I live in Ohio and have been chased by geese!
Also, after hitting a shot into the tall and uncut, I nearly stumbled into a swarm of white faced hornets! That could have gone very badly for me if I hadn't noticed them in time.
Reminds me of a golf outing/stag party we held for a friend of ours who was getting married. On a dinky little 250-260 yard par 4 he hit a beautiful 4 wood ( that will tell you how long ago this was, remember the 4 wood?) on a baby draw that was headed right at the flag.
The green sat over a little rise, so we could only see the top half of the flagstick. We all started yelling "hole in one!" When we got to the green we hunted all around and couldn't find his ball. I finally looked in the hole and told him his ball was in there. He thought I was trying to make a fool of him and absolutely refused to look in the hole! So I asked what he was hitting, pulled the ball out of the hole and tossed it to him!
Needless to say we got him good and ripped at the cookout afterward. So much so that one of us had to drive him home, and then back out there the next day to pick up his car!
Alligators in the southeast, rattlesnakes in the southwest, and geese in the north. I've heard these critters can get pretty darn ornery, but wow! Must be guarding a nearby nest or brood.
What non man made hazards has your golf rounds encountered?
For some golfers hitting their driver down the middle of driving range, is considerably different than hitting a driver down the middle of a fairway. The range is so much wider than a course fairway. What looks good on the range, could be way left or right on the fairway.
When on the range, I use the existing flags to make up my own fairway. Alot of times I will use the hitting station on either end of the range. The range side fence, and a flag will give me a fairway.
Another option it to pick two of the farthest flags down range, and use the width distance between them as a landing areas for all my clubs.
Another thing is once warmed up, I never hit one club, more than 5 times in a row. Sometimes even less. Sometimes I might go driver, 5i, and pw in that order. Then reverse that sequence.
The OP mentioned his higher scores came when playing with others, and/or his lower scores came when playing alone. When I play with folks I don't know, I just forget about them. They could be better, or worse than me. I just don't care about other golfers' games. I'm focused on the grass, dirt, water and shrubs in front of me.