Fire Ants 40, Nova Scotia 0

If you are a Nova Scotian athlete, you inherently learn to travel. This is a blessing that many don't realise until later in life. You can compete locally and provincially, but with a population of 150k in our Capital (Halifax) it is very small relative to other regions nationally/globally.To really push the limits our province forces us to go out and stick our necks into places we may have never gone! That's when the fun really begins!

Our partners at Dormie Workshop have globe trotted for decades pursuing many lofty goals from back-country Skiing, Mountain Climbing, Surfing and of course Professional Golf! These adventures have lead to great victories and crushing defeats. This blog will be a forum for other adventure minded people to share your greatest story as we share ours.

To start the adventure tales I will share a golfing excursion that went sideways fast. As a cruise ship Golf Professional, there are many roles you take on aside from teaching people how to golf onboard the ship. The best part of the job is "excursions" which you recruit clients to go golfing in whatever port the ship will be docking at for the day.

This day was in Cozumel Mexico at a Jack Nicklaus course. There were 3 groups of players who I shared 4-5 holes with throughout the round. The goal was to help each golfer at least once so they had a tip or two to get some value added to their experience. Everything was going great, I was coming up the 18th hole with the last group. This hole was  completely surrounded in Mangroves and the cart path had a massive bridge section to lead you to the fairway section where your drives would land. I grabbed my club and headed over to my ball which was in the middle of the fairway (of course). I surveyed the shot to the green and took my stance, doing a couple Jason Duffner style waggles. It was in the last waggle that I felt something strange. It was a slight tickling feeling at the top part of my shin. I knew it wasn't a breeze wisping at leg hair as I had to wear pants being a Professional.

In the split second I was about to initiate my swing, a pain resonated throughout my knee cap area. It was the intensity that stopped me in my tracks, I realised I was under attack!! In one motion I dropped the club and swatted as hard as I could at the area where the pain originated. It was so sharp it made me instinctively jump in the air as well to further stop or at least knock off whatever it was that was biting through my skin.

The next moment I fully understood how well organised the enemy was as a second wave of bites penetrated my leg in unison, like they were in sync with each other waiting for their illustrious leader to signal their surprise attack. From ankle to knee, my leg was under attack. I had no choice at this point, the pain was so intense and foreign I started running, from what I still didn't know?!

 The clients had no idea what was going on as they sat in their sheltered safe zone away from this pending enemy of all golfers. They didn't know they were witnessing their Pro deal with a troop of Fire ants, to them it looked more like I had lost my mind. I frantically reached down while jumping in the air to rip my shoes off, next was my belt, button and zipper. With two mighty tears I yanked my shoes and pants off to reveal my pasty white thighs in all there glory, pumping as fast as they had ever moved.

I started to swipe as fast as possible the tiny red critters that were so small, one could hardly see them. Because there were so many I could see my lower leg was covered.

In the end I was standing 50 yards away from my ball, sweating profusely wearing only a pair of boxers, polo shirt and grimacing in pain from 40+ fire ant bites. The resonating pain from the injected venom slowly taking over the entire lower half of my leg making it a throbbing appendage oozing puss.

It took over three weeks before the bite scars disappeared from my leg. Looking back I should have made sure there were no ant "volcanoes" on the ground which indicate the pending wrath waiting below the surface. These nests often appear dormant with no indication of what lies beneath.

Fire Ants are the only ant in the world with a stinger under its belly to fully engage its prey. The legs latch on while the stinger drives in. They attack in large numbers and can entomb small prey such as mice which are 100+ times larger in size. Amazing little buggers.

Fire Ants 40 ---- Team NS 0

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