Florida golfer hit a ball, alligator jumped up and caught it, saving her from hazard

by Samuel Abasi Posted on February 22nd, 2019

Alligators lounging along golf course lakes is a common Florida sight, but rarely does one join the game.

Joanne and Len Sadowsky were playing in a local couples tournament Saturday when she had a bad tee shot on hole 2 at the Bonita National Golf Club.

“I shanked the ball to the right, and it was heading to the water,” she said. “It was close to the gator’s head. He saw it, jumped up and caught it.”

Joanne Sadowsky’s light pink ball ended up in the powerful jaws of the local alligator, earning her a free drop.

“It saved me from a hazard penalty.”

Bonita National Golf Course sits along Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary at the east end of Bonita Springs. Alligators wander into the golf course’s 17 lakes from the sanctuary, three-year resident Joanne Sadowsky said.

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“We’ve seen them with a fish or a turtle in their mouths, but never a golf ball,” she said.

Unfortunately for the Sadowskys, the free drop didn’t win them the tournament.

“We came close but were just out of the money,” Joanne Sadowsky said.

Image: A Bonita Springs golfer earned a free drop ball after a local alligator snatched her ball from the air. (

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Samuel Abasi

Samuel Abasi

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