Golfer having a ‘bad day’ finds elderly man stuck in gully near water

Feb 7, 2020, 6:26 PM
(Photo by John McCoy/Getty Images)
(Photo by John McCoy/Getty Images)

ST. GEORGE, Utah — A golfer saved an elderly man in his 80s when he heard his cries for help near the seventh hole of the Blackrock Course. The golfer, Adam VanValkenburg, was one of the last golfers of the day, trying to make a 90-yard shot over a hazard.

But VanValkenburg wasn’t having the best golf day.

The seventh hole of the course is a par-4 hole, and requires golfers to hit over lava and water. VanValkenburg hit four balls straight into the lava before giving up altogether.

“I thought, ‘Well I am not going to clear this,’ so instead of getting too frustrated, I just got back into the cart,” VanValkenburg said in an interview with St. George News.

Instead of leaving his expensive golf balls in the lava, VanValkenburg went down to the gully to retrieve them. While he was down there, he heard someone calling for help.

He found an 80-year old man, Kay Bills, who was weak and dizzy. He said he didn’t know how long he had been there or what his phone number was.

VanValkenburg yelled out to his brother who was golfing with him to call 911. The fire department and Gold Cross ambulance arrived to remove him from the area and transport him to the hospital.

His wife later confirmed he had a stroke.

With the sun going down and golfers leaving for the day, it’s likely the man wouldn’t have been found. VanValkenburg said it was lucky he was having such a bad golf day.

“It was a combination of being at the right place at the right time and being a bad golfer,” VanValkenburg said. “I had to be for this moment.”

Bills is still in the hospital, but is expected to recover.

Today’s Top Stories

All News

Intermountain drone delivery...
Chris Jacobs

Intermountain Healthcare and Zipline launch drone delivery service

A new drone delivery system by Intermountain Healthcare and Zipline is unveiled on Oct. 4. The program will service the Salt Lake Valley.
8 hours ago
Russian President Vladimir Putin (C) with Ukrainian separatist regional leaders Vladimir Saldo (L),...
Olga Voitovych and Joshua Berlinger, CNN

Russian Parliament begins process to rubber-stamp annexations as Moscow struggles to define borders

Despite there being no set boundaries, Russia's parliament began the process of approving Vladmir Putin's decision to annex part of Ukraine.
8 hours ago
Zachary Snarr Yvette Rodier The Letter suvivor guilt...
Amy Donaldson

“The Letter” – Survivor guilt after the death of Zachary Snarr

Surviving the shooting that claimed the life of Zachary Snarr stole the small things and gave Yvette Rodier a type of guilt she didn't expect.
8 hours ago
FILE - This photo provided by the North Korean government shows North Korean leader Kim Jong Un del...
Yoonjung Seo, Emiko Jozuka, Junko Ogura, Brad Lendon and Simone McCarthy, CNN

Japan issues rare alert as North Korea fires missile without warning over main island

The US Indo-Pacific Command also released a statement saying American commitments to the defense of Japan and South Korea "remain ironclad."
8 hours ago
David Close and Eric Levenson, CNN

Investigation finds systemic abuse, misconduct within women’s professional soccer

The report was based on more than 200 interviews and reveals the National Women's Soccer League failed to provide a safe environment for players.
8 hours ago
(Getty Images)...
Mark Jones

Man in possession of fentanyl pills, heroin arrested at SLC airport

A Weber County man was charged in court after being arrested last week in possession of roughly 4,100 fentanyl pills and 378 dosages of heroin.
1 day ago

Sponsored Articles

Young woman receiving laser treatment...
Form Derm Spa

How facial plastic surgery and skincare are joining forces

Facial plastic surgery is not only about looking good but about feeling good too. The medical team at Form Spa are trained to help you reach your aesthetic outcomes through surgery and through skincare and dermatology, too.
large group of friends tohether in a park having fun...
BYU MBA at the Marriott School of Business

What differentiates BYU’s MBA program from other MBA programs

Commitment to service is at the heart of BYU’s MBA program, which makes it stand out among other MBA programs across the country.
a worker with a drill in an orange helmet installs a door in the house...
Price's Guaranteed Doors

Home improvement tip: Increase the value of your home by weatherproofing doors

Make sure your home is comfortable before the winter! Seasonal maintenance keeps your home up to date. Read our tips on weatherproofing doors.
Curb Appeal...
Price's Guaranteed Doors

How to have the best of both worlds for your house | Home security and curb appeal

Protect your home and improve its curb appeal with the latest security solutions like beautiful garage doors and increased security systems.
A paper reading IRS, internal revenue service is pictured...
Jordan Wilcox

The best strategies for dealing with IRS tax harassment | You have options!

Learn how to deal with IRS tax harassment. This guide will teach you how to stop IRS phone calls and letters, and how to handle an IRS audit.
spend a day at Bear Lake...
Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

You’ll love spending the day at Bear Lake | How to spend a day at Bear Lake

Bear Lake is a place that needs to be experienced. Spend a day at Bear Lake.
Golfer having a ‘bad day’ finds elderly man stuck in gully near water