Man Falls into Sinkhole at St. Louis Area Course

A 43-year-old man was swallowed up by a sinkhole while playing golf at a course near Waterloo, Ill., southeast of St. Louis, Mo. Mark Mihal had just hit his second shot on the 14th hole at Annbriar Golf Course when the incident occurred.

Mihal, the co-founder of, was playing with some friends at the course. He was checking out the distance for a playing partner, Mike Peters, when he suddenly disappeared.

Mihal fell an estimated 18 feet underground and suffered a dislocated shoulder in the incident. He was hoisted out by a rope.

"I felt the ground start to collapse and it happened so fast that I couldn't do anything," Mihal said an account that appeared on his website. For the full story, visit

"I reached for the ground as I was going down and it gave way, too. It seemed like I was falling for a long time. The real scary part was I didn't know when I would hit bottom and what I would land on."

He was in the hole approximately 20 minutes. His playing partners and course staff, who brought a 12-foot ladder to the scene, finally extricated Mihal and got him into an ambulance.

Annbriar had been one of Mihal's favorite courses in the St. Louis area. Needless to say, he's not sure when and if he'll be returning to the facility. "It'd be kind of strange playing that hole again, for sure."