CLEARWATER — Don Gadke was retrieving golf balls from the Clearwater Country Club driving range after Wednesday morning's long-drive contest when he saw a figure resting face down on the edge of some bushes.
At first glance, the 54-year-old country club employee thought it was a homeless person napping in the sun.
But when he yelled at the man, the body did not stir.
"I put a finger to his artery and there was no pulse," said Gadke, who lives in Palm Harbor. "I knew he was dead."
Clearwater police are still investigating the cause of death for the man whose body was found about noon on the club's golf course at 525 N Betty Lane, but the death does not appear to be suspicious, police spokeswoman Elizabeth Watts said.
Police are not releasing the identity of the man because family members have yet to be notified. It looks likely that the man was a transient, Watts said.
Gadke said it appeared that the man was black, and between 45 and 55 years old. He was wearing dark blue jeans, a dark blue shirt and brown shoes.
The body was lying near the bank of Stevenson Creek close to the second tee, Gadke said. He figured the man must have arrived there overnight — he had walked through that same area Tuesday.
"It's such a shame," Gadke said. "No one should die like that."
Douglas R. Clifford can be reached at (727) 445-4177 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Martine Powers can be reached at (727) 445-4224 or email@example.com.