A Florida man fought off a 10-foot gator with his Cleveland putter

By Daniel Wilco
Published on
A Florida man fought off a 10-foot gator with his Cleveland putter

A Florida man used his Cleveland putter to escape from a life-threatening situation when an alligator tried to drag him into the water Thursday, according to

After hitting his approach shot about 10 feet from the pin on Florida's Magnolia Landing course, Tony Aarts walked toward the green when he heard a splash. 

"As soon as I heard that splash, I knew it was an alligator, and he got me," Aarts told WINK News.

The gator dragged Aarts into the water by his foot, but the quick-thinking man brandished his Cleveland putter and fought back.

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"I started to hit him over the head," Aarts said. "I started to hit him right in his eye socket. As soon as I hit him about three times, he let go of my foot."


Aarts crawled back to land as his friends finally got to him.

"That's a good, solid, heavy putter," Aarts said of the club that saved his life. 

And the gator? It was about 10 feet long, according to Aarts. So the putter did hit a 10-footer, just not exactly the one Aarts was thinking about as he approached his birdie putt.

But he did have some advice for fellow golfers:

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