Balls All Turned Around the Wrong Way

Roybob’s Book on Golf: The Hucks, A Golfer’s Divine Comedy, and a Religious Philosophy of Golf

Balls All Turned Around the Wrong Way

I motored my way to Golden Eagle one Sunday morning and began my preparations for a long practice section. My three-hour routine included procuring a cart, my clubs, a big basket of balls, and, then, driving to the far end of the range where the grass is better and the crowd is thinner. If the “cart boy” had everything set up for me when I arrived, I gave him a generous tip, recognizing that he had done something extra for me.   In previous years the “cart boys,” particularly the beloved Johnny Norton, would pick golfers up at their vehicles. That time had passed; and, so, I walked down to the cart barn.  When I arrived at the barn, I discovered that, while my bag was on a cart, there was no  basket of balls sitting on the floorboard.

I informed the “cart boy,” whom I shall refer to as Brain, that I needed a basket of balls for the other side of the range.  Brain responded, “I need all the balls for the font end of the range. I don’t have that many.” Bewildered, I asked, “What?” He repeated his statement that he needed all the balls for the front end of the range. I wondered to myself, “What’s wrong with people these days”? In my frustration I decided that I would resort to logic. “Brain, if I go to the front end of the range to hit balls, I will hit as many from there as I will from the far end of the range. In other words, you’re going to be out the same number of balls. You may as well give me the basket of balls I’m requesting.” Brain churned, but he did not get it. I walked over to the baskets, grabbed one, and made my way to the garbage bin full of balls. I scooped out a basket full of balls while Brain looked at me. As I lugged the basket to my cart, I inquired, “Brain, who do I have to talk to so that I don’t catch shit from a ‘cart boy’ when I ask for a basket of balls”? Brain did not respond. I plopped the basket on the cart’s floorboard, climbed in the driver’s seat, and headed to the far end.

By this time, I was more than a little irritated. I called the pro shop as I drove and informed a staff assistant about what had just occurred. She told me that the assistant pro would be in later and that she would let him know.

At some point during my practice session, Ricky Bobby showed up, and I told him the story.  When we finished hitting balls, Ricky Bobby and I went back to the cart barn.  I went upstairs to talk to the assistant pro, and I left Ricky Bobby with Brain down below.  The assistant pro had not arrived; so, after a few cordial words with the staff assistant, I went back downstairs to the cart barn.

Brain was walking back and forth, and Ricky Bobby was alternating between light chuckles and big grins.  Ricky had loaded his bag on my cart, and I climbed in to drive us to the practice putting green.  As soon as I sat in the cart, Ricky whispered, “I figured out what the problem was with you hitting balls on the far side.”  I asked, “What is the problem?”  Ricky replied, “Well, when you hit balls from the other side of the range, Brain has trouble picking up the balls.  They’re all facing the wrong way.”  The image of “a picker” riding around in great confusion because he thought the balls were all backwards prompted an explosion of mirth.  Perhaps, I thought, he should just drive the “picker” in reverse.

Ricky Bobby and I reached the practice green; and, after a few minutes, after we had recovered from our laughter, the assistant pro arrived.  He informed me that he had spoken with Brain and that there would be no further problems.  I do not know what the assistant pro told Brain, but Brain and I found our balance after that incident.  From that time forward, Brain had a basket of balls waiting for me in a cart.

Roybob’s Book on Golf: The Hucks, A Golfer’s Divine Comedy, and a Religious Philosophy of Golf.

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