Bear messes with Knollwood tee times

Check out this story by Greg Wilcox. Leave it to a Bear to invoke no play!

June 3,2013 – GRANADA HILLS.. A bear walks along the Knollwood Golf Course Monday afternoon. LAPD followed the bear along the golf course until it went into a back yard of a house ,were the bear was knock out by tranquilizer dart by fish and game and taken away to be relocated. Photo by Gene Blevins/LA Dailynews (GENE BLEVINS)
Click photo to enlargeJune 3,2013 – GRANADA HILLS.. A bear put in the back of fish and game truck after… (GENE BLEVINS)«1234»Things weren’t par for the course Monday at Knollwood Country Club in Granada Hills.

Officials invoked the rarely, if ever, used “Bear Paws” rule and suspended play for several hours after a bear began strolling about the course.

It started shortly after 7 a.m., said the club’s general manager, Voltaire Aniceto.

“We were notified by the police we had to evacuate the golf course because he was spotted on hole 11,” Aniceto said.

Aniceto and some of the other surprised staffers took carts out on the course and rounded up about a dozen golfers while officials set about catching the bear.

Aniceto got a glimpse of the critter from about 50 yards away and, at that distance, it “looked like a German shepherd.”

Up close it looked like a good-sized bear.

The Los Angeles Police Department dispatched armed officers to the course to protect golfers and residents and put a helicopter overhead to keep tabs on the bear, which poked its nose into backyards, bunkers, rough and fairways.

Aniceto said officials finally found the wayward bear on hole 13, a tough par 3, shortly after 1 p.m.

Game Warden J. C. Healy was ready with a tranquillizer dart and the bear was soon fast asleep and on his way back to the mountains between Los Angeles and Santa Clarita.

It’s been a bear of a spring for Healy. He also tranquilized a bear that was roaming around Sun Valley last week.

“The bear was probably about 125 pounds. It looked to be a healthy animal. It just got lost. I happens once in a while,” said Andrew Hughan, spokesman for the California Department of Fish and Wildlife.

“This is not an uncommon occurrence and we very much appreciate the local law enforcement that helped us out.”

The bear might have been attracted to the area because the weather had been hot and the Van Norman Dam is close to the golf course.

“It was a great outcome,” Hughan said of the bear’s foray onto the links.

Chatsworth resident Dan Hernandez arrived for his weekly round later that afternoon and was surprised to learn about the bear’s visit.

“I’ve seen deer, coyote and rattlers, but never a bear,” he said.

But he knows what to do if he ever encounters one.

Let the bear play through.

“I’d hide behind a tree and let the bear play through all it wanted,” he said with a chuckle.

greg.wilcox@dailynews.com

@dngregwilcox on Twitter

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About Jill Painter

Jill Painter is a sports columnist for the Los Angeles News Group, covering everything from the Dodgers, Lakers, Clippers, USC, UCLA, Kings, golf and all human interest stories in sports.