Golf is the only sport where the most feared opponent is you
On summer Saturdays in their college years Jason and Rod often met up with two high school friends, Bill Chalkler and Bob Endler to play golf at Mulligan's chip and put golf course west if Germantown. They enjoyed playing the 18 hole all par 3 course together as well as hitting balls at the driving range. The driving range is located at the edge of the property nestled close to a major highway. The course still exists today and the succession of incidents that occurred there both on the course and at the driving range one summer morning will never be forgotten by all those affected.
Before reaching the course Bill, who was driving, pulled into the lot in front of a small ‘mom & pop’ convenience store about a mile from the golf course. It was a favorite stop because the proprietor was good natured and never bothered the college aged men with proof of age – That neither of them had reached 21 years of age was of no concern. They bought 2 cases of cold beer and some ice. On the way out of the store Bill and Bon lifted a handful of Slim-Jims, but Jason reminded them of the agreed upon code, wherein friendly and cooperative merchants were off limits for shoplifting. They returned to pay for them and the appreciative merchant gave them some even more disgusting and unhealthy snacks called "Blind Robins"
Returning to the car they each packed 12 cans of beer into their golf bags along with ice to help keep the cans cold.
After paying for a round of golf and for the driving range they headed over to the driving range with their bags and buckets of range balls.
The four of them hit balls with various clubs sipping their beers between shots in the warm morning sun.
After a few minutes Bill hit a ball that sliced wildly to the left that almost cleared the protective fence keeping errant balls from crashing down onto the highway running parallel and adjacent to the driving range. Jason and Rod saw the ball contact a few feet below the top of the fence and began to laugh. Bill had an impish grin and when Jason asked him if he was trying to clear the fence Bill acknowledged with a short laugh, "Of course!".
With that all four of them took up the challenge of hitting balls over the fence. For the next 10 minutes the four of them shot balls towards the fence, but very few cleared the fence and those that did bounced harmlessly on the highway. The buckets were about half empty when Jason, who had developed a more consistent swing from his many golf lessons, decided to try his 7 iron. Bill, Bob, and Rod opened their third beers of the morning and looked on with admiration as Jason began lobbing balls consistently over the fence . Traffic on the highway had picked up slightly and occasionally Jason’s balls rained down on the unsuspecting cars, trucks and buses. The buses were the best target because they were large and a hitting ball made a satisfying thump on contact. Before too long all four were belting balls over the fence with their seven or eight irons.
Jason paused after a little while to open his third beer of the day and was enjoying the action when Bob sent a ball high over the fence. The ball came crashing down hard on a cop car shattering the blue light mounted on the roof on the right side. At the same time two other balls smacked the cop car's windshield.
"Oh shit!", Jason yelled, "We need to get the hell out of here!". The four of them quickly emptied the remaining driving range balls into their bags and left the empty buckets behind the tee area. As they were leaving to head over to the chip and put course several things were occurring at the same time.
There were two cops in the car and when they heard the crash and the cop on the passenger side saw blue glass raining down outside of the passenger window while at the same time a spiderweb crack developed on the windshield. He directed his companion behind the wheel to pull over.
"What the hell just happened?", the driver asked the other.
"Something just hit our lights, and look at the windshield. Don’t know what it was."
"Could it have been a golf ball?’
"Yeah, that’s possible, but unlikely. Somebody would have to be a terrible player to get twp ballsl over that fence by accident."
"Maybe it wasn’t an accident. We should check it out."
And with that the cops pulled back into traffic and began looking for a place to turn around to head back to the golf course and driving range. The trip back would take them 10 minutes because traffic was heavy and because they could not use the flashing lights on their car; the lights on the left side did flash two or three times, but quit because of a short over on the right side where the lights had been smashed out.
As Bob, Bill, Rod, and Jason made their way to the first tee on the chip and put course a man in his late twenties with his son of about 7 years old entered the driving range with their bucket of balls. The father's intent was to show his young son how to swing a club and he hoped as his son grew older they could play golf together. The son and father were there hitting balls and were the only people on t he driving range at the moment. They were having fun as the youngster's dad coached his son, occasionally hitting a ball himself.
By the time the cops arrived to question the proprietor Jason and his friends had finished the first hole and they were teeing up on the second.
The cop who had been driving explained that their car had been damaged and asked, "Have people been out on the driving range that could have hit a ball onto the highway?".
The proprietor hated cops. He was still paying for the fence the county made him erect that was, "absolutely guaranteed", to prevent balls from entering the highway. If a ball had left his property he would also be in trouble and maybe have to do something more with the fence or be told he couldn’t have the driving range anymore. It provided about a quarter of his income. Besides, the four guys he assumed were still out there were regulars and he didn’t want them to stop coming to his facilities.
