A guy threatened to kill me yesterday on the golf course, and he wasn’t kidding.
The two of us, my wife and I, caught up to a foursome of men, on the fifth hole. The were all good golfers, one is probably one of the clubs best. But he is one of the slowest and least friendly golfers I have ever known. In thirteen years of membership at the club, he actually waved (if you call wagging a finger and nodding a wave) at us in the cart as we passed once yesterday. It was so unusual that my wife commented, “he actually waved at us?”
Being a twosome on a golf course on Saturday means a lot of waiting. We anticipate that to the point that my wife takes a book to read while we are waiting.
All of us arrived at #10 tee at the same time. It takes four guys longer at the turn than it does the two of us. There is a ritual of adding up scores, chit chatting with guys hanging around the clubhouse, deciding who is going to pay for the beer, and all that stuff. My wife and I just refill our six water cups and we are ready to roll.
They teed off without the slightest acknowledgment that we were there, and there was a complete par five ahead of them with no one to be seen.
There is a club rule that a twosome has “no standing” on the golf course. Which means it’s like we aren’t there. They certainly believed in this concept. Written golf etiquette says that if are holding up players, and there is a hole open in front of you, it would be nice if you asked the other group if they would like to play through.
Etiquette wasn’t in two of these guys vocabulary. We knew one of the other players, and he plays with his wife from time to time, and always is a fun and courteous guy. We didn’t know the fourth.
So from #10 tee to #12 we played slowly behind them. As we walked off #11 they were teeing off #12, a par three, another perfect opportunity to let us play through. A short hole, the next hole was an open par five, the tees I was playing were at least 50 yards ahead of where they teed off, and my wife’s tees another 100 yards ahead.
One guy hit the green, three others were far left.
They cleared the green and were climbing into their carts when I hit my tee shot. It was going right – toward them – so I yelled “fore” and the ball landed 20 yards short in a bunker.
As we caught them on the par five, they were on the green. I was 200 yards out. I’m a 22 handicap, which means I shoot around 100. As they plumb bobbed their second puts (oh yeah, they plumb bobbed every putt.) For reference, Tiger Woods doesn’t plumb bob.
I took out my 18 degree hybrid which I normally hit 180 yards. I figure, I’ll hit it, maybe it will go toward the green, roll up on to the putting surface. OK, yes, I’m thinking I’m going to hit into them! There I said it. Now for a 22 handicapper to say one thing and actually do it is rare, very rare.
I don’t only did it. I did it better than I thought possible, I hit the perfect shot. I knew as soon as it left the club face it was fantastic. So I yelled “fore.” The ball hit on the green.
So one of the guys did exactly what I would do in the same circumstances. He grabbed my ball while it was still rolling and heaved it as hard as he could over into the rough.
My wife went to her ball and I left the cart to go look for my ball in the rough. As I’m looking, I catch out of the corner of my eye, a guy, putter in hand, coming at a fast walk toward me. His body language was clear he was PISSED.
So I stopped. He came up and said if I ever hit in to him again, he would kill me. He was standing there with a putter in his hand. I smarted off about holding up play, and he said if I ever hit into him again, he would kill me. He threw his putter down, and we stood there belly to belly. Not nose to nose, belly to belly.
OK picture this: I’m 59 years old, overweight with hypertension. He’s close to my age, and probably in the same condition.
And he wants to duke it out. The thought actually crossed my mind. (Refer to blog header.) What a great way to go. Duking it out on the golf course and croaking of a heart attack. Headline: Local Man Hits Career Shot, Hits Player, Hits Ground.
He’s bumps me and threatens to stick his putter up my ass.
I turned to his playing partners and asked them if they were going to come get him because he was out of control.
So his cart buddy, the guy that never speaks, came over and informed me that he was a former president of the club and he could have me suspended.
Now that pissed me off. Suspended for yelling “fore” when the ball was heading at them? Suspended for looking for my ball in the rough? Suspended for trying to get away from a guy that was threatening to kill me?
Meanwhile, my wife is on the phone to the club house calling the club pro to come out and help settle things down. He did, talking to both groups. He make that comment to us that some members think their shit doesn’t stink.
I’m not dead, we finished our rounds, I went par, par, bogey, double, bogey, eight. Which for me was a pretty good finish.
Maybe I play better with elevated blood pressure!
Next post: what the conversation might have been like between my wife and 9-1-1.