Soon after he teed off on the 7th hole at the Wolf Creek Golf Course in Adrian, Mich., on Saturday, Isaac Couling was met by the wrath of a teed-off Canada goose.
Couling, 16, said as he was walking to his ball, he saw a female goose under a tree and he tried to avoid her because he didn’t want to rile her up.
“And then I look behind me and there’s a goose flying about five feet from me, and that’s when I started sprinting in the first photo,” Couling said.
Couling, who was playing in a school tournament, said he took three dives, with his bag of clubs in tow, and on the third dive, he hit the goose with his foot and it left him alone.
Photos of the Concord High School sophomore running away from the goose and diving for cover went viral, receiving national attention in media outlets like CNN, the New York Post, and ABC News.
The photos, snapped by Devon Pitts of Blissfield, were shared by the Blissfield Athletics’ Twitter account, garnering 15,000 retweets and 38,000 likes.
The story was also picked up by The PGA of America, which wrote on its website: “Though geese can be beautiful when watching them fly in flocks, the truth is they can be a real nuisance to golfers. And that’s without them attacking golfers.”
Couling said he still ended up shooting par on the hole despite not being able to use his clubs because they fell out when he flipped over and the goose was guarding them.
“But the rest of the round wasn’t too good,” said Couling, who had six more holes to play and ended the round shooting 100 on 18 holes.
While the photos created a buzz online, it turns out that the goose’s pugnacious spirit might not be so out of character for its gander.
“Occasionally geese nest in inappropriate sites, such as in shrubbery near buildings or parking lots. They can demonstrate aggressive behavior toward people while defending their nesting territory,” the Michigan Department of Natural Resources says on its website.