I love golf.
I try to play whenever I can and appreciate the fact that, as a Florida resident, I have access to some of the nicest golf courses in the world, quite often at an extremely reasonable rate.
In this day and age of Corona-induced quarantine, golf courses have done their best to ensure those who dare frequent their open-for-business courses remain safe and virus-free. After all, what screams social distancing more than four friends out together in the middle of nowhere with the next foursome hundreds of yards away?
From what I’ve experienced these past two months, local courses are only allowing a few people at a time inside their pro shops, serving to-go food only, mandating only one golfer per cart (unless they’re family) and discouraging golfers from touching the flagsticks when upon the green.
Other than that, it’s business as usual for Florida golf courses. I’ve even seen beverage cart girls out doing their thing, selling drinks and snacks to whoever will accost them. And if anyone can appreciate a beverage cart, it’s me and my golfing brethren. Even if we’ve brought our own care packages, rarely will we let a beverage cart pass by without bothering its driver for a few mini-bottles. You know, a little something for the effort.
Since Covid-19 began peeing in all our Wheaties, the days of going out for a post-round cocktail have all but disappeared. The Coronavirus pandemic has all but made the 19th hole obsolete.
Which got me thinking…
The last few rounds of golf I’ve played with One Ball Kall and Doctor Dragonberry (a delightful new nickname for an age-old friend) have seen some pretty solid iron play.
Gambling on the par threes (despite no one ever paying their bets) is, for lack of a more appropriate sports cliché, par for the course. Closest to the pin takes home the prize for that particular hole.
Lately, we’ve been hitting some zingers. In fact, the last round I played with 1BK at Brooksville’s perennially top-rated World Woods Rolling Oaks golf course, on the picturesque 8th hole, I piped a 7-iron that landed about two-feet from the pin. To be sure this post is not just about me, all three of us have been pin-seeking lately but this ball looked like it had a definite shot at going in for eagle.
Despite all our combined rounds of golf, not a single one of us has tallied a hole-in-one, which is surprising, at least for 1BK who must have hit at least a million golf balls in his lifetime.
Which again, got me thinking…
How bad would it suck right now to hit a hole-in-one and not have any place to go afterwards? The time-honored tradition of hitting a hole-in-one means the person who accomplishes this feat must treat himself, his round partners and very possibly the entire clubhouse, to drinks for the rest of the night. To me, that sounds like a debaucherously, luxurious night on the town, complete with dinner, drinks, limo, strippers, copious amounts of the drug of your choice and potentially bail money. It’s a four-figure night without blinking an eye with the point being, money is no object considering you just hit the shot of your life.
Enter the pandemic that halted the nation.
After finally acing a hole from a hundred-and-something yards away, you have no place to celebrate. You’d have to sit outside your respective vehicles, shouting from a distance about what a great shot you hit, with you as far away from you golf partners as you were from the hole you just hit your ball into.
In some bizarro world sort of way, it almost makes you wish you HADN’T hit a hole-in-one. That can’t be, can it?
Of course, I’m still miles (or at least a few feet) away from eagling my first par three; this is a theoretical problem I’d love to have. I just can’t help but think that hitting a hole-in-one in this day and age of limited or no occupancy would have to leave the amateur golfer with a bitter taste in his mouth… and undoubtedly, a whole lot of extra money left in his pocket.