The proprieter responded, "That fence I put out there is supposed to keep all the balls on the property. You said you didn’t know if a ball caused the damage. It sounds pretty unlikely to me."
The passenger cop asked, "Mind if we go out to the range, take a look?"
"Sure. Go ahead.’
And with tht the two cops went out to the range to find only the man and his young son hitting balls. As soon as the cops left for the driving range the proprietor ran out to where the cop car was parked and let half of the air out of t he left front tire, muttering, "Fuckin cops!’.
"Mind if we ask you some questions?", one of the cops asked the father.
"Errr.., no. I mean, sure. What is the problem officer?"
"Have you hit any balls over the fence?"
"No. I’ve been showing my son how to awing a club and we’ve hit a few balls out to the 100 yard and 150 yard markers. That’s it."
"Well, be sure and keep your balls on the range here. We don’t want any balls getting over that fence."
As the two cops started to leave the 7 year old boy held a 2 iron in his left hand and with his right hand picked a ball up out of the bucket and threw it as hard as he could at the cops departing backs. The ball missed and ricocheted harmlessly, but the cops both quickly turned around. "Hey, what the hell!"
For a terrifying moment the dad thought his boy was going to be arrested.
The father immediately responded, "Sorry sirs! An accident! He is just learning." And the two cops left, going back to their car with the broken light. Their sergeant would be angry about the damage the department could little afford and the other cops would all laugh at them when they heard of it.
As Bob, Bill, Jason and Rod finished up the second hole they opened their fifth beers of the morning. Having had nothing to eat for breakfast they were totally shit-faced'; but they all knew from past experience that the owner had a high tolerance for drinking and golfing and in fact, in a way, seemed to encourage it.
A group of two were ahead of them at the third green and had been playing slowly.
It'scustomary for slower groups to allow faster groups behind t hem to pass through so that no one had to wait unnecessarily. But Bill didn't want to wait for them to finish their putting and the group ahead wasn't waving them through, so Bill drove his ball towards the green with his 7 iron. The ball fell short od t he green and just before it landed he yelled, "Fore!"
The man was just starting his put swing when he heard the ball land and Bill's yell. The disturbance caused him to choke on his put and the ball only went a few feet. He yelled, "Hey! What the fuck!"
Jason, and the others became angry at this and Jason dumped his bag onto the ground. The driving range balls tumbled out along with his clubs and the remaining ice and beer. Bill, Bob, and Rod followed Jason’s example and all four of t hem began driving balls they had lifted towards the green with the two guys. The barrage of balls didn’t last long because the two men ahead of them quickly gathered their clubs and ran off.
By the time the four finished at the ninth green they had consumed seven beers and could barely walk. For the last two holes they didn’t even try to retrieve their balls after each shot, but simply walked out to where they would have liked their ball to have landed and placed a new driving range ball at that spot. Declaring that the new ball was ‘close’ to what they expected, they repeated the maneuver. Later that day the next group to follow the four would be puzzled at all the driving range balls on the course, particularly the eight of so on greens of holes 7 through 9.
Between the nineth hole and the tee off for the tenth there was a Coke machine and a bench for golfers to refresh themselves and to rest a little before playing the back nine holes.
They were all loaded up on beer and totally shit-faced, but Bill thought it would be amusing to have a Coke anyway.
Bill asked the others if they’d like a Coke. All said yes and Bill fished around in his pockets, extracting a dime. Jason remembered it was a very hot day and other than the pair ahead of them they had chased away there seemed to be no one else on the course. Bill put his dime in the machine and pressed the button for the Coke. Nothing happened. Bill didn't say anything and fished out a second dime and put it in the machine. Again, after pressing the button, nothing happened. Bill tried to get his change back without success. He then asked Jason to help him rock the machine back and forth. Maybe the bottles were stuck and shaking the machine would release them. They could all hear the bottles rattling around, but the strategy didn't work.
Totally frustrated at this point, Bill quietly went over to his golf bag and took out his driver. Bill stood in front of where the machine's cord plugged into the socket at ground level. He took a practice swing, Then, with all his force, he swung the club at the plug. Crack! The wire snapped into the air as it tore away from the Coke machine. Jason remembered the cord whistling as it soared through the air. Bill then walked back to his bag and reinserted the driver into the bag. Then he walked back to the machine and began rocking it back and forth until it tumbled forward smashing onto the ground. There was the sound of the glass bottles breaking and released coke fizzed everywhere.
Somehow the four of them got out of there and didn't revisit the course for several weeks. On their way back to the car they carried the little park bench that they attempted with considerable effort to get into the trunk of the car. It finally did fit when they were able to smash off the legs of the bench with their drivers. No one remembered the drive home or even who drove, but somehow they made it. Bill had vague memories of riding on the roof.
When they finally did return to the course the Coke machine was gone as though it had
never been there.
Listen to a rather amusing golf song and video (link below)