Orlando, Florida - Golf Pro, Tripp Isenhour, decided to make a red-shoulder hawk, a protected species on the endangered list, par for the course last December, according to court documents. Back then, Isenhour was in the middle of taping a TV show called "How to Shoot Like a Pro" at the Grand Cypress Golf Course in Orlando, Florida, when the raucous bird insisted on a cameo role, resulting in several retakes.
Isenhour would have no part of it, so he jumped into his golf cart and drove off in the direction of the bird cursing beneath his breath, alleged the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission in court documents.
"Truth be told, he just never really found that hole particularly changeling so he took upon himself to make more interesting by hitting a few balls in the direction of that bird," said Mark Everest, a longtime golf companion of Isenhour.
Everest, who incidentally has had the misfortune of having been struck by many of Isenhour's golf balls on several occasions, claims that one of Isenhour's golf balls could not have killed the bird because it simply does not generate sufficient force to do so.
"I have been hit in the head by Isenhour's golf balls so many times, I can't remember," said Everest in his testimony to the commission.
"He never even knew that bird was on the endangered list sitting in that tree up there, making all that noise," continued Everest. "He thought it was them there family of squirrels he done knocked out of the tree the week before that returned. Now they didn't die. But then again, he was using a putter that time."
When Isenhour got within 300 yards of the red-shouldered hawk, a majestic migratory bird of prey, he reportedly stopped the golf cart, got out a nine iron, dropped some balls on the green, and began swinging away.
"I still think it was a lucky shot," continued Everest's testimony. "Or that bird moved into the path of the ball because Isenhour called out four just before he swung. Each and ever time too. Not like, he does with me. Forgetting and all."
Isenhour was shortchanged by God when it comes to patients, said Isenhour's associates. Claiming he demands absolute silence from the gallery, when it is his turn on the fairway.
"I don't like to talk behind people's backs, and you didn't hear this from me," said Buddy West, former caddy to Isenhour, convalescing from recent head surgery. "But it's no secret that he was never well liked by anyone in the gallery when his touring. Still he commands their respect. That much I can say. Have you had the opportunity to talk to Mark Everest yet?"
As Isenhour got the sixth ball away, he knew he was close to a direct hit on the bird, which is credited for playing a vital role in the Florida Everglades, bringing balance to an otherwise precariously perched ecological system hanging over the precipice of doom.
Three more balls away, and the red-shoulder hawk lay lifeless on the green.
"I tried to give that bird CPR," said Everest, as he choked back tears. "But its little body just laid there dying instead. Then I heard a knocking sound like something hard hitting a piece of wood and everything faded to black. I don't remember much more after that."
Isenhour is expected to be acquitted of all charges of animal cruelty, and his trial wrapped up just in time to rejoin the PGA Tour.