WATCH: Golfer chases after his ball – into a live horse race

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A man played golf on the pitch-and-putt course on Saturday inside the horse-racing track at the Ellerslie Racecourse in Auckland, New Zealand. 

He played golf on the track, too. 

During the Great Northern Steeplechase. In front of the horses and their jockeys. In front of a nationally televised audience.  

Pitch. And ponies. 

“We were all yelling at him. He obviously was more interested in his ball than the race,” jockey Shaun Fannin told the New Zealand Herald. Fannin would win the event aboard Magic Wonder. 

“When he heard us and saw us coming, he started pointing at his ball to show us what he was doing there. But we just wanted him to get the hell out of the way.

“Really, that is something you never expect to see during a race.”

According to the Herald, the man hit his ball onto the racecourse, and he hopped a guard rail to play it. But he didn’t know the horses were approaching as part of the second lap of the race. 

The jockeys were able to avoid him. 

An official with the Auckland Racing Club, which operates the facility, said the man “just made a mistake.” According to the Herald, the golf course is far from the track during flat racing, but steeplechases bring the horses closer. 

“The staff from the golf center immediately pulled him aside, asked for his ID and asked us what we want to do, but we aren’t going to take any action against him, Auckland Racing Club chief executive Paul Wilcox told the Herald. 

“He just made a mistake and didn’t realise the horses use that stretch of the track, which to be fair, but for a few races a season, they don’t.”

Race commentator George Simon was not as kind. 

“There’s some absolute idiots playing golf out on the course. Can you believe that?” he said on the broadcast (at about the 4:50 mark here). “Absolute d—heads.”

Nick Piastowski

Nick Piastowski Editor

Nick Piastowski is a Senior Editor at and Golf Magazine. In his role, he is responsible for editing, writing and developing stories across the golf space. And when he’s not writing about ways to hit the golf ball farther and straighter, the Milwaukee native is probably playing the game, hitting the ball left, right and short, and drinking a cold beer to wash away his score. You can reach out to him about any of these topics — his stories, his game or his beers — at