My Very Own Personal Beachfront Golf Driving Range… that I cannot use. ?
The Golf Course Clubhouse at Tacloban, Leyte, PhilippinesAlong with my clubs, I also brought along a couple dozen golf balls. One day when the wife went to town and I had nothing to do, I thought I would take the opportunity to get my golf swing back in shape. So I grabbed a few clubs and took my bag of balls down to the seawall. The seawall in our village is just about 100 meters from my doorstep so I thought I could just sneak down there and whack a few balls out onto the sands during the low tide. One thing is for certain in the Philippines – you cannot sneak around anywhere without somebody noticing you, especially kids. A foreigner with several golf clubs in hand carrying a bag of golf balls down any street is going to garner many curious onlookers.
Anyway, in the time it took me to walk down to the seawall (about 60 seconds), I had about 5 curious kids following me. Not one of them speaks English so I didn’t even bother to discuss my intent with them. I reached the seawall at low tide and the exposed sands were visible for at least several hundred yards. Perfect! I could simply hit a couple dozen balls and then walk out and retrieve them. And I had my own built-in gallery of spectators!
The beach sands at our village extend for many meters at low tide.As I prepared to hit my first ball, I could hear the kids concocting something. I figured they were going to “fetch” my balls after I hit them. As it turned out, the challeng was on to see who could collect the most balls. At least that is what I surmised. I know just enough of the local dialect to understand when some friendly wagering is going on! I approached my first ball on the tee (golf lingo), but not before warning the kids repeatedly to stay well clear of me and my swing, and to just stay put until I was finished. I proceeded to drive my first shot (8 iron) about 150 yards. Not before my shot even hit the sand were the kids off and running to snag that first ball. After all 5 of the kids reached the site of the my first drive, they just stood there and waited. I repeatedly motioned for them to clear out but they just sorta camped out there waiting for me to hit another ball! They had already sprinted over 100 yards once, they were certainly not going to do that again. It was much easier to just wait for the balls to come to them. Urghhh. I realized at that moment that this entire idea was a big waste of my time, so I gathered up my balls and clubs and walked back to the house. I just couldn’t dangerously be launching golf balls into a group of young kids waiting to pick them up for me. It was just not safe.
I mean… could you see me screaming “FORE” after each stroke? It would have done absolutely no good when they don’t understand English!
And would someone please shoot me for thinking that I could get away with this on a “school day!”