I told you earlier I would tell you this story about "The Incident" on the golf course, so here goes. In high school I was on the golf team. Everybody on the golf team, including me, was horrible but we had a good time. It's no wonder we were horrible since the best advice I ever got from our coach was, "Hey, Keebler, hit it straighter and farther."
We often had two-day tournaments where if you made it into the finals the first day you got to come back the next day to play for trophies or ribbons or whatever. None of us ever made it to the finals so all we ever really had were 1-day tournaments. In these tournaments you played with 3 students from other teams so usually nobody in the foursome knew each other.
We were playing at Mountain Valley down by Joshua. It's a beautiful course with a country club full of rich people who don't believe they are rednecks, but I digress. The day was beautiful but windy and a bit brisk. On this first day of the tournament all four of us were playing poorly which made me feel better since I played poorly on my best day. We played a couple of holes with all of us all over the course, taking forever to find our golf balls in the woods, and dropping balls this side of the water hazard that ate the previous shot.
After two or three holes like this one of the other guys jokingly suggested we should all just drop one shot after each hole just so we could save face at the end. We all laughed and agreed, purely joking, of course. The next hole was especially brutal for all of us again and as we got to the end and started to say our scores we all just looked at each other. "I'm in." "So am I." "Why not?", I said. What's it gonna matter anyway?
So, we did that. After each hole from then on we just subtracted one from our score and played the remaining 13 or 14 holes that way. "What's it gonna matter anyway?", right? Well, I'll tell you what it's gonna matter. Evidently, everybody else played pretty poorly and my "adjusted" score was good enough to get me into the finals the next day.
I don't know what happened to the rest of my foursome. I never saw them again because the next day I was playing with three other students, all of whom deserved to be there. This day was a Saturday and it was a big deal at the Mountain Valley Golf Course. Parents were there. (Not mine, I didn't tell them. They probably still don't know this.) There was even some local media there with cameras rolling for the evening news. I wish I was kidding.
I hit last out of my group. The others hit right into the fairway where golf balls are supposed to go. As I got settled in to hit I could almost feel people breathing on me. The excitement was high. The "Silence" sticks were held up by the judges. I planted my feet, wiggled my hips a little and swung for all I was worth. And for about one second that ball was soaring beautifully straight and high. Then it sliced so far right it looked like it must have stuck into an airplane.
I didn't bother wasting my time looking for it. I just calmly teed up another one and let the big dog eat. And then teed up another one...and another one. I seriously teed up four balls and then on the last one I just popped it onto the fairway with a light tap just so I could get off the tee box and out of the way.
I'll save you the play-by-play but what happened after that was even uglier. I have never played so bad in my life. In fact, I've never heard of anyone playing that bad. Long story a little shorter, I lost every one of my golf balls, either in the woods or the water. I was never so glad to lose all my balls because now I could just go home. Except now I had to walk through the rest of the course back to where I started with everybody asking me what happened.
Finally I saw the parking lot and the school bus waiting on me there. Yes, Coach Straighter Farther drove just me to the course on a full size school bus and when he saw me walking toward him after only a few minutes of playing time he bust out in a well deserved laugh and continued it all the way home.
Now, some would say that the moral of "The Incident" would be, "Don't cheat." Me? I'm pretty sure my luck would have been better if I had a gold plated divot tool, but who knows?