We all need to sit back & relax once in a while. It puts perspective, real perspective, on this journey we call life.
But I do wonder why the Olympics doesn’t include golf. After all, there are a bunch of professional athletes running around playing basketball, tennis, and God knows what else. Too bad the amateurs are pretty well locked out of those competitions…
Enough commentary – on to the story!
While living and working in Indianapolis, I belonged to a work golf league that played at the Brownsburg Golf Club every Thursday night. Our competition was friendly, but we all were as serious as we could be. But we did have fun, at least most of the time.
For most of the season, I was leading the league. On week 10 of a 16-week season, I found myself in sole possession of first place, with only a few percentage points separating me from second place. At least, until Week 11, when the wheels came off…
Hole #7 will always be remembered for both the good and the bad experiences. A par 3, 145-yard hole didn’t seem like much with a huge green, but it was surrounded by sand and trees on three sides, and long grass in the front. Left, right, or long, you were playing from the beach. Short of the green, and you needed a weed-whacker just to find the ball. The green was sloped back to front, which meant that you really needed to put the ball below the hole. The usual Thursday hole location was right smack in the middle. Last, it had an elevated tee box.
I was struggling that round, but holding in there, barely ahead of my competition for the night. I lost honors on the previous hole, and was teeing off last. Everyone else had landed their balls on the green, reasonably safe, but a long way from the hole. Then I stepped up to hit, eyed the ball and the green, wound up and just starting on the downswing…
…a chipmunk popped up out of his hole from the side of the tee box, ran full speed across the tee box three feet in front of me, and (presumably) disappeared down another hole on the other side of the tee box!!!
I caught sight of the little bugger out of the corner of my eye midway through the downswing, and of course, was startled by the flash of brown as he streaked right in front of me. Totally rattled, not knowing what I had really seen, I promptly lost control of the swing.
Blading the ball is never good, and the bottom edge of the 8-iron caught the ball just above the middle of the ball, giving it an over-spin. The ball took off, bounding off the front of the tee box once, hitting a sprinkler cover. The ball shot up into the air, making a nice arc as it disappeared into the tall, tall grass halfway to the hole. I’m standing there absolutely befuddled as my partners laughed their asses off behind me.
It took me two strokes to get out of the grass, with the second swing (stroke 3) landing the ball in the back bunker. A chip rolled the ball past the hole almost to the front of the green. Two putts coming back ended the misery…a 6 on a par 3…AAAAARRRRRRRGGGGGGHHHHH!!!!!
Needless to say, I lost that match, and everyone had a pretty good laugh in the bar that night. Looking back at it, I had to laugh too, but only after we all got off the course.
But that was the beginning of the end…I finished fourth in the league, which isn’t bad considering the harassment I got for the rest of the season. All someone had to say, “Is that a chipmunk?” and my concentration went to pot. Bastards…
I miss all of them.