Friday, May 27, 2005

A Good Round of Golf Spoiled

Well my brother-in-law-in-law and I went golfing today. What the heck are you supposed to call your wife's sister's husband anyway? I'll just settle for BIL (brother-in-law) until I learn otherwise.

BIL and I went golfing this afternoon. We played a course called the Canyon Lakes Country Club. The facility was nice. Pretty fancy. Pretty pricey also. Our round was $65 each. This kind of caught me off guard. I'm used to 20 - 40 dollars per round and have only ever paid over $50 for a round of golf once before. But then everything in San Ramon is significantly more expensive than Ridgecrest. So I was sort of prepared.

Well BIL and I were next to tee off and were warming up when the starter paired us up with another twosome who was waiting to tee off. This is a pretty standard practice at most golf courses and I usually look forward to it. It gives you a chance to meet some other golfers and sometimes some interesting folks. So we were going to play a round of golf with K and M.

However this time was different. Really different. When we first met these two we warned them that BIL was a new golfer and I while having played for 8 years was a 26 handicap. We just wanted to warn them that we might occasionally be a little slow while looking for wayward balls, and that we might be taking a few more swings than the average golfer.

Both guys told us don't worry to much about it, they claimed to be an 18 and 20 handicap themselves so there wouldn't be a problem. Things started out nice, friendly and chatty. You know, standard stuff - where you from, what business you in, how long you been golfing, etc.

Well it started out slowly but soon became apparent that we were in for a really ugly day. These two guys turned out to be the worst example of sportsmen, gentlemen, or just reasonable golfers that I have ever had the misfortune to have to spend 18 holes with.

For two guys who played as well as these two they must have had a lot of experience on the course unfortunately these two obviously never learned anything about the sportsmanship part of the game.

I should have suspected that something was going to be wrong when on the first tee I duffed a short drive and BIL had a short drive that just passed mine. We were both laying just off the right side of the fairway. K and M were both 50 yards beyond us in the middle of the fairway. As BIL and I rode up to our golf balls, K and M just rode right past us and on down the fairway to where thier balls were. We had to yell at them twice to watch out so we could hit as they were standing right in our line to the green. I assumed that they were just inattentive and had made a mistake.

No mistake there. These two consistantly outdrove BIL and I and they would ride past our balls and straight to theirs every single time. I had to constantly warn them to lookout because they were in our line to the green. Never once did they move out of the way. They would just step behind their cart and grumble to each other because we were taking too long to hit.

During the front nine I lost 6 golf balls. One in a water hazard, they other 5 were in deep grass just off the fairway. This course had very little room for mistakes. If you strayed more than 10 feet off the rather tight fairways you found your self in shrubs or 12 inch long grass. So five times for myself and 6 times for BIL we say a ball land in the deep grass. All eleven times M and K just roade past the spot where our balls landed and headed up to their balls. Each time that BIL and I stopped to look for our balls we were reminded that we needed to speed up and were told to just drop a ball there and play on. The longest period of time that we had to look for a lost ball was about 30 seconds. We found that one, while turning back to the fairway to capitulate with our playing partners wishes to just drop and play on.

Several times during this round they had both holed out their putts while BIL and I were still chipping towards the green. Then while BIL and I were putting they would practice putt towards the same hole.

On one hole I hit my approach shot into a pot bunker next to the green. BIL rolled his ball up to about 3 feet from the pin where M and K were just finishing putting. As I was working my way into the bunker I told BIL to go a head and putt in if he was ready. He stepped up to his ball and just as he started his swing, K reached back and stuck the flag he was holding back into the hole and walked away.

On the very next hole M and K finished putting before we got onto the green, then they stood there with the flag in the cup and their backs turned to us, while I walked all the way up to the flag removed it from the hole and walked 30 feet back to my ball. When I got to my ball I turned to find K putting the flag back into the hole and walking away.

On the 13th tee we had to hit a blind tee shot over a hill. In the distance we could see that a tree lined creek bordered the entire left side of the fairway. My tee shot was long and straight for about 150 yards then it took a huge left turn and we say it go flying into the trees along the creekbed. I turned to K and M and asked them if there was room to drop along the edge of the hazard down there (because I couldn't see the fairway where my ball would have crossed the hazard boundry) or should I re-hit from here. M turned to me and said "it's your call."

Disgusted at his nonanswer I started to retee a ball. Then K asked "why are you hitting again, we have to get going?" I said ratherly snottily I'm ashamed to admit "Since I have never played here before and I can't get a straight answer from the guys who have played here before to the simple question - Is there room to drop down there. I have two choices, make you all wait here while I drive down there and check it out and maybe have to drive back up here to hit again anyway. Or I can avoid inconviencing the foursome that will be coming up behind us soon and just hit from here."

They looked at each other, then M looked at me and said "Oh, OK, whatever." And they drove off down the cart path. I teed up my next ball and took a swing while praying with all my might that I could pound that ball right into the middle of their cart. Fortunately for me, and them, I'm a 26 handicap and I never hit what I'm aiming at.

On 17 a long par 5 that you couldn't see the green on until you were within 100 yards, BIL and I took several shots to get to the top of the hill where we could see the green. M and K were already putting on the green. When my approach shot hit the front of the green, they turned in a hissy fit because we hit near them and didn't holler "fore". I ignored them. Just like they had ignored us for 16 holes.

However I almost wasn't able to ignore them any longer when M's tee shot on 18 went wide into a hedge. He and K stopped to look for the ball and BIL and I played on, just like they had to us for 17 holes. When they caught up with us they were both comnplaining and whinning because we didn't stop to help them look for M's ball.

All in all it was a beautiful day, nice golf course if a little expensive and difficult. BIL is a nice guy to golf with who with some more practice will be giving my tips instead of me giving him tips. But the whole experience was badly marred by having to spend 4 hours with two of the most selfish, self absorbed, ignorant, insportsmanlike, a$$holes I have ever met.

M and K need golf lessons really badly. Not for they way they swing their clubs but for the way they behave, on and around the golf course. The few club pros who I have had lessons from and the two juniour college teachers who I took golf classes from all stressed that golf is a gentlemen's game. You have to play by the rules, and be a good sport to the people around you. Unfortunately M and K apparently never had teachers like that. Or if they did they failed those lessons.

I pity the next two guys who get stuck playing a round of golf with those two clowns.

No comments: