How’s this for a golf course water hazard?
GOLFERS have received a stern reminder why they should never go and retrieve an errant ball from a water hazard on a Far North Queensland golf course.
Cairns based professional golf coach Graham Bolton was visiting Half Moon Bay Golf Club on Friday with his daughter, when he spied one of the club's reptilian residents lounging close to a croc warning sign on the third hole.
Mr Bolton, who is a regular visitor to the Yorkeys Knob course, said he was well aware the course lake was home to a croc or two, but he had never spotted any of the big lizards out of the water.
"He was just sitting beside the sign, and it was a good picture, so I just went up and took a good snap of him," he said.
A croc, estimated to be more than 3m long, caused a stir after it emerged from the third hole lake during the Masters Games golf tournament at the end of May last year.
Mr Bolton said crocs on golf courses was just a unique element of playing the sport in northern Australia.
"I teach junior golf at Half Moon Bay, and we're very strict with the kids," he said.
"Basically we don't let the kids walk through the causeway there, and the rule is pretty much, if you hit the ball in the water, you can wave it goodbye.
"We don't go looking for golf balls, because we know what can be just under the surface."
The lake is fed from Half Moon Bay Creek, which is known territory for saltwater crocodiles.
Mr Bolton said the waterway was full of fish, making it a perfect place for crocs to live with a steady supply of food, even during the drier months.
"That croc is just stuffed from mouth to bum full of tilapia," he said.
"But you don't know what has swum in (the lake) overnight.
"There could be a 4m specimen that has come in that is hungry.
"We don't take any chances with that."
People living in and visiting Far North Queensland are reminded to always be crocwise in croc country, by obeying warning signs, never swimming in waters where crocs may live, standing back from the water when fishing or cast netting, always supervising children, and never provoking, harassing or feeding crocs.
To report a croc sighting, contact the Department of Environment and Science on 1300 130 372.
Originally published as How's this for a golf course water hazard?