Florida golfer, 75, uses golf club to thwart alligator attack

Golf Florida Alligators Getty Images

Florida golfer, 75, uses golf club to thwart alligator attack

Golf

Florida golfer, 75, uses golf club to thwart alligator attack

Tony Aarts wasn’t concerned with saving par, but rather with saving himself on a Florida course. He needed the help of a golf club to escape from an aggressive alligator at Magnolia Landing Golf & Country Club in North Fort Myers, Fla., last week.

Aarts was approaching the fourth hole and suddenly found himself being dragged away by a 10-foot alligator that weighed about 300 pounds.

“I heard a big splash behind me … and an alligator was right there. It grabbed my right foot,” the 75-year-old Cape Coral man told InsideEdition.com. “I was on my back and he got ahold of my foot, trying to grab me in—well, he did drag me in.”

After failing to get his friends’ attention, Aarts realized he had to escape the gator on his own.

“I was up to my knees and it was shaking its head, trying to wiggle me into the water. I thought ‘Oh God, I’m in trouble’ and I remembered I had the golf club,” he told InsideEdition.com.

His club struck the alligator in several places but had little effect.

“I started hitting him in the eye—I thought that was my only chance. It let go and I scrambled backwards and by that time the guys were there,” he told the website.

Aarts reportedly suffered three puncture wounds and bruising. He was treated and released from an area hospital.

Florida FWC workers captured the alligator and put it down.

Alligators sightings are common on golf courses across Florida, though attacks are rare. There were 388 reported alligator bites in Florida from 1948 to 2016, according to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission. Of those, 263 were labeled “major” and 24 were fatal.

Latest

More Golfweek
Home