Great news hockey fans – the US Open starts tomorrow.
So… time to talk golf.
The US Open will be played at Bethpage Black this year, which just happens to be located 20 minutes from my lady friends place on Long Island, and provides the perfect opportunity to explain what getting punked by your father-in-law-to-be feels like.
I wake up after my very first night at the Gillies abode (I’d just started dating Bri), somehow with the idea that I’d be playing golf with Clark (a zero cap at the time) in the morning at a course with the above sign by the first teebox (this morning is/was a major point of contention between him and I, my contention being that he’d asked me if I’d like to play the night before. Hence the somehow).
I crawled out of bed before six to get to Bethpage Black, a public course I’d seen on TV and dreamed of playing. You have to get to Bethpage before the rooster is awake to have any hopes of getting on. It was raining.
If the rain was a minor disappointment, the following was the cartoon anvil that fell and destroyed my day: I was informed by Clark that they suddenly had a full foursome (his contention being that they had one all along).
Would I like to caddy?
Well no, I’d like to play, but I’m up, and I’ve never seen a US Open course, so sure.
By the way, you’d have to carry two bags.
Ah whatever, I’ll earn a little money. Hey look, it’s still raining.
And so, this is how it came to be that on my very first day in Long Island while dating Clarks daughter, I carried two bags around a soaking wet 7,300 yard golf course at roughly 4 a.m. Kelowna time.
Think Clark and his buddies have some laughs at my expense when they have a few gin and tonics?
In the interest of giving both sides equal time, I’ll tell you exactly what Clark says when he hears me bitch about that day.
His side? I’m the worst caddy in history - and the only one to consistently hide under an umbrella while the players clubs get soaked.
Meh, they’re made of metal, and hey, do something bad enough the first time and you’ll never be asked to do it again.
At one point, it did stop raining…. just in time for him to tell me they were going to play 36 holes, the next 18 at Winged Foot. That was the moment I realized it was all on purpose, and I was being hazed (though he still won’t admit that’s true).
All jokes aside, Clark paid me well and has taken me golfing a ton of times since, so my complaining has become mostly tongue-in-cheek — though I am seriously suspicious that the whole thing was a test.
In the end, who cares. I learned this much: I’m no Steve Williams, and you have to have a decent sense of humour to hang with the Gillies.
I’ve still never played the course.