Man retrieving golf balls is attacked by alligator in pond on Florida golf course

A man retrieving golf balls from a pond near the sixth hole of The Palms Course at Rotonda Golf & Country Club in Florida was attacked by an alligator Friday afternoon.

Scott Lahodik, 51, was doing the job the course hired him to do when the alligator clamped down on his left arm and caused a significant injury to his arm, according to FOX 13 and WFTS.

Lahodik managed to break free of the alligator’s grasp and crawl out of the pond to summon help.

“He drove up in his utility cart,” David Kelly, the course general manager, told FOX 13. “He was out of it so we didn’t get a chance to talk to him much, but he did make it up here. He’s a big guy; he’s not a small guy.

“I was able to see the wound, so he did have a good hold of him. There’s quite a bit of flesh wounds.”

He was flown to a Lee County hospital. His condition was not immediately known.

Lahodik, the president of Golf Balls International, has been diving at golf courses around the country for 30 years. He was hired by the Rotonda Golf & Country Club to remove golf balls from all the ponds at the club, located about 90 miles south of Tampa.

“I think he startled the gator,” Kelly told WFTS. “He was looking around his home, looking for golf balls.”

Golfer Dale Meninga told FOX 13 that the job of retrieving golf balls is “very questionable.”

“I wouldn’t do it,” he said.

“He shouldn’t be in the water,” golfer Jim Healy added.

Florida Fish and Wildlife Lt. Michael Frantz told FOX 13 that alligators get more active when its hot.

“I wouldn’t say it’s rare, but it doesn’t happen a lot either,” he said about attacks. “Once a year probably we have an incident in this area.”

Wildlife officials later caught and killed the offending alligator, as was shown on the FOX 13 Facebook page.

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