I played with my father and uncle over the weekend at a beautiful but difficult course in New Jersey.
10 minutes after parking my car, I realized I was in New Jersey. 4 Italians stood on the tee trying to cut and light their cigars while 45 carts full of Asians patiently waited to go off the first tee. Finally the starter came out and suggested the gentlemen consider teeing off.
The four guys, of course playing from the back tees, proceeded to boomerang four balls into the woods and spent another 10 minutes calling the starter a motherfucker and blaming their shots ( not on their horrible swings) on being rushed off the tee. And you know these are the same 4 guys who would have called the starter a motherfucker if he wasn't chasing the people ahead of THEM.
Of course they never played their balls in the woods, but instead dropped four balls in the fairway as compensation for this grave injustice. I suspect they were lawyers and or Catholics.
Using duct tape and kite string I cobbled together a 40 on the front nine and headed into the back with the hope of breaking 80 on a really challenging course.
On the par 5 12th hole I hit a great drive and was sitting at the 200 yard marker with the hope of reaching in two and going either eagle or birdie when my approach shot clipped the tip of the thinnest, barest, single branch hanging just over the edge of the fairway and the ball dropped just short of the green. OK, fine then....no worries...I'll just chip it on, one or two putt and get out of there.
The area around this particular hole looked like the front lawn of the White House. As far as you could seen in every direction was a vast ocean of perfectly groomed, emerald green grass. The entire area was unblemished except for one spot....one singular silver dollar size spot of bare dirt in the entire expanse of land between the tee and the green...and it was the spot diretly under my ball.
Now I was getting a little bit pissed off.
Between myself and the hole was a sand bunker, and behind the hole was some deep rough. I needed to pick this ball off the dirt patch, clear the bunker, but have enough loft so the ball wouldn't roll off the back and into the deep grass. Its wasn't impossible but it was going to necessitate a very good shot.
I took a calming breath and addressed the ball. I locked in and drew the club back slowly and.....WHIRRRRRRRRR......CLUNK....WHIRRRRRRRRRRR. Right in the middle of my back swing, the cart girl came buzzing around and evergreen tree full speed and right past me. CLUNK my ball went on a line drive over the bunker, past the hole, and disappeared off the green in 4 inches of thick rough on the other side. Furious, I spun around to say something, but she kept going by with a smile and a wave. She headed over the the next hole to sell some beer to the guys ahead of us.
The bitch was wearing a Yankees hat.
So now I"m really steaming but all is not lost. If I could somehow get the ball onto the green I could still possibly get a par and at least a bogey. And that's the torture of the game - from eagle to bogey from 10 yards out. Again I tried to calm myself and stay in the moment. My ball was sitting down in the grass and the only way to get it out of there was to make a daring play. Despite a short distance to the hole, I had to open up the face, make a full swing, and get under the ball. Anything more than that and I would go over the green. Anything less than that and the ball would only move a few inches.
I took a half dozen practice swings to build my courage, got comfortable and addressed the ball. I drew the club all the way back and coiled myself for a full swing.....WHIRRRRRRRRRRRRR.....CLUNK. Right at the apex of my swing that Derek Jeter loving bitch came flying by again. My club slammed into the ground a good half foot behind the ball and the chunck of dirt went next to the hole while my ball moved about an inch and a half.
Angrily I spun around to see her driving off into the distance. Insane with rage I lifted my wedge over my head like a tomahawk and in an act of defiance hurled it at the cart. Now I recognize that I'm crazy, but I'm not criminal. I threw the club at the girl, but she was a good 30 yards away in a cart going 10 miles per hour. I've done enough 5th grade math problems concerning trains leaving New York and Boston to know that by the time my club got to where she was, she'd be another 30 yards away oblivious to my outburst.
What they don't factor in for 5th grade is that the train leaving Boston might suddenly stop if the conductor mistakes your yelling " Bitch !" for you yelling " BEER !"
What had been an outburst of protest was turning into criminal assault at 20 yards and closing. The wedge spun end over end, implausibly on a dead trajectory for the Yankees logo. My father and my Uncle, who up to this point had simply been observers were about to become accomplices and suddenly, thankfully, they started screaming.... " GO ! GO ! GO !" and vigorously waving at the girl to get moving.
" GOOOOOOOO ! For the love of christ, GOOOOOOO !"
The girl was oblivious to her fate, but the look on my fathers face and he started waving and running across the green must have been enough because she hit the gas and started moving again.
SMASH...the club hit the back of the lunch cart portion of the vehicle with a crash. The girl paused again, look around confused, and drove off.
My hope is that she assumed it was an errant ball, but just to be safe I tipped her $6 the next time around. And I congratulated her on the Series.