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Golf Cart or Dune Buggy?

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So … what NOT to do when the fairways are slippery.

The Scene: Stoneridge Golf Club, Prescott, AZ. A must-play golf course by the way if you live in Arizona.

Conditions: Started out sunny and warm, high 70’s, which is cool by our normal climate of 100+ this time of year down in the valley.  Thunder and Lightning storms throughout the area later in the morning and through the afternoon.

Who: The usual threesome of myself, Dave and Blain, plus a single who had actually played the course several time before.

What: Thunder and lightning by the 8th hole. Our 4th quit and went to the clubhouse. (Luckily, he has his own cart). We didn’t travel an hour and a half to sit in the clubhouse so we continue on, ignoring the danger.

By the time we make the turn, the weather subsides and our 4th joins us once again, only to again quit on hole #11 when it starts to kick up again. Again, the 3 amigos play on. We get to the tee box on hole #14 and the sky has opened up. We park the carts side-by-side and hunker down. For the road trip, Dave has fixed up a little mini-bucket of margarita. Blain claims there’s not much alcohol in the bucket. If Dave made it, I know better.

The rain subsides a bit and there are actually other people on the course starting to come up behind us. We troop on, barely able to hold on to our wet clubs as we play 15, 16 and 17.

Hole #18 turns out to be a double dog-leg par 5. We all hit pretty good drives but, having not played this course before, the 2nd shot requires a visually unattainable poke to the left. Neither Blain or I could bring ourselves to hit it that far left and ended up in the ravine.

As I was telling Blain of his misfortune he tugged the wheel of his cart to the left which started an uncontrollable spin down the now slippery inclined 18 fairway. Dave and I, riding in the other cart, calmly commented on Blain’s antics.

After a few seconds, we both realized that Blain no longer had control of his golf cart and was heading towards the bottom of the hill, with a large sand trap in his path. Spinning even faster now, we wished we had the foresight to have our cell phones handy so we could record what we now believe could have won us $100,000 on America’s Funniest Videos.

And after those few seconds, Blain himself realized that he was NOT going to regain control, and in seeing his eventual landing area on one of his rotations, bailed out of the cart and proceeded to slid down the slick fairway on his back for another 20 yards or so.

Dave and I are still watching all this unfold from the top of the fairway. As the cart crashes into the bunker we head down to see if Blain is still alive. He seems shaken but no reason to dial 911 so we head down to the bunker to inspect the cart, which has flipped over onto it’s back-side.

20130713_124834We tipped the cart back onto it’s wheels but, facing uphill, we can’t get it out of the trap. So we tip back onto it’s back-side, spin it to the downhill side and push it back onto it’s wheels once more.

We then survey the debris left behind; towels, cooler, bottles, and a driver head. yep, snapped the head right off of Blain’s driver! We thought it might have damaged a few of his other longer clubs but that was the extent of the damage. Even the cart was fairly unscathed, except for the inordinate amount of sand that covered the whole back end.

We attempted to brush as much sand off as we could but there was so much it, it didn’t do any good. We then plotted how we were going to return the cart in it’s present condition without getting arrested or banned for life.

We finished (or abandoned) the hole and proceeded to the clubhouse to complete our eventful round. The customer service boys were at the ready to clean our clubs … and then noticed how much sand covered the back end of the cart and Blain’s clubs. And, just our luck, one of the pros was also standing nearby.

“What happened to this cart?” the boys said. As Dave and I are trying to hide in the nearest bush, Blain is regaling the story and showing the above picture to the group. Amazingly enough, they didn’t seem too shocked. The clubhouse pro chimes in, “Well, that’s not surprising. That’s the 3rd time that’s happened this week!”

With a sigh of relief (and disbelief) in unison we exclaim “Really”? “Yea, that fairway get’s pretty slick when it gets wet”, the pro says.

So off we head to the parking lot thinking that we might get sued for damages, and then again thinking we could sue them for a know issue. We decide to shrug it off, call it even and head back to the valley  before they change their minds.

 

 

 

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