Eagle Ridge Golf League News
Now for Other News
shall now finish addressing the “Other News” portion that was mentioned in the previous column.
For the last several weeks, there has been a great deal of gossip throughout the league about what happened to me when I received injuries at Sugarwood Golf Course. However, before I tell the actual story, I must inform you of the two participants and the circumstances in this escapade.
First, as to the participants, there was General See, and then there was me, Private Jackson. General See and I are the two oldest members of the league, and with Mr. See being the older, he named himself General. I asked if I could at least be a Private First Class. He said, “no, you have no class!” Also, consider I am a person who could best be described as a “klutz.”
Now for the incident. On hole number 13, a par three over a pond with about a 125 yard carry to the green, the General hit his shot on the green; I hit a low liner straight into the lake. The General commenced jumping up and down, shouting, “I see it, I see it. It’s over there lying in the rocks.” I said, “I see it, but I’m going to drop another ball.” The General said, “No! No! I can get it.” I said, “No.” (I have a great deal of experience with these situations, falling over hills, chasing down golf carts, and slipping into a creek, so I knew what I was talking about).
Ignoring my protest, he asked, “Do you have a ball-retriever?” I said “yes,” and thought, “I never carry a retriever. Why did I throw it in my bag for the first time this year?” “Give it to me,” he ordered. He then grabbed it and walked through the grass to the edge of the stones packed against the sod to stop erosion. The rocks were placed randomly and resulted in a 30 feet cliff reaching from the earth to the water’s edge. This riprap was not made from packed gravels you would see on a lake; these rocks weighed 8 to 10 pounds or more. They were unfinished, meaning there were sharp edges on each. The stones had been placed manually with only their weight holding them in place.
Not to be deterred, the General marched over to the edge of the grass, determined to get my golf ball (it cost $1.00 and had been used the entire day), with a 10’ ball retriever in hand and a golf ball near the bottom of a 30’ cliff. And that ball was something I certainly did not want.
Determined to get that ball, he reached out from his lofty perch waiving the retriever like a sorcerer ready to cast a spell. Finally, getting his balance and gathering the retriever under control, he reached out, hitting a stone at least 10’ above the ball, but magically he pushed the ball further away. By striking the rock, it caused the others below it to shift. That in itself should have told me something.
Provoked, the General pulled the retainer back, grabbed the handle, and attempted in some manner to miraculously make the pole longer. Unsuccessful, he once again reached toward the ball, and as always when you do the same thing you receive the same result. This is a human trait. He, of course, could not reach it.
Both frustrated and aggravated, he again took up the task, moving with his feet on the edge of the stone, as close as he could get without stepping out on the riprap. Then the General stretched further over the edge. With the right arm holding the retriever swinging back and forth in front of him. His left arm was held in the air as he attempted to gain his balance. As hard as he tried, he was teetering, almost to a point where he was going to make a headlong plunge into the pond.
Irritated, I pulled the General back from the edge, took the retriever, and then walked over to the rim. I looked over the brink and saw the rock, stones, boulders, or whatever you wanted to call the unstable footholds along the path I would have to take to get that ball. I now understood why Mr. See was a General, and I was a Private. I thought, “I am an idiot for doing this. I’m going to end up in the lake. Stupid!”
Resigned to my fate, I took my first step. The stone started shaking, causing me to take another a pace to a second rock, which also shook. It was just as I had envisioned. The pond was going to be my destination. Yet, without giving up on that “ball,” I made a swipe each time I moved. I was on a never-ending journey, each movement took me closer and closer to the lake. Just as I knew at the start of this endeavor, there was no purchase on any of the stones. Well, that is not exactly true. While trying to control both my speed and my balance, as I reached one rock near the bottom of the cliff, it was stable. A stable purchase would have seemed to be an advantage; unfortunately, it was too late. The sudden stop managed to flip me headfirst into the pond.
Having gone entirely underwater, I made my way to the surface, hat still on my head. The water reached to my shoulders. After one step, I reached the edge of the riprap. The water now reached my chest; to climb out, I had to lift my body 4’ by grasping the riprap. First was to find a stable rock. This was located and I pulled myself up until my entire body was lying entirely on the rocks. I then started crawling upwards. Each movement ended with moving up and sliding back half the distance. I was in shorts and crawling on sharp stones, each effort ending with a scratch or cut on one of my legs.
Crawling was not only painful but exhausting. Finally, I reached a point where the General reached my putter down to me to help in my climb. At last I reached the top and then climbed on the ground, exhausted. I lay there maybe 5 seconds, then looked over to my right seeing a groundkeeper sitting on a mower, just staring. I looked at myself, and I was a mess. My legs had both bled to the point my socks and shoes were stained red from the blood. I was also covered in mud.
Up I jumped and ran to the porta-potty. This was my cleansing room. I had only my shorts and toilet paper to clean myself. It was a long, laborious process. Legs, totally red with blood, became clean, leaving only the scratches. I was still a mess, but at least I could come out and make my way to the cart. I decided that the time spent in the porta-potty would be a more effective means of torture than waterboarding.
Once the General got in the cart beside me he said “are we going to finish this round?” Yes, he is still alive.
As for the ball and the retriever. I must sadly state that both found their death in the pond, never to be seen again, at least by me.
The measurements I have given as to the height of the cliff is probably underestimated but I did not want the truth of this tale to be an exaggeration.
That’s my story, and I’m sticking to it.