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I was involved in a golf ‘incident.’ Now I want to hear yours.
Obscenity from me. Obscenity from him. Obscene gesture from me. Obscene gesture from him.
And then he continued his 17th hole, and I putted on the 16th.
Tough scene, right? But before we go any further in telling you about this exchange of plesantries, you should know little rattles me. I have my opinions and enjoy sharing them, but, if we don’t see eye to eye, I still believe we can break bread afterward. To lay out this mellowness more, I once had a co-worker, in a moment of stress for him, shout at me, “Does anything ever bother you?” — to which I remember saying, “Not really.”
But it happens. Clearly.
With that, we go out to Van Cortlandt Park in the Bronx, New York on Tuesday, and the main thing you should know for this story is that Vanny welcomes all comers. And to that point, consider this incident in front of me and a friend on the 5th hole. A twosome was walking down the fairway when a ball from the adjacent 4th landed about 100 yards in front of them — and the player of the ball then shanked his shot from there on a beeline toward the twosome. Good stuff.
Only, this dude joined up with us. (To be clear, he pulled up as we waited on 5, we said he could play through, he said he could play with us, we insisted he play through, and he said he would play with us.) And on we all went. Then we got to 16.
And 16 has a raised tee, then dips, then climbs back up across its 280 or so yards. So it takes a pop to get close, at least for me. And you have to keep pace. And the twosome appeared to be within yards of the green. If this all sounds like a defense of my actions, it is. So I teed off.
And the ball rolled — rolled — within 10 or so yards of one of the players.
And he walked back.
Turned 90 degrees to his left.
And hit my ball into the woods.
“Wait,” I said to my friend, “did he just …”
“Yes,” my friend said.
“Do you want to drive up and ask him about it?” my friend asked.
At first, I laughed. And then it just kind of gnaws at you. So when we got close to the green, and they were on the 17th tee, I drove my cart over.
“Hey, did you just hit my ball in the woods?”
“Yeah, that’s the third time you guys have hit into us. Enough of that [obscenity].”
“Dude,” I said, “it’s our first time, we have no clue who the guy is with us, my ball rolled short of you, and it’s Van Cortlandt Park — you have to know this [obscenity] happens.”
“It was close enough,” he said.
“I want a ball,” I said.
And this continued on for a bit, before we said our goodbyes with what I noted in the first paragraph.
I should have yelled fore. Or not hit at all. Or let it slide. But … it happens. I’m a little embarrassed by it all. Though obviously not dispirited; I wouldn’t be telling you this story. And this is where I need your help.
You, dear golf reader, have stories of heated incidents, of dust-ups, of colorful language and colorful characters.
Much, much better ones even. I’m sure of it. And I want to hear them.
So email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Or send me a Twitter DM at @nickpia. Give me all the details.
I promise that I won’t respond with words or gestures.
I’m normally nice.