In honor of Tiger Woods' most recent owning of another band of no-name clubbists (no, nevermind... I'm taking back that dedication; I don't care about golf), I'm going to share a little story about my time on the links*.
It was creeping up around Noon when we wheeled up to the Bandon Dunes, a golf resort snuggled up along Oregon's southern coast. Famed for its design with environmental conservation in mind, it was about as close to playing in nature as you could get, short of marching out into your local biome with an auger and drilling your own holes.
"BTuck, Skully... whaddayasay?" Roo asked from the bitch seat while looking to Brian, behind the wheel, and then me. "Hit the back nines today?"
"M'yeah," said Brian brightly with bilabial tongue click and smile. As Roo and I pounded fists, Brian flattened the gas pedal. We were jerked backwards and crashed through the rustic three-beam fence that separated the clubhouse parking lot from the course. This sounds far-fetched, sure, but when some young people come into money, some invest, some save, and some splurge on a monstrous golf cart with crash bar, two-foot lift kit and a six-cylinder engine. We didn't even think Brian liked golf... or Hummers, for that matter. The beast alone was bad enough, but the resort doesn't even allow golf carts. And we don't even like when Brian drives!
Sitting a tight, three-abreast in the golf cart, I felt the most vulnerable as the outside passenger as I white-knuckled the poorly-placed grab bar at my hip and windshield. Those grab bars are nice for the leisurely drive from hole-to-hole when you meet the occasional tree root fighting up through the asphalt, but when you're driving like the enraged banshee ghost of Babe Didrikson Zaharias is after you, it doesn't quite seem sufficient. The declining slope from the clubhouse to the links and out past the bluff and into the ocean seemed like a lethal complement to our excessive speed. As we headed downward and straight for the coast, the cart jostled back and forth as Roo's dreadlocks whipped behind him (and me, in the face... repeatedly) as he hooted and hollered with his arms ripping through the misty air.
As we tore over the seventh hole, a 410 yard sweetheart, we came to a roll in the fairway that sent us flying as we cleared it. Literally airborne. We were aloft for about five seconds, but it wasn't an uncontrolled launch or fall... it was almost as though we were suspended by a wire rig that kept us perfectly pitched and aligned. As we touched back down on the tee of the eighth hole, heinously distracting the foursome who was about to tee off. There was much club-waving and anger, but we didn't seem to care as we were once again aloft, easily a hundred feet up. Brian didn't mention anything about a shock upgrade.
We hopped and floated from hole to hole, admiring the course's integration to the coast and laughing at the ridiculous outfits that came straight out of Caddyshack. Brian took a golf ball to the face, which sent his glasses tumbling down into the dense gorse below. It wasn't funny at the time, but we have a good laugh about it now. I always tell him that it was a karmic thing; he really stiffed our waitress at the Tufted Puffin, especially considering he sent her out for bird's nest soup, whose primary ingredient happens to be saliva nests built by red cave swifts. Do you know how hard that stuff is to come by?
"Off we gooooo, into the wiiild blue yonderrr," Roo belted and Brian harmonized as I drummed in a militarily-cadenced fashion on the dashboard. It was at that moment that it was as if the front two strings of the invisible wire rig that was held us up were cut from above and we began a nosedive onto the green of the 53rd hole. Everyone braced for impact and I secured my seatbelt, figuring that upon our discovery, alive or dead, at least I'd look like the responsible one (but where was that seatbelt this whole time?).
As we plummeted and came to an elevation at which we could see the awestruck-whites of two putting golfers' eyes, we stopped, just feet from the turf. Just like that, and the cart's front, then rear, wheels touched down gently on the well-manicured grass. The two proper and classy-looking and golfers who had been watching the whole incident walked up to us with three scotches in hand.
"Where ye lads from?" they asked in very thick, Scottish brogues. They looked to be in their early 30s but sounded like men thrice as old.
The three of us just looked at one another in disbelief. Speechless.
A dejected "Ohhh," came from them, who now all the sudden sounded British and appropriately aged.
"Yaaaale," they said in unison like they'd heard it all before. In a choreographed fashion, they frowned and cast their eyes down towards the ground left of their shoes.
*this is a dream I had last night