Get in the Hole!

Get in the Hole! (Image 1)

A 15ft sinkhole swallows a GOLFER as he walks along a course in St Louis.

A Missouri man was really hoping for a hole-in-one when he set out to play golf last week.  Little did he know that he'd end up the one in the hole.

St Louis mortgage broker and avid golfer Mark Mihal was with some friends at the Annbriar Golf Course near Waterloo.  It was here on the fairway of the 14th hole where he suddenly disappeared.

Mihal fell into a bell-shaped enclosure below the green.  It measured 15 feet deep and 10 feet wide. 

And it was a surprise for all.  Even the course management said they have never seen anything like it.

“I noticed this anomaly in the fairway and went to have a look but, by the time I took one step, I was gone, I was underground,” Mihal says.

Mihal says he landed on a pile of mud in a space that could have fit up to 10 people.

“There was some room in there,” Mihal says.  “It was sort of like a room or a cave.  It wasn't confining.  I was very dark, though after a while my eyes got used to it.  But I couldn't look up because there was stuff still falling.”

Rescue efforts took some time because no one knew if the hole would expand.  Also, Mihal dislocated his shoulder in the fall.

Eventually, crews got a rope and a 12-ft ladder to help Mihal out. 

The whole rescue took just 20 minutes.  But during it all, everyone agreed they kept thinking about the deadly sinkhole in Florida from two weeks ago.

“Maybe I'm luck and unlucky,” says Mihal, referring to having his friends on hand to help.
Mihal added that he has played the course ten times before, but this time he did notice something odd on the 14th hole fairway before he dropped through the earth.
Mihal says he noticed a bathtub size depression, and even thought to himself 'that is unfair to have that there.'  He added the depression didn't look unstable.  
Experts say sinkholes are common in St Louis because the limestone bedrock often dissolves in rainwater, and this creates a cave below the surface.  Openings are generally visible. 

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