Golfer fights off 10-foot alligator with 'solid, heavy' putter
NORTH FORT MYERS (FOX 13) - A Florida golfer fought off a 10-foot alligator earlier this week using the only weapon he had -- a putter.
Tony Aarts was enjoying a round of golf at Magnolia Landing in North Fort Myers on Wednesday. He was lining up a 10-foot putt on the fourth hole -- for birdie, he made sure to point out -- when he knew he was in trouble.
"As I was walking about five or six feet away from the water, I heard a splash," he recalled. "As soon as I heard that splash, I knew it was an alligator. And he got me."
Tony soon found himself in the water, getting dragged deeper and deeper.
"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," he continued. "I started hitting him in the eye socket. I hit him three times and he let go of my foot."
That's when Tony was able to crawl back up on the green. As he was taken to the hospital, trappers went in after the alligator. It didn't take them long to capture the 10-footer.
Tony's back at home now, nursing his injured foot and showing off the Cleveland putter -- "it's a good, solid, heavy putter," he offered -- that may have saved his life.
And he has some advice for his fellow duffers, at least when teeing off in the Sunshine State.
"I guess a golfer should always keep a club in his hand," he chuckled.
- WATCH: Massive gator strolls across FL golf course
- Mother, daughter encounter bobcat at Circle B Bar
- Alligator wanders into car loop at Ruskin school
- Alligator sprints across fairway at Myakka Pines
- Alligator swims peacefully with manatees
- Not a record in Florida, but still one big gator!