The Northern Territory PGA Championship is on this week at Palmerston Golf Club and ISPS HANDA PGA Tour of Australasia players are using the opportunity to check out what the Top End has to offer.
With crocodile warning signs on course, Aron Price and James Nitties were inspired to check out the large reptiles at Crocosauraus Cove in Darwin.
The Tour Pros were taken on a VIP tour of the facility which also provided them the chance to feed Burt, a 5.1 metre crocodile that weighs in at 700kgs and is over 80-years-old.
“Burt is the oldest male here and was 5.1m and 700kgs; he was so big I honestly thought he looked fake until he started moving around and eating the chicken off the end of the stick,” said Price.
Movie buff James Nitties was quick to recognise celebrity crocodile; Burt famously stared alongside Paul Hogan and Linda Kozlowski in Crocodile Dundee but it was Wendell a 5.5m crocodile weighing in at 800kg and named after Wendell Sailor which caught their eye.
“He is a celebrity, he was in Crocodile Dundee so anytime we can rub shoulders with celebrities it is awesome,” joked Nitties.
While Price added; “Wendell knows James and I through golf so we just gave him a call and he said he wouldn’t swap any of his NRL accomplishments for that (his namesake crocodile).”
Keeping a safe distance from the fully grown male crocodiles, Burt and Wendell, the players were happy to meet some of their smaller companions.
Fluffy the baby crocodile and Matilda the blue tongue lizard posed for some selfies with the Tour Pros.
“Surprisingly the skin is crazy soft, it feels awesome. They said if he gets angry he is able to bust the tape around his jaws, so just trying to keep him nice and calm,” added Price.
“Hopefully we don’t see any crocodiles on the golf course this week but if we do, now I know how to pick them up.”
From New South Wales but based in the United States, Price and Nitties used the Northern Territory PGA Championship as an opportunity to play tourist in their own country.
“It is pretty awesome that we can play golf in different places around Australia and get to do amazing stuff like this. Whenever a golf tournament brings us to a place that offers great wildlife and experiences we jump at it,” added Nitties.
Price added that the location was a motivating factor to his playing the Northern Territory PGA Championship this week.
“I went to Litchfield National Park yesterday and that was a big reason for me coming to the tournament.
“I have never been to Darwin, it was the last big place on the Australian map that I hadn’t been to so this was all the stuff that I wanted to do, it’s really cool.”
While Nitties and Price were checking out the crocodiles some of their competitors, Callan O’Reilly, Troy Moses, Dale Brandt-Richards, Jack Munro, Braden Becker, Neven Basic and Jason Chellew went on a fishing charter.
The players are hoping they catch as many birdies on course this week as they did fish with the boys landing jewfish, giant trevally, spotted trevally and even a couple of sharks.
Callan O’Reilly took the honours, his jewfish measuring 95cm beating out Jason Chellew by one centimetre.
While the Top End is offering up plenty of excitement the players will become the entertainment when the Northern Territory PGA Championship tees off on Thursday.
For all round 1 tee times please visit pga.org.au.
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