Tony Aarts thought that all he really had to worry about on February 8 were the water hazards he faced at the Magnolia Landing Golf & Country Club. He was about to make a 10-foot birdie putt at the fourth hole when a good walk was interrupted by leviathan that lurked just feet away.
Aarts was walking just six feet away from the edge of a water hazard when he heard a warning splash. As soon as he noticed it, he knew that danger was afoot. Speaking to WINK News, Aarts said that it was an alligator that awaited him. “I jumped, but he had me.”
Seizing him by his right ankle, the gator dragged him toward the water. Falling on his back, Aarts rolled into the water hazard while he struggled to save his life. “I remember having a club in my hand, and as soon as he had me in the water up to my waist, I started hitting him over the head,” Aarts said.
Aarts related, “He was looking at me with his big eyes, and I kept hitting him. And I’m thinking I’m getting deeper and deeper, and I thought, ‘You’re not gonna get me.’”
It was then that Aarts decided to get serious with the weapon he had at hand, jabbing the alligator’s eye socket repeatedly. “I hit him three times and he let go of my foot,” Aarts said. “So I crawled back out and by that time the guys were there.”
Aarts was saved by his friends and an ambulance took him to a hospital in Fort Myers where he was treated. Meanwhile, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission arrived and neutralized the alligator. “It’s a good thing I had that putter,” Aarts told WINK News. “I guess a golfer should always keep a club in his hand.”