Golfing With Cliff
Lake Worth Municipal Golf Course – Day 1
We are headed up to Lake Worth Municipal Golf Course for a game of golf. It is a quiet Sunday afternoon and Cliff loads up his golf clubs into the car, along with the two bottled waters, two Sprites and some extra Pinnacle golf balls. Cliff is dressed in his typical golfing attire, a green golf shirt, purple patterned shorts and a pair of black Sketchers with ankle high black Nike socks.
We’ve been playing golf for about 4 months now, his interest in the game was triggered by Tiger Woods and his knee injury and also by Tom Watson, Cliff being around his age, in his late fifties. Cliff is a natural golfer, took up the sport 20 years ago with his Dad, Cliff Guest Sr. After 20 years of not playing he is a bit rusty, but it is starting to come back now. He says he never missed shots in his youth, but he misses some now. He says he used to be a lot smoother but now it’s chopped up.
We usually play at our favorite golf course, Marina Lakes. It’s only $10.00 to play and we have an in with the starters there, Skinny and Moe. They are a good bunch of guys, definitely candidates for the Sopranos. They sneak us in and sometimes give us free games, rainchecks and what not, it’s all on the sly. Casheroo if you know what I mean. Money talks, greasing the old palm if you know what I mean.
Cliff is fantasizing about how he will play today, perfect shots by the intra coastal waterway. We dip into a Burger King to get some munchies because this is his favorite food besides my home cooking of course. Cliff orders up his usual hamburger no pickles and a Coke, lite ice. He is still battling lactose intolerance and lately his stomach has taken a turn for the worse. He can’t eat much these days it seems, most everything he eats bothers him, it’s chronic now.
We drive through the sleepy little town of Lake Worth (or Lake Worthless) as some call it, past some apartment buildings, a lodge, past some random hookers looking for an afternoon trick. The area has gotten quite Mexican, the quality of life varies from one block to the next. One house is a mansion, the next block over it’s cracksville. Lake Worth used to be our old stomping grounds when we played music for years and years. We started playing at Audrey’s Cookie House and ended up playing at The Cottage, years later.
We arrive at the lovely club. Its’ majestic front is flanked by an American flag and palm trees. We head into the pro shop and are greeted by a middle aged woman with graying hair and glasses wearing conservative golf attire. Neat and trim. She jokes with us that I am his caddy or better yet, cart driver. Cliff says he wouldn’t let me drive the cart anyway. He won’t. He is predjudiced against female drivers. The golf pro shop has lovely souvenirs, shirts, hats, clubs, balls and other items that look appealing. It has a certain smell, an antiseptic plastic smell. Cliff gets the keys to the golf cart and picks out a lucky one, number 4, one of his favorite numbers. Turns out it has a bad break, but the starter tells us to go ahead and take it. Cliff debates this.
Hole # 1:
We are right beside the blue waters of the intracoastal. 1st stroke he drives the ball, a nice hit on the left side of the green 150 yards out. Par 4 with the wind on his back. Second hit: Cliff looks up and duffs the ball. The pin is straight ahead, the white flags waves in the distance. Hit 3 he calls lying 2. Cliff talks to himself, focusing on the flag. He is now on the green, putting the ball in.
Cliff is a very focused person. When he does something he wants to do he gives it his all. He likes to win and hates to lose. Golf is a big challenge for him because it is a test of his skills. It is a mental game and he is a mental guy. Final score on hole # 1: A bogey.
Pink, yellow, orange and white houses do the golf course. It is so green and lush, with palm trees swaying in the wind. It is very beautiful. We move on to hole # 2, bouncing along in the cart.
Hole # 2:
First hit goes behind a tree. Second shot: a shot between two palm trees. Cliff plans the shot to get near the pin, there are two sand traps ahead. A random golf ball comes whizzing our way, we duck in the cart. The ball owner is nowhere in sight. Cliff shoots his next shot, trying to get on the green. He’s now in the sand trap. He says, “G note on the green”, and with the sand trap blues he plans to shoot his way out of there with a sand wedge. He’s still talking to himself. “Nice!” he exclaims as he gets out of the trap.
Next he plans to sink it for a par. He misses….. It’s another bogey!
Hole # 3:
Time to wash the balls. Cliff likes to use Pinnacles, they are the ball of his choice. Besides shopping for golf balls Cliff has been working on this film, “Loving The Bad Man”. He’s been helping his partner Pete out. Golf is a great release for him. Now the first shot of hole # 3. He lines the balls up and says, “Is there a tree in the way?” He hits the ball and it it’s the tree and the ball bounces on the cart path. He’s laughing now, preparing to hit the shot over again. A nice swing, a slice, perfect. The ball lands a long way from the green. He wants to go back and play the hole again…..He marks the spot with a tee…..There are people coming, like warriors in their carts. Ho tanto! We have to hurry…..He whacks at the ball, it’s a slicer. We go looking for a nice blue and white top flight ball. He pulls out a 5 iron and hits a stunning worm burner across the grass. The ball goes into the sprinkler system. He says, “Help Me!!!!!”
