Golf spotlight

Hawk takes up residence at Flamingo Lakes

 

Special to The Miami Herald

Part of the appeal of golf courses is the nature display that generally comes with them: trees, plants, and animals, such as alligators and iguanas.

At Flamingo Lakes golf course in Pembroke Pines, golfers have a most unusual visitor on the course — a hawk that has made a home around the 15th and 17th holes.

“He’s huge,” starter Skip Lawrence said. “Almost like an eagle. He’s been here about five to six years. The people playing here have gotten used to seeing him and know him pretty well. But that doesn’t make him any friendlier.”

The hawk is particularly unfriendly to small animals, making them his dinner.

His diet often includes the coot, a small black water fowl with a beak that usually has a brown or red spot on it. “Also, baby Egyptian geese are one of his favorites,” Lawrence added. “However, he won’t eat the eggs of either of those birds.”

Occasionally, the hawk will opt for a fish dinner, extracting a meal from the many ponds on the course.

“But there’s no doubt he likes the birds the best,” Lawrence said.

More gregarious golfers will yell out a nice greeting to the hawk. Others will circle 50 yards away. And some stop and are mesmerized by him, slowing play somewhat.

When the hawk does have a small bird on the ground in his talons, he is often attacked by smaller black birds and mocking birds. They bravely fly up to him and peck away at the hawk, trying to free their friend — usually to no avail.

“The wildlife is one of the things that is cool about golf courses,” Lawrence said. “And this place is quite a sanctuary.”

BACK TO SCHOOL

Krystal Farinas and Zachary Montaner of Miami were recently selected to participate in The First Tee Training Program June 3-9 at the Hank Haney International Junior Golf Academy in Hilton Head Island, S.C.

Farinas and Montaner are members of The First Tee program and were nominated by the Miami chapter, which is run by Charlie DeLucca out of International Links-Melreese. The two 16-year-olds will be joined by 50 other participants representing 40 chapters across the U.S.

Haney is one of golf’s best-known instructors and was Tiger Woods’ personal coach at one point.

That’s a fact

It’s nearly summer, so you should be hitting the ball longer.

If you swing the club at 100 mph, the ball will go eight yards farther for each 25-degree increase in air temperature.

Read more Golf stories from the Miami Herald

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