South Carolina in 2018 after graduating from the University of Missouri and loves everything about the Lowcountry that isn’t a Palmetto Bug. She has won South Carolina Press Association awards for in-depth and government beat reporting. On the weekends, you can find Kati doing yoga and hiking Pinckney Island.