Saturday, March 14, 2009


This story is for any golfers who feel that water, bunkers, rough, and trees are tough hazards to deal with on the golf course.

I used to be a caddy at Columbia CC in Maryland. The caddyshack was filled with a wide variety of caddies of all ages, races, and personalities. One caddy was from Africa, and he caddied in his home country before coming to America. He used to tell us stories about the "hazards" on the golf course in his own country.

Before he began, I immediately thought to myself about lions, tigers, leopards, packs of hyenas, and other wildlife that would enjoy eating any stray golfer. I was wrong however, and he said by far and away, the caddies were most fearful of the black mamba, which is supposedly the fastest, meanest, and most deadly snake in the world. No caddy would ever want to go in the woods to look for a wayward shot.

He said it was not uncommon to see caddies sprinting full speed out of the woods screaming and being chased by a mamba. I decided to do a little research on the mamba and here are some of the details:

Black Mamba Profile
Black mambas are fast, nervous, lethally venomous, and when threatened, highly aggressive. They have been blamed for numerous human deaths, and African myths exaggerate their capabilities to legendary proportions. For these reasons, the black mamba is widely considered the world’s deadliest snake. Black mambas live in the savannas and rocky hills of southern and eastern Africa. They are Africa’s longest venomous snake, reaching up to 14 feet in length. They are also among the fastest snakes in the world, slithering at speeds of up to 12.5 miles per hour. Black mambas are shy and will almost always seek to escape when confronted. However, when cornered, these snakes will raise their heads, sometimes with a third of their body off the ground, spread their cobra-like neck-flap, open their black mouths and hiss. If an attacker persists, the mamba will strike not once, but repeatedly, injecting large amounts of potent neuro- and cardiotoxin with each strike. Before the advent of black mamba antivenin, a bite from this fearsome serpent was 100 percent fatal, usually within about 20 minutes. Unfortunately, antivenin is still not widely available in the rural parts of the mamba’s range, and mamba-related deaths remain frequent.

Sounds like a wonderful house pet!

Anyway, if you ever happen to play golf in Africa, make sure to bring your antivenin, and seriously, don't make your caddy go into the woods.