|Not exactly good scoring conditions.|
There was quite a few people spread out on the course when I got there. The weather was harsh--what gives? It was as if I wasn't the only one trying at the last minute to beat my best score of the year. When I teed off there was a single in a cart finishing on the green. Two holes later (I was walking by the way) I had caught up to him; from by the green he saw me and did the wave, so I went ahead and hit. When I got to the green I said thanks for letting me play through, did my chip and a putt, said thanks again and bolted for the next tee.
But after teeing off I turn around to see the guy, this ex-convict looking guy somehow arrived on the tee right behind me, getting ready to tee off. Great--this idiot doesn't know what playing through means and now that's about to become my problem. I start to leave anyways and he starts with the whining. "What, I let you hit up, and now you're going to make me wait?" "Well, I was just gonna play through..." "I tried to do you a favor, and now I have to wait on you? That's just great." I tried to explain that I really appreciated his kindness (didn't really mean it, just trying to smooth it over), I'm sorry he has to wait and that if he just allows me two goddamn minutes, he wouldn't be bothered by me again all day.
I thought that was logical, and practical enough, even to a half-tard who's never heard of playing through: since I'm such a rude creep, two minutes to get rid of me for good is a bargain. Right?
Deaf ears. He muttered more complaints as I walked off, wounded apparently because I didn't want to hang around and play slow golf with him; I muttered some choice words to myself too. Then I went into speed mode for the next couple holes, just to get as far away from this person as I could. Being on foot I had to sweat a little but managed to put about a hole and a half between us.
I'm walking off the seventh tee when I see him driving up the adjacent sixth. He yells out to me and starts taunting, without an ounce of good-naturedness. "HEY, I'M ON THE GREEN IN TWO--I CAN PLAY AS GOOD AS YOU." I've encountered some stuff at this place but nothing quite like this weirdness. It was clear at that point that I needed to think about my safety, but sizing up the guy I felt confident I could outrun him on foot in a worst-case scenario. That's the good thing about being wiry and a decent runner.
|Line-cutters, caught in the act.|
I carried on but it was hard not to be in a funk. Things went along okay, until the 12th hole. I was doing my business around the green when a foursome of old Koreans went straight from the 16th green to the 13th tee and started teeing off, right in front of my freaking face. Midway through I walked over and said, "You can't do that" and went back and putted out. When I arrived at the 13th tee they were already down the fairway. I said it again. "CAN'T DO THAT." Begrudgingly they turned around, motioned for me to hit and cleared a path.
I hit a low pull down the left side, then a decent second and kind of elbowed my way through the four old trolls towards the green. I was radiating ire at this point, walking really fast. They weren't really doing a good job of letting me play through, but it didn't matter--I was a much faster walker and once I got to the green I planted my bag in front. All they could do was wait and watch from the fairway as I finished up. As I walked away I had to fight off a huge urge to tell them all to F off. Believe me, I had plenty of ammo loaded in the chamber.
|When you cross me, this is what can happen. Say hi to the internet, jerks.|
Making my way down the next fairway, I could see a few holes ahead, and that there was gridlock. Frustration boiled over, and with nobody around for at least 250 yards I dug in and let out a long primal shout:
I knew these were very, very tough conditions and the likelihood of me actually succeeding at this draconian challenge was really low. No big deal, I wasn't mad about that. What ate at me was being out in 37 degree windy weather and feeling like I could not escape from all these douchebags and troglodytes. Usually the trade-off for putting yourself out in the cold is getting to play some nice quick and peaceful golf.
I started to get hot inside my layers. I took deep breaths and tried to keep it together, even though what I really felt like doing at that moment was stripping down to my underwear, hammer-throwing all fourteen clubs in a circle and challenging everyone on the whole stupid course to strip down and fight me.
The wind was blowing hard in my face; Damning it all to hell, I took a vicious swipe with a 3-iron from the fairway 180 yards out. When it made it to pin high on the fringe it was like "Whoa, that felt good"; when the ten-footer for par dropped, I let loose another ungodly yell, trying to purge myself of some of the disgust built up inside, probably. I finished up the round in a calmer state of mind even though the pace was hellish.
Still I wasn't about to forgive and forget what those Koreans did to me. On the 17th green before replacing the flagstick I rolled it around in some fresh goose shit.
Frankly though, as much as they pained me I don't think these tribulations really cost me much scorewise. The two holes on which the bad incidents happened are also two of the hardest holes here and I scored par-bogey. The main adversary was the conditions--if there was a low score out there today I had a hard time seeing it. The cold and wind were a lot to handle, even messing with putts. Also, the superintendent here is a dick.
88 was all I could manage. It was still fun trying and I'm glad I went. Thus the 2013 season ends, and my lowest score for the year remains a middling 79. But so what, screw the calendar, all that really matters is the now and right now the tri-state winter golf season is still flickering, alive if barely. The next week is probably a bust--way too cold--but beyond that we're still kind of in we'll-see mode.