By Kirsty Topping
A GOLFER cheated death by inches after he was hit by a falling 35ft tree during gales that lashed Scotland this week.
Friends of Gordon Sutherland feared the worst after he disappeared under a tangled mass of leaves and branches at Pitreavie Golf Club, Dunfermline.
The 52-year-old postie, who was narrowly missed by the falling trunk, was pulled clear and rushed to hospital on a spinal board because medics feared his back had been broken.
Gordon was released from hospital the following day and, apart from a mass of bruises and scratches, is well on the road to recovery.
Ambulance crews said he was
“lucky’ to survive although he has been publicly branded an
“idiot’ by his wife for playing golf in a gale.
He said today (Thu):
“I was playing a tie against Paddy Mallen in a club tournament. He was going away on holiday and we decided to play it on Monday as there were no other dates available.
“It was never going to work, it was too windy and there was too much debris on the greens. “
“We were on the third green and he said,
“Forget it, enough is enough’, stuck the flag in the hole when seconds later, bang! The tree came down. It was bad timing. “
Gordon, from Dunfermline, said he felt
“very lucky’ to be alive and added that the tree was large enough to cover half the green.
“If I had been more to my left, I’d have been in the centre of it. “
“It was really frightening, I felt really sore and feared the worst.
“But then I could feel my feet and move my toes, otherwise it would have been panic stations.
“I didn’t have time to feel scared. I just said to Paddy:
“Get me out of here!.”
“Now all I need is a new putter, my old one is underneath the tree.
Although he initially had difficulty breathing because of the pain and problems sitting up, Gordon is now on the road to recovery.
“I’m very lucky I have no bones broken, I’m just badly bruised along the back of my spine. It’ll be OK once the pain goes away.
“I could have been killed. We went up to see it yesterday and where I was lying there was something stuck into the ground.
His wife, Yvonne, was at work at the time of the accident. She said:
“It was quite a shock when I got the call.
“I’ve just laughed at him – what an idiot playing in weather like this! “
The winds that hit Scotland reached over 114mph and caused widespread damage as well as the tragic death of a 36-year-old male driver whose car was hit by a tree in Balloch, Dunbartonshire.
Several other motorists narrowly escaped death when their cars were hit by falling trees.
The gales also caused massive disruption to road and rail services and closed major tourists attractions.