By R.J. Smiley
It was the couples club championship at Whispering Pines Golf Club near Myrtle Beach. On the final day, Frank and Linda were leading by four strokes with only seven holes left to play.
Frank who grew up in South Africa learned to play golf playing with his father and brother. Playing golf in the constant wind, Frank developed the ability to hit low very straight shots and control the distance.
After college, Frank migrated to Canada where he became a citizen.
Frank moved up quickly in a tech related consulting job and travel expanded as his client base grew. On a business trip to Chicago, Frank met a pretty blonde named Linda. Linda was a motivated entrepreneur who had found a business niche. Her niche is linking people with specialized talents with companies requiring a very specific skill. Amy was smart, headstrong and did things her way.
Linda grew up in a golfing family, but never really got into golf in a serious way. She was a recreational golfer who played a few times a year.
When they married, Linda convinced Frank, who loved Canada, to move to Chicago and applying for U.S. citizenship. A business move found our couple in Myrtle Beach. They joined Whispering Pines GC, a private club where Frank and Linda enjoyed the course and new friends.
Whispering Pines GC is a tree lined golf course that fit Frank’s game perfectly. With his abbreviated back swing and punch-shot type follow through, Frank was able to negotiate the very tight golf course with relative ease.
The alternate shot format found Frank with the tee on the treacherous little square doglegged left par-4 12th. Playing only 325 yards, Frank punched a rescue club into perfect position in the heart of the fairway with 120 yards to a flagstick located middle right.
“Should I hit my 7-iron or my 8-iron?” Linda asked.
This is where the trouble started!
Frank replied, “Honey, what I would really like you to do is just TAP the ball about one foot. That way I can hit my wedge on the green and we two-putt for a bogie. We will have a three shot lead with six holes left – if our opponents make a par.”
“Frank, I don’t want to tap the ball only ONE FOOT. I want to hit my 8-iron on the green and get a par!”
“But Honey if you happen to skull it like you do sometimes, the ball will shoot over the elevated green and into the creek at the bottom of the hill behind the green. Who knows what score we might make.”
With her feet spread and her hands on her hips, Linda emphatically said, “Get back, I am going to hit my 8-iron.” With a big swing Linda hit the ball right in the eye and the skulled ball ricocheted off the green and into the creek behind the green.
After a brief search, Frank found the ball in the stony creek. He took a drop into an awful lie. He could have hit a cut shot up onto the green with a severe back to front slope, but there was a tree that overhung the shot; the lob shot would not work. Frank attempted to run the 4th shot under the tree and onto the green. The ball got near the top of the hill then rolled back a few feet. Now Linda is left with a tough shot, shooting 5. In his South African accent Frank said, “Honey, try to get the ball just onto the green. With the slope it could run completely off the green.”
Linda chunked her shot and it rolled back into the creek. “Now look what you have left me,” Frank snipped.
With a nifty little pitch, Frank dropped their 7th shot onto the green where it slowly rolled, then trickled toward the hole and stopping about 6 feet above the cup. Linda was faced with a glass-slick downhill putt to escape the hole with an 8.
With pleading eyes, Frank said, “Honey, just TAP it, if you hit it too hard it will roll off the green!”
Linda walked up to the ball and with a mighty one handed swing she hit the ball about 75 yards back down the fairway. Then turned to Frank and said with fire coming out of her eyes, “How was that for just a TAP – A** Hole!!!”
Yes, they are still happy married. Yes, they did not win the couples club championship. Frank tells the story when he has had a few beers and always finishes with, “We made 13 on the hole.”