ST. LOUIS (KMOX) – One of the interesting aspects of playing golf as a single is the dynamic that plays out on the golf course. Rarely have I been paired with other players and not had a delightful time. Last Friday was the exception.
I dropped by the golf courses at Forest Park in mid-afternoon with hopes of a quick nine to get ready for my school’s fund raising tournament the next day. (The Park is in great shape.) When I got to the first tee there was a threesome just going off. It was an older gentleman with a handcart and a father son combination in a golf cart. The young boy with his father was I judged between 5-10.
The group started together but the older player continued on ahead of the cart pair. I watched the twosome with little concern because I assumed if the course opened ahead of them they would wave me through.
The young boy was having a great time with his father. He ran everywhere and swung the club often. On the first green I would guess he played a half dozen or more putts. On the par three second they repeated their routine, and when they cleared, I tried to play the hole quickly with the hopes of catching them on the third tee. My plan worked – partially.
Since they were still on the third tee, I approached expecting to get the invitation to play through. Instead the father said, “We are waiting on every shot.” I looked and the next group was on the green of the par four. I pointed out they couldn’t be waiting on many shots since they had most of the hole open ahead of them and asked if I could play through.
The father responded, “You’re a single and I am not letting you play through.” I was puzzled and angered by the non-sequitur, and as I walked away suggested the next time he took his son to the golf course spend time with him on golf etiquette as well.
I waited on the third tee resigned to a long afternoon. We repeated the slow run and swing and play cycle for the next two holes. On five fairway I again waited as they frolicked through the green and moved to their cart next to the sixth tee. When I played my approach I hooked the shot left of the green, going through a tree and landing left of the green, perhaps thirty yards past their cart.
The father exploded out his cart and began charging down the fairway at me screaming various phrases all preceded by “You moron.” He reminded me I wasn’t going to go anywhere. I wasn’t going to play through. I almost hit them when I hit into them and asking me repeatedly “Where do you think you are going?” I knew the question was rhetorical but I responded, “I was trying to go on the green but I hooked it.” That question and answer session was repeated a couple of more times, all with “You moron” the leading phrase.
At some point I sarcastically suggested a vocabulary expansion would be beneficial with something like “You idiot” substituted. I also explained, without shouting, that he wasn’t slowing me down. He was slowing down the whole course behind me and headed to my chip. He again reminded me that because I was a single I just should accept the fact that it was going to take a long time to play golf that day.
As I got to my ball he yelled, “I changed my mind. I don’t want you playing behind us anymore. Go ahead and play the next hole.” I thanked him and pulled a club for my chip. He again moved toward me and said, “I told you go to the next hole.” I explained I would after I finished the one I was on.
He said, “You will not play that shot. I told you to go to the next hole.” I angrily told him to go away and “shut up” I was going to finish the hole. He got directly in my face and said if I tried to play the shot he was going to take the club and hit me with it. I told him I would call the police if he even tried anything of that sort. He took a couple steps back and picked up my golf bag and threw it at me bouncing off my legs. I again told him he was going to deal with police if he didn’t walk away.
With a few more “You morons” thrown in he drifted toward his cart where his son sat understandably petrified. As I putted on the hole he screamed I shouldn’t take a practice stroke, I wasn’t playing in the US Open.
When I holed out I walked to the sixth tee and as I passed the golf cart I apologized to the youngster saying I had never been a part of anything like that on a golf course and hoped the rest of his day went better.
Two holes later I caught the older twosome that the father said was causing them to wait on every shot, and they waved me through on the eighth fairway, proving that with age indeed comes wisdom, perhaps even for a “moron” like me.
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