The biggest hazard the Sunshine TourÂs professionals faced in the first round of the Nedbank Affinity Cup was not the bunkers or water hazards at the Lost City Golf Club, or even the famed crocodile pit alongside the 13th green. It was snakes.
A professional snake handler was called in to deal with a baby cobra and a 1.3-metre black mamba spotted within an hour near the clubhouse.
The cobra had disappeared by the time he arrived, but the mamba briefly held up play as several professionals decided theyÂd rather not walk under the trees it was in on their way to the 10th tee.
ÂThe only time you want to risk that is if youÂve just made a double bogey on the ninth,Â said defending champion Warren Abery. Snake handler Eddy Molema caught the mamba, his fifth this year. ÂI heard the monkeys screaming and saw it crossing the path. When I tried to catch it, it headed into the trees. But I eventually got a hold of it.Â
ItÂs a job Molema has been doing for about 13 years. ÂI respect snakes tremendously and donÂt take any chances.Â