I haven’t been punked much, and never on the golf course, but today I got zapped pretty good.
The site was the Tradition Golf Club just south of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. As a bit of background, I typically play golf at a very, very quick pace. Many times I have played four different 18-hole courses in a single day and a two-hour round of golf is average when playing from a golf cart. In fact, I detest slow play, but I recognize it and can enjoy the day when I know ahead of time that the round is going to be a slow one. Such was the case at the Tradition Golf Club. It is a wonderful Ron Garl design and we were informed that the golf course was fully occupied with an outing of, let me say politely, “casual recreational players.” My fellow Road Warrior Jim Frank, our host Tim Gavrich, and I all recognized this and had assumed a tortoise’s pace. Waiting on each tee as much as ten minutes, who cared – there was no where to go. Besides, the weather was perfect and the golf course was marvelous – attractive and in really good shape. Fortunately no one was behind us and we were enjoying some great conversation. No reason to rush or hurry right?
We started our round on the back nine, and had just hit up to the par-three 15th hole, our sixth hole of the day. We were marking our balls, when this big guy with a bright shirt, bellowed from the tee something about us being slow and how about speeding things up. There was more than a little hostility in his voice as he yelled at us. How dare he accuse me of all people of being slow. “What is your problem?” he bellowed. First of all, we had waited on every single tee and had not seen this guy. Besides as we yelled back, “There’s no where to go!” He countered a couple of remarks that we dismissed. We ignored him, uttering our disbelief about what we had just heard. From a distance, he seemed like a big dude, but we reasoned that there were three of us and only one of him. These things just don’t happen to me much and I have to admit that got under my skin.
I am pretty darn mild mannered especially regarding others, but this guy really seemed obnoxious. We had absolutely no where to go. Anyway, we finished the hole and proceeded to the next where again we had to wait. The guy took his time playing the hole and then as he was driving up to us, muttered something else at us. C’mon what are supposed to do? Was a confrontation coming?
Guess what? This was our videographer Jamie McWilliams, one of our team of Road Warriors that Jim, Tim, and I had never yet met. He had been informed that we where we were on the course and he was going to join us. Of course, none of us knew that. Well, he flashed this big engaging smile and then introduced himself and we realized the joke was on us.
No one will ever accuse me of being a slow player, but it had just happened. Jamie’s a great guy and within a few minutes, we discovered that we had lived only fifteen minutes from each other and our country clubs had been rivals back in our Pennsylvania days. What a funny way to be introduced to a new friend.
Yep, I got punked today!