When Animals Attack
October 07, 2020

Think your weekend round was bad? This Colorado golfer got his kidney sliced in half by an angry elk

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Gunter Marx Photography

Lots of things can and, per Old Man Murphy, will go wrong on the golf course. The yips. The shanks. The two-way miss. Emails from your boss. A voicemail from the school principal. Poison ivy, angry bees, and a quartet of kindly grandmothers going off right in front of you. But never in all our years of waiting out thunderstorms, getting paired with weirdo singles, and forgetting our glove at home did we ever consider the fact that we might, at some point over the course of the next four hours or so, get gored by an elk. Unfortunately for Colorado golfer Zak Bornhoft, however, that’s exactly what happened this weekend.

Making the turn with his buddies at Evergreen Golf Course just outside Denver this weekend, Bornhoft’s foursome noticed “dozens” of elk roaming the course. For the most part, Bornhoft steered clear of the animals, who are more aggressive in the fall due to their mating habits. But on the way to the 17th tee, one elk took umbrage to Bornhoft’s cart. “This bull elk was just eyeing us down," he told CNN. "We were slowly going forward and he started charging at us and he missed. My buddy gassed it to get away and the elk gored me on my right side."

The puncture wound was deep, however, entering at the back of his right hip and continuing all the way to his left kidney, which the antler sliced clean in two. He was quickly rushed to the hospital, where he remains in stable condition. Helping to keep Bornhoft’s spirits up has been his wife Megan, who was able to visit him in the hospital, and video calls with his seven children, who now have one hell of story to tell, just like their dad.

While the Denver Parks and Recreation department report this is the first time in 15 years a golfer has been gored by an elk in Colorado, the subtext is that THIS ISN’T THE FIRST TIME ORED BY AN ELK. So keep your head on a swivel out there, folks. Like we said, if it can go wrong, it probably, eventually will.