Above Par Golf

By Beacon Staff

Golf is usually a relaxing game for me, not a contest. Unfortunately, this golf season has started out for me about the same as a two-inch snowfall in October when you think you can ski early.

A week of good weather brought out lots of people from everywhere and someone took the golf cart I had reserved before I got there on a bright and sunny morning. The young owner of the golf course brought one out that had been on the charger.

By the time we got to our third shot we had to walk the last 10 yards because the battery in the golf cart had no electricity in it. My partner had to go and get another cart. When he came back with the other cart we switched our bags of clubs to it and got set to resume our game. The battery died.

Now we had two carts sitting about 300 yards from the clubhouse. We walked back while the group of boaters who had taken all of the good carts with sufficient electricity in their batteries, played through us.

The owner took a tractor and got our clubs for us. And we had decided to at least go to the driving range and hit a bucket of balls. The course has a wonderful new token operated ball dispenser. There were no directions on the machine and it ate up four dollars worth of tokens before we figured out that it was broken. Back to the clubhouse.

The dispenser is solar powered and, since it had been cloudy for the last five days, there was no solar power stored in the batteries to make it run so the clerk handed us a couple of buckets of balls just like he used to before he bought the expensive, semi-automatic, weather-dependent dispenser.

Fast-forward a few days and I was back on the course again.

By the time I was hitting my third shot I had already lost three golf balls because the lawnmower had broken down several days earlier and the grass was high. This time we at least had a golf cart that worked, so we decided to drive it down to the token slot machine and do the same drill once again. Somehow when the balls started rattling out into the bucket they tipped it over and a bucket of golf balls scattered everywhere. We did better with the second bucket when we finally figured out exactly where to put the basket when you try and operate the solar powered golf ball machine.

I once again pose the question: Why bother keeping score? Just getting to a place where you might be able to keep score is already so far ahead of me. I think a wise man said, “Golf is just as dumb as skiing if you didn’t get off of the chairlift at the top and rode around the boll wheel and back down.” At least the chairlift has a better source of electricity than the golf ball slot machine dispenser.

A friend of mine here on the island has one of those very expensive electronic golf course machines in his basement and after a day of manipulating his portfolio, he can go down there and plug into any golf course video he wants to play that afternoon and relax with a round of golf at Augusta or Pebble Beach for free. All he had to do was go to the bank and take out a loan to pay for it and have it installed. The golf course can be bought for about the same price as a Bentley in your garage.

My once-a-week golf instructor will be here next week and he will be able to coach me in golf cart selection and important stuff, such as what club to use in four-inch high grass. Or perhaps I should just listen to my wife, who refuses to even park her car at a golf course much less try the game.

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