After decades of suffering abuse at the hands of humans, the Earth is apparently fighting back, and it's starting with the golfers. Golfers Mark Mihal and Mike Peters took advantage of a nice late winter day by playing the course at Waterloo, Ill., last Friday. Peters had his back turned to prepare a second shot on the 14th when Mihal suddenly disappeared…into an 18-foot sinkhole on the fairway.

“I felt the ground start to collapse and it happened so fast that I couldn’t do anything,” Mark said later. “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.”

Peters and the other two members of their golf foursome, Ed Magaletta and Hank Martinez, called for help. The 12-foot ladder brought by workers at the golf course's clubhouse wasn't long enough to reach Mihal, who had dislocated his shoulder in the fall. Magaletta had to climb down into the hole, stabilize Mihal's shoulder and help his friend out of the pit.

Mihal's wife, Lori, who was told about the incident after the rescue, summed up her terror thusly:

"It reminds me of the movie Space Jam when Michael Jordan was playing golf and disappeared into the ground."

See? Earth has dealt with those little cleats, big divots and carved bunkers for decades, golfers. Now, it's payback time. You've been warned.

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