Cliff has got a commercial coming up he hopes to direct. Now he is the middle of the sprinkler system trying to get his ball. The cool water splashes on my face. He opts not to play the ball in the water. It’s wet and soggy. He’s trying to dance on the green. He hits, he likes it and we’re dancing. Back to the commercial, his old buddy Bill called him to bid on it. He’ll know Monday if he got the job. He plays hole # 3 again this time with a 4 iron. No foilage interrupting this time, He skulls it. No good! We find the ball hidden in some bushes. Now he’s putting for his final shot for a birdy. It goes a bit off to the side, now shooting for par. He tries to put it in, it’s a Bogey 5.
Hole # 4:
We arrive at hole # 4, a long straight hole. Cliff needs to blast it. He does but ticks a tree with his Nike driver. We speed along in the golf cart. He is now 150 yards from the green. He takes his 5 iron and whacks the ball. It fades to the rest of the green.
He’s tired after last night. We played a bar until 2:00 am, a club called Big Dawgs. There was a 1950’s sock hop event happening and we were the token Motown band. There were a lot of people, drinks, music and dancing, they loved the band. Cliff plays guitar and really rocked out so he’s beat today. But his nerves have been frazzled when he works, sometimes he can really lose it. He’s now by the pin…he gets the ball in Par 4.
Hole # 5:
Cliff decides between a pitching wedge and a 5 iron. He goes for the 5. It is a beautiful spot, houses surround the golf course and the water is directly ahead of us. Boats blast by in the intracoastal. He hits the ball and it goes in the water! Cliff really hates to lose his balls, his Dad gave us this handy-dandy ball picker upper thingy stick so we can retrieve the balls like that. He shoots again. His shot doesn’t make the green. Cliff is disappointed. Now he hits again, making it to the green. Now he sinks it in for a par. He misses…. It’s a bogey 4!
Up ahead of us is this granite bench that someone put as a memorial to their loved one. It overlooks the water and reads: “In loving memory of Charly Tracy a true sportsman and unsung hero.” I guess that Charly liked golf…… Cliff washes some balls. Maybe some day I will do a memorial for Cliff. What the heck would it say? “Here lies Cliff Guest The Best. I loved him. Hope you did too. What a whack job!”
Hole # 6:
Cliff says he has to beat the shit out of this hole. He tries a Ben Hogan move and fails. He tries again……It has something to do with your hands and focusing on your hands….A cricket chirps loudly and the sound of lapping water hits the rocks. A boat whizzes by. His ball hits the rocks and disappears towards the water. Cliff goes hunting for it. He knows it’s there! He finds it! He says there are some snakes and spiders in there. It’s a Noodle! Cliff loves Noodles and he loves his Titleist clubs. A large flock of wood Ibis are in the way, blocking his next shot. He skulls it! He’s on the green now, trying for a bogey. Downhill, he says, he has no chance. He gets a double bogey.
Hole # 7:
A few of the wood ibis eat in the grass by the starting point. Cliff tees off. He is wearing his white glove, not a Michael Jackson glove though, no sequins today. Two big, fat iguanas cross our path. They are stationary and then bolt as the cart approaches. They’re fascinating to watch! Cliff hits the ball again, not happy with his shot. It’s still a ways to go to the green and he opts for the pitching wedge to get onto the green. The ball is about a foot from the pin. He decides to put it in with his Nike putter. The gold course is sparse and green, some dead trees are in front of the water, with the occasional Osprey landing on top.
A large cluster of clouds is gathering and the wind is at our back. Will we make all 18 holes? A church spire is silhouetted against the fore brooding clouds and the wind increases. Cliff feels the pressure to forge ahead.
Hole # 8 & 9:
He’s dancing already with his first shot. Cliff hits the ball into the hole to make it a par 2. Two houses are for sale on the golf course, they are asking $340,000.00 not bad if you want to play a lot of golf in your backyard. Cliff misses the shot because a dude walks in front of him spoiling his concentration. Cliff finds it very hard to concentrate when you talk, laugh, sneeze or even breathe near him when he is about to hit the ball. Once I asked him a question as he was about to tee off and he hit the roof! So now he is pissed off. It’s a straight bogey day today, he’s doing fine but he is still not satisfied.
