Florida golfer fights off 10-foot alligator with putter

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NAPLES, Florida — Talk about a water hazard. A golfer at the Magnolia Landing golf club had to fight off a 10-foot long alligator that attacked him as he walked near a course-side pond.

Tony Aarts of Naples was playing a relaxing round earlier this week, thinking about carding a birdie after hitting a shot about 10 feet from the pin, when he heard an ominous splash.

“As I was walking about 5 to 6 feet away from the water I heard a splash, and as soon as I heard that splash I knew it was an alligator, and he got me,” Aarts said. “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. I seen the size of him, you know you can just see the claws as he was pulling me back and I’m heeling in trying to go the other way and he’s just looking at me and I’m looking at him. So I started hitting him in the eye socket, I hit him 3 times and he let go of my foot. so I crawled back and by that time the guys… they were there.”

Aarts suffered minor injuries to his foot, but says if it wasn’t for his beloved Cleveland putter, he might not be here today.

“It’s a good, solid, heavy putter,” he noted.

The alligator was later captured and removed from the course.

Aarts does have some advice for anyone golfing in the Sunshine state:

“I guess a golfer should always keep a club in his hand,” he said.