I was a little taken aback when an overseas guest from Texas asked if snakes were not a problem when golfing in Thailand. In my many years gracing the fairways here, I have had only two encounters with snakes.
Once when my wild duck hook landed in a part of the golf course never previously entered by any human being as far as I could see when I foolishly went to look for my ball. The second time was a tiny little garden variety snake in the short rough at Nichigo Country Club in Kanchanaburi. It was him who was more shocked than I and shot away at a great rate after our encounter.
Anyway, I thought I would do some research and, to my surprise, I discovered that over 10,000 people are bitten by snakes in Thailand each year, though there are less than 50 deaths. Venomous snakes in Thailand include the pit viper family; and then there are the elapid snakes, such as cobras and kraits. We’ve also got a few keel-back snakes.
Although all of these snakes seem terrifying, the reality of the situation is that no venomous snakes in Thailand attack without some provocation. The exception would be if you accidentally stepped on one or somehow by chance harmed the snake. Watch where you step and be careful where you put your hands and you will be fine. Also, know that many bites – over 50% – are what are known as dry bites, which means that the snake did not inject any venom into you. The majority of snake bite victims actually suffer from shock and not venom.
So, there is no real need for you to be worried about snakes when you are golfing in Thailand, though you should always show respect and practice caution. Also, as per my posting Thailand Golf Caddies Re-loaded on how to get the best out of your caddie, have the caddies in your group search for your ball after that errant shot into the trees, you stay on the fairway! The caddies certainly know how to search for errant balls and will take proper precautions as warranted and if lucky will find something of value in the process.
If anyone has any snake golf encounters, feel free to share them by posting a comment here or if you prefer you can send me your story at my Thailand golf vacation company.