The idea of finding rattlesnakes in golf ball dispensers sounds like the stuff of urban legend — but it happened over the fall at a Topgolf in Arizona.
Video of the incident shows the western diamondback was big and clearly capable of “dispensing” itself any time it felt like it.
That left staff at the Scottsdale club with no choice but to call in professionals at Rattlesnake Solutions and have them come fish it out with a long pole.
Snake catcher Marissa Maki is the one who found the snake coiled up the machinery like venomous wiring on Oct. 16. She estimates it was around 3 feet long.
“It definitely would have been scary if … you reached down to get your ball and there’s a rattlesnake in there,” Maki said.
“I’ve been to this Topgolf before for fun, and not once did I think a rattlesnake would be in the ball dispenser. I will now, though.”
Ball dispensers operate by popping out golf balls one by one, when players “wave any club in front of the ball sensor,” according to Rangesystems.com.
The Topgolf course had not yet opened for the day, so the snake didn’t get a chance to pop out instead of a golf ball.
However, that hasn’t stopped jokes about the possibilities from erupting on social media, including claims Maki got the course’s first hole in one with a rattlesnake. Some also noted golfers can be just as venomous on bad days.
“Don’t reach into a hole on a golf course in AZ. You never know what is in there,” one commenter wrote on YouTube.
It’s suspected the snake had been in the dispenser only a short time. Staff reported seeing it slither across the green and vanish into the gadgetry that same day, Maki said.
“I’ve actually gotten a rattlesnake at this same Topgolf before and coworkers of mine have removed some as well. It is surrounded by desert, so you are in their habitat,” Maki noted. “I wouldn’t say its an unusual place to find one.”
Western diamondbacks are native to Arizona and can live 20 years in captivity, according to the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum. They average of 3 to 5 feet in length, but some as long as 7 feet have been found, the museum says.
The rattlesnake captured by Maki was taken to a wilderness area and released, which is standard procedure for Rattlesnake Solutions.