posted by Matt W on November 19th, 2014

When I was in 10th grade, I went golfing with my buddy Andy. We were put in a group with two men in their sixties who had been best friends all their lives. One was very small and quiet, and a really good golfer. The other was incredibly loud, talked non-stop (he was the county auctioneer), was pathetically bad at golf and was massive. He stood 6’6” and an easy 330 pounds. At the time, I was only 5 feet tall and 100 pounds dripping wet. For 18 holes, these older men made us laugh, bought us food, and oohed over all our good hits and I was really crushing it that day. On the 18th hole, we were waiting for a group of older woman, and the big guy says to me to go ahead and hit, because they were way out of my range. He even said, “Aim at the lady in the middle, you’ll never hit her.” As I had never played the course and this was his home course, I hit my drive. I crushed it; dead straight. Because he had assured me I couldn’t hit her, I didn’t even yell “fore.”

My ball went right through her legs.

“Well that’s the first ball she’s had between her legs in 50 years!” was his incredibly quick response. “Don’t worry, I’m going to go say it was mine,” he chirped as he excitedly jumped into his cart and raced down the fairway to take credit for my drive. I get a good laugh every time I think of those two old guys.

That’s the last time I hit into a group. Well, until last weekend when I hit into the group in front of me.

Twice.

As we waited on the 12th tee for the pathetically slow group ahead of us, one of the carts in front of us drove off towards the green and parked well out of range. We couldn’t see the other cart. I decide to hit as they were all obviously up next to the green. As a couple of us hit our drives, the third person in our group is about to hit when the cart next to the green drives back 100 yards towards us to find his ball. The other cart also comes into view. Weird. We stop hitting.

A couple minutes later one of the carts races back to our tee, and the guy throws our two balls back at us and tells us not to hit into him again. We apologized and innocently say one of the carts was next to the green so we thought it was OK to hit. He did not like our logic and swore at us as he drove away.

The exact same scenario happens a few holes later, although this time I was the only person to hit. I tell the guys in my group, I’m going to walk up and apologize in person. As I approach one member of their group, I apologize for hitting into them again, but mention they had driven off and we couldn’t see their carts again. I finished with, “But the main reason I walked up here was it’s not OK to hit into people for any reason and I wanted to apologize in person. I’m sorry.” He graciously accepted my apology. The angry guy who had thrown the balls back at us on the previous hole yelled at me from a little ways away, ”If you hit into me again, I’m going to crack you in the jaw!”

Crack me in the jaw? I nodded and turned around quickly because I had started laughing. “Crack you in the jaw,” how about “Sock you in the puss, you dirty rat,” or “Why I oughta!” It seemed like something someone would say in the 1940’s. As he didn’t come after me, I assume he didn’t see my shoulders shaking.

Well back in my foursome, we all got a good laugh when I told the story. There were a lot of old boxing references, ”I could have been a contender,” followed by,” if only that guy hadn’t hit a golf ball at me.”

So the bottom line is, seriously don’t hit into the group in front of you, it’s dangerous, which is why I thought a more formal apology was in order. And also if you’re going to threaten someone, at least pick a more recent threat, or maybe just accept their heartfelt apology and move on like your playing partner. I’ve hit into a group while playing golf three times; I felt bad twice.



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