Playing on Long Island, they're pretty common on courses near the water. Before many courses started using the dogs, they were just another facet of the design, it seemed. You never paid much attention to them and they generally minded their own business. Only real horror story happened almost 20 years ago at Timber Point Golf Club, a county course on the south shore of Long Island. Many holes had geese wandering around near the tee boxes, but not that close. We had played without any issues. Balls would fly over them out to the fairways. Except for one. And it was not pretty. A friend of mine, big guy- 6-5, 280 had a lot of power but not a lot of accuracy or consistency, measured up his drive, stepped up and hit one right on the bottom most part of the driver. It never went above 24" above the deck... which happens to be about the height of an adult goose's head. Yup... There was a puff of red mist and a sort of a 'sploot' sound. No running around "like a chicken with no head", it just plopped down like it was sitting on a nest. Except there was no head, and the neck was laying across it's back.
We were stunned, amazed, speechless, gobsmacked, etc... and we just kept looking at each other with our mouths open but nothing coming out. Until, finally someone said "HOLY SH*T!!!!" that broke the silence and we started jabbering like idiots.