Golfer fends off attacking alligator with putter in Florida

NORTH FORT MYERS, Fla. (WSVN) — A Florida golfer says his trusty putter helped him fight off an alligator that attacked him on a golf course.

Tony Aarts says he was playing a round of golf Wednesday at the Magnolia Landing Golf & Country Club in Fort Myers. As he approached the fourth hole, he says a 10-foot alligator grabbed his ankle.

“As I was walking about 5 to 6 feet away from the water, I heard a splash,” Aarts told WINK News. “As soon as I heard that splash, I knew it was an alligator, and he got me.”

When the gator grabbed him, Aarts said he ended up in the nearby water hazard during the struggle.

“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 recalled.

Aarts said he was getting dragged deeper into the water when he decided to aim for the reptile’s eyes.

“I started hitting him in the eye socket, I hit him three times and he let go of my foot,” Aarts said.

Officers from the Florida Fisch and Wildlife Conservation Commission responded, capturing the gator and putting it down.

For his part, Aarts credits his Cleveland golf putter for saving his life.

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

FWC said anyone who sees an alligator that could pose a threat to people, pets, or property should call their Nuisance Allicator Hotline at (866) FWC-GATOR (392-4286).

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