Golfer swallowed by sinkhole recounts his terrifying experience

Posted at 8:28 PM, Mar 13, 2013
and last updated 2013-03-13 20:40:32-04

It wasn’t the hole in one he had in mind.  In fact, he was the one in the hole.

Mark Mihal, husband and father of two, was playing golf with his 3 buddies at the  Ann-Briar  course in Illinois.  They were on the 14th hole, in the middle of the fairway, when Mihal noticed a depression in the fairway.  When he went to check it out, the ground gave way beneath him and the sinkhole below swallowed him up.

The next  thing he knew, he was falling, for what felt like a long time, Mihal said.  He landed in a big pile of mud and dislocated his shoulder.

Sinkhole swallows golfer

He says his first thought was, ‘Man, this is it.’   it was nothing but darkness.

His friends got a ladder and rope from the clubhouse, but they knew time was of the essence.  So one of them decided to climb down to Mark because, he said, he knew Mark could not make it up the ladder by himself, with the damaged shoulder.

Mark said they put a rope around him, and with one friend pushing him from the bottom and the others pulling from the top, he slowly made it up the ladder and out of the sinkhole.

He says he will play golf again, but maybe not that particular course or that hole.  And who can blame him!

Mihal, by the way, is the founder of a fantasy golf website,

And that sinkhole has now grown to more than 30 feet wide.