Monday, September 11, 2006

Color of money..

I had an interesting experience while I played last Saturday. I woke up and really wasn't planning on playing but I know I usually regret it during the work week if I don't. I made it to the course and asked if they had room in the morning for a single. The starter put me down on the waiting list and off I went to to putting green.

As soon as I missed my 2nd putt, on the putting green, my name was called to check in..sweet..that didn't take long. It turns out a foursome was missing their fourth and I got lucky enough to be grouped into them. The starter gave me a warning though: These guys bet heavy..just play your own game and try to stay out of their way.

When I reached the 1st tee, actually the 10th..we were playing the back then the front, I was greeted warmly but not openly. I shook hands with all of them and told them I know the routine. I told them I'd keep my trap to a minimum and try to stay out of their way. They all laughed..a good ice breaker..of sorts.

I'm not sure what "games" they were playing but after 9 holes the guy I was riding with was down $640 to one guy and $360 to the other guy..geez! Yes..I was riding with the big loser. He was an older guy, Cuban, warm hearted, but with a mouth of a sailor. He had, I assume, a very important chip shot on one hole. He hit a great shot but the ball released heavily and went about 20 feet past the hole..and his sand wedge 40 feet. Afterwards he apologized and tried to justify that it was the "world's easiest chip" there such a thing?..and his was actually fairly difficult coming out of thick rough to a downward slope..

I was introduced, but didn't partake for obvious reasons, to a new "game" I've never seen. They called it "Bing-Bing". Basically, you have to putt and hit each colored tee marker (blue, white, red) on the tee box and then back. You can use whatever club you want. The winner is the one who does it in the least amount of strokes. Although they only played it when the hole ahead was backed up, it came out to be around 8 $40 a do the math.

The coupe de grace for my friend, The Cuban, was on the last hole. It's a par 4, 440 yard, dogleg left. We all, too, hit 4 of the most gorgeous drives on that hole. I actually hit it the 2nd longest so I had the luxury of watching the drama unfold. The Cuban wanted to press the money he owed to one of the guys on this hole. I believe it was about $810. The other guy agreed and it was on. The other guys hits his shot to the right in the rough..very difficult up and down. The Cuban sets up and HOOKS it into the water on the right..think my stomach turned..too.

The other guy ends up bogeying the hole and the Cuban takes a drop. He's only 20 yards away for a possible up and down bogey tie. He sets up..and skulls it over the green into the parking lot. I looked at the Cuban and actually he was very restrained and showed no emotion..but was down a cool $1620..geeeeeez.

After we finished I shook all their hands and humbly thanked them for a true lesson that day. They all laughed..and so did I..and said anytime..yeah right. I thought they were done too but they were going to play 9 more holes. I was merely a mortal amongst gods.


Greg said...

Wow, sounds like quite a ride. What kind of scores were these guys shooting? If they were avarage bogey golfers, and they played for that kind of cash, it sure would be a good investment to take some lessons.


GolfNomad said...

Trust me Greg, I was tempted to on a few holes..but these guys were VERY good players too. The guy that won big sent (-2), the other guys that also won went (even), and my friend, The Cuban, was (+3)..I'd definitely need strokes given to compete.

These guys could be absolute hustlers though. They didn't even dress the part as golfers. One guy looked like my high school gym coach and was actually wearing New Balance running shoes and high riding shorts.

The other guy, big winner, looked like he was goofying around but ALWAYS made his shot..great personality.

One thing I realized though was they were great scramblers and were able to convert/salvage their bad shots into a bogey at the worst.