Your dad or someone you know, probably has that long golf ball retriever that they use every time there’s a water hazard in sight. Well, some people have made professional careers out of golf ball diving.
This “career” is huge in Florida, because well, golf is huge in Florida. One man made $15 million dollars a year just from golf ball diving, but the job is just as dangerous as it is lucrative. On some large courses, it’s not only golf balls that live within the depths of the water hazards.
This is how Southwest Florida man Scott Lahodik, a professional golf ball diver, was bit on his left arm by an alligator at a Rotonda West golf course while swimming and searching for golf balls last Friday.
“Scott got bit, and he managed to get away from the gator,” Rotonda Golf & Country Club course manager David Kelly said via CBS Sports. “(Scott) got out for the lake and drove all the way up to the clubhouse. That’s where we called 911. I think he startled the gator more than anything. He was rooting around in his home looking for golf balls.”
Exactly. He was rummaging around the gators home, so he was bound to get attacked. Lahodik told the Florida Sun Sentinel that the reptile grabbed his arm with his teeth and wouldn’t let go so he resorted to punching it in the eyes, which eventually led the 10ft gator to let him go.
“He just came and, full blast, grabbed my arm all the way back in his throat and then he started to roll with me,” Lahodik said of the scary encounter.
Lahodik, who has made a career of diving for golf balls since retiring from the military in 1988, was taken to a nearby hospital in Fort Myers to treat the bite wounds. He was left with 400 stitches and staples in his arm afterwards, but thankfully he escaped with his life.
His wife spoke to the Sun Sentinel as well, professing her faith towards the situation:
“Given the fact that this gator was the size that it was, where it happened and how it had happened, I have no qualms about saying that this was a miracle, that I believe that God was protecting him.”
According to the Golf Channel, the gator will be trapped and euthanized based on the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission standard protocol.