Having shot a personal best 86, I celebrated with my friend with nine holes at Chatham Seaside Links (on Cape Cod, in Massachusetts) the next day. As my tee shot sailed over a blind hill on Hole No. 1, I thought how the timer (though the starter on this day) provides peace of mind for golfers, knowing when it’s safe to swing to the green below. A recurring fear of mine is accidentally hitting into the group ahead.
After all, sometimes a ball gets crushed.
The ninth hole also has a blind spot, as the fairway dips until the raised, two-level green. Unlike Hole No. 1, there is no timer or starter. Before teeing off, I saw a cart in the distance near the green and figured it was safe to hit. Whether someone lagged behind or my drive was crushed, I hit into the group ahead. Fear achieved; berated we were.
Now I get it, everyone is “hot” these days: public health crisis, economic uncertainty, racial injustice, travel bans, even recent storms knocking out power for millions. The last thing anyone needs is a golf ball rocketing in their direction.
I felt awful; apologies were made. Yet the “berater” wasn’t done. He picked up my ball and drove away. Did I deserve it? Maybe, but it was an accident. Golf is also a gentleman’s game and that was a childish move.
The golf gods agreed; I chipped my second shot within 2 feet and celebrated an otherwise perfectly played hole by tapping in the awarded free drop for birdie.
<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="This piece was written by Jeff Shaw, West Chatham, for the Cape Cod Times, which is part of the USA Today Network.” data-reactid=”24″>This piece was written by Jeff Shaw, West Chatham, for the Cape Cod Times, which is part of the USA Today Network.