High school golfer hospitalized after he’s struck by fallen tree branch at Santa Cruz County club
APTOS — An Aptos High junior-varsity golfer was hospitalized after he was struck by a large, fallen Monterey Cypress branch during a practice round at Seascape Golf Club on Thursday afternoon.
The accident occurred to the right of the fairway, near the cart path, halfway between the tee box and green on the 196-yard, par-3 16th hole.
“It was an unfortunate, freak occurrence,” said Gary Nelson, the general manager of the course.
Nelson, Seascape Director of Golf Brant Wilson, Aptos athletic director Travis Fox and Mariners varsity golf coach Paul Zech declined comment, and referred all inquiries to Alicia Jimenez, the public information officer for Pajaro Valley Unified School District. Jimenez told the Sentinel that she’d have information available by Saturday morning.
A paramedic and fireman were on site and treated the boy, who was conscious, before he was taken to a hospital outside the Santa Cruz County for treatment, a source said.
“It was a big branch,” said the source, who was on site but wished to remain anonymous because the incident involved a minor.
The tree appears to be more than 30 feet tall. One portion of the large branch that fell was roughly 8 inches in diameter. Portions of the fallen limb had been sawed and removed from the cart path by Friday evening.
The course — which features towering cypress, eucalyptus, and Monterey pine trees, in addition to several other species — was hit hard by a recent spate of storms to hit the regions. On Monday, the area was also hit with 50-70 mph winds.
There are downed trees and limbs all over the course, including two on No. 16, one to the left of the fairway on No. 17, and another just off the tee box on No. 18. The one on No. 18 also fell across the cart path. It was nearly three feet in diameter, and was sawed in half and moved to the side of the path, so carts can get through.
One of the wettest winters in decades has wreaked havoc on multiple fronts, from flooding, to mudslides and collapsed roadways. Nearby Santa Cruz has received 45.95 inches of rain as Sunday. The average season to date total is Average season to date 26.70.
More rain is expected Tuesday. It could lead to more fallen trees, due to the saturated soil. Accidents involving fallen trees during wet winters are not uncommon. A 72-year-old Santa Cruz resident died Dec. 31 when he was struck by a fallen tree at Lighthouse Field State Beach.