Jumping Cholla with golf ball GolfTales RJSmiley

Dangers In The Deserts

As his bright blue eyes sparkled, the little starter said, "everything in the desert bites, stings or scratches. Just lease those new ProV1's in the desert! I will find them later."

The final words the diminutive starter uttered, as his ice blue eyes twinkled: “Remember boys everything in the desert bites, stings or scratches. Stay out of the desert, we have seen some rattlesnakes lately. Just leave those new ProV1s out there. I will find them later and give ’em a good home. Enjoy!”

Thus, they were off for the first round of their annual winter golf vacation in the Sonoran Desert. Beautiful day! Beautiful course! Wonderful friends and not a bogie…. yet! Mulligans all around. Some shots even found the fairway.  

On the third hole, Ron, the guy with the inner tube around his mid-section (No kidding this guy has a perfect inner tube with the same dimensions running completely around his body just above his belt.), hits it hard down the right side of the dogleg left but his ball does not turn over and sailed into the Saguaro and Jumping Cholla. “Oh crap,” the Michelin Man cried. “That was one of my new ‘Big Daddy’ logo balls my family gave me for Christmas.” His second tee shot had a similar result. He stood for a minute then exclaimed, “three on one hole is too many to lose, if I don’t find one of those two just give me an X on this hole.”

Then Al, the lawyer and a perfect wordsmith said, “you mean you are going into that snake infested underbrush to look for a damn golf ball? Let that little guy, you know the starter, with the blue eyes, find those balls. He will enjoy calling himself Big Daddy.” 

“I can’t just leave those Big Daddy balls out there in the desert without at least a look. If my wife would find out she’d be pissed!”

“She’d be more pissed if you die from a snake bite looking for a damn golf ball. She would have to live on that little bit of life insurance you were able to get back when you could pass a physical. I am not going in that desert for a $4 golf ball. Mine or yours.”  

As their carts approached the dogleg where the balls entered no man’s land, Ron said, “let me off about here. I have got to take a quick look. Might find my balls. Might save my marriage.” After a brief minute the Michelin Man returned and dropped a ball on the fairway. “Just give me an X on this hole, but I want to play it out – get my money’s worth… You know. I did get the crap scared out of me in that desert. I heard a noise behind me and thought it was a snake, but it was only a couple of those pretty Gimbal Quail, the ones with the feather sticking out of their head.”

“If you encounter one of those rattlesnakes you will know it. They make a sound you will never forget; like nothing you have ever heard.”

“I am not real worried about it anyway, how many golfers do you hear about getting killed by rattlesnakes, anyway?”

“If you were the Arizona Tourism Commission would you tell the public about people dying on a golf course from a snake bite?”

The round went smooth for the next few holes with a few pars and even a birdie. On the little par 3, 8th, across a brush filled wash, MM’s Big Daddy ball was flying straight for the hole. With his low drawing ball flight, his Big Daddy ball caught the false front and spun hard to the left, down the false front across the cart path into the wash. “Shit,” screeched MM. “That is another of my Christmas golf balls.”

“That ball won’t be hard to find,” Al remarked. “It just hopped across the cart path. But remember watch out for those snakes.”

As MM entered the brush two Gimbal Quail flushed behind him, their wings making drumming sound as they beat the brush in escape. MM whirled to see the snake. The clumsy spinning move carried him directly into a jumping Cholla. The cactus nailed him just above the top of his left shoe on the back of his leg. Without looking down, MM leaped from the desert screaming at the top of his lungs, “OH SHIT!!, I been snake bit.  Call 911!”

Al calmly looked down and saw a few chunks of Cholla buried in his Achilles tendon with a few drops of blood. “Hey Ron can I have the rest of your Big Daddy golf balls, I don’t think they have golf courses where you will be going.”

“It is not funny, how long do you think I have? Will the paramedics make it in time?”

“Don’t worry big fella, those quail make that noise and you got nailed by a Cholla. It will hurt a little when I pull them out but you can finish your round…. if you have enough balls. Bet you don’t look for any more balls!”

“Everything in the desert bites, stings or scratches.” The little blue-eyed starter is still playing with those Big Daddy balls!  

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