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Traditional Owners on Groote Eylandt have lived alongside crocodiles all their lives.

So they weren’t surprised to hear that a saltie had lunged at a golfer as she went to collect a wayward ball from a creek running through the Alyangula course.

Michelle Long, who lives on Groote, says the 1.5m -2m croc got to within one metre of her when she was playing a round with her husband.

“I was up on the fourth hole, which is up on a hill, and hit the ball down towards the hole,” she told the NT News.

“My ball went right. I went to look but I couldn’t find anything.

“Literally this croc jumped out in front of me … it did an almighty splash and when I looked down it was on the reeds, on the banks, and came straight out of the water.

“I was just in shock. I reversed and he slithered down the bank and swam away.

“It’s the first time I’ve ever seen it happen. I’ve always seen it there but it’s the first time it’s ever lunged out.

“I won’t be looking for my ball again.”

The golf club has sent a warning to players not to go looking for balls in the creek.