Now Cliff stands at the 200 yard marker now hitting with a 3 iron. The wind increases. He pulled out a 6 iron by accident. Cliff says he can’t reach shit, no distance. He plans now to sink the ball with a pitching wedge. Cliff sweats, his golf shirt is soaked around his middle. He sinks the ball, another bogey! His overall score so far is 43, par 35.
We drive around the clubhouse to tackle the second nine holes……The clubhouse looks pretty, all glass and stucco. There is a large lake here and some wood ibis birds are grazing, the palm trees swaying and Cliff swearing under his breath.
Cliff hits the ball and it lands in front of some large Florida pine trees. He has hit it into some foliage and the ball appears at the base of the tree. He picks it up and drops it. He hits it with a 3 wood. He tries to lay the ball down next to the pin, it doesn’t quite make it. He says he is an idiot. This is for par, he says. He laughs… “Not very good.” He says. He walks forward, the hole with a look of determination and resolve. It’s a double bogey!
Hole # 11:
This is a hole you get to hang around the corner, right? Cliff asks himself. He hits the ball, too much of a fade, he kisses that Noodle goodbye. His ball has hit the water. Another hit, much straighter this time, no water….It’s now 75 yards to the green. He aims, he skulls it again! The ball is in the sand trap. He’s in the dirt now, he gets his sand wedge out. Got a lip to get over…..
He didn’t make it past the rough on the green. He’s lying three shooting 4 and shooting for a birdy. He misses it by 1 inch! He tries the final shot…..Count that as a five he says. Cliff wants to buy a set of Titleist clubs. He has looked at Nike, Victory Reds and Mezzuno. But now he has decided that he is a Titleist guy.
Hole # 12:
Hit a stupid hit. He’s mad! We go ball hunting. He says that it’s a crappy shot. The pin is far away. He pulls out a Titleist 6 iron and tries to whack it. It’s a hacker! He hits again, a worm burner this time….Cliff says he needs to improve his game.
Hole # 13:
He’s lying two as lightening approaches. He gets near the in and pulls out a pitching wedge and goes over the sand traps and onto the green. He says, " Look at that Heidi,"as the ball lands on the green.
Now for another bogey for his last shot. He aims, he misses….He taps in the ball. Double bogey 6. Says he is in trouble. Now he needs a birdy and a couple of pars to get back on track. The day is winding down, now the sound of distant thunder rumbles in the background. We have a few more holes to go.
Hole # 14:
Cliff looks at the hole and analyzes it. He doesn’t want to shoot off to the right. He hits the ball. He is critical. His gold pinnacle ball is a worm burner. He gets the ball, takes out his 9 iron and hits hard. He hits the ground, getting into a mess. He reaches for his pitching wedge and whacks the ball into nowhereland. The ball turns up and he tries to sink it in for a par, a par he desperately needs. The ball lands and he shoots again for a bogey. We are near the street now, cars go by and there are apartments closeby. The thunder is coming closer and the night sky gets a bit darker in the late afternoon. It’s a double bogey!
Hole # 15:
Once upon a time Cliff chipped the ball in on this hole. I doubt that that will happen today, but you never know what fate the ball will have bestowed upon it. He hits the ball. He is getting tired. His ball went to the waters edge. It is right on the very tip of the bank. He plans on popping the ball with a pitching wedge and seeing what happens. Bad! The ball didn’t land on the green. He decides to put it in for a par. The ball goes in!!! Bogey!
Hole # 16:
Someone has left an old shoe on the golf course and Cliff kicks the shoe out of the way. He bends down and analyzes his shot and practices his swing. The shot goes bad. He says he has stuff on his mind. He swings again, another bad shot off into the night. Cliff hits the next ball straight up into a tree. Pieces of the branch fall down and we both laugh. He toes the next ball into the weeds. Some man appears from nowhere and yells something at us, he is looking for a ball. We don’t have it. Cliff hits his ball 3 inches from the pin. Another bogey!
Hole # 17:
“Pound city”, Cliff says. Whacks the ball hard, it is high and straight because the wind is right at his back. The ball has a solid ping sound to it, the sound of a good shot. The ball lands somewhere in the middle of the fairway and has a good 250 yards to the pin.
Cliff plans to pitch the next ball onto the G note. He pretends that he is a golf commentator and says quietly, " Cliff Guest on the 17th hole, shooting for a birdy….Looks like he might make a par 5, but it is yet to be seen."
It’s a bogey 6!
Cliff decides to replay the hole again because he was unhappy with the way it turned out. We are almost done, coming up to the 18th hole. The storm is approaching and he is tired…..It’s been a great day, scenic, fun and challenging.
Hole # 18:
This is a tricky hole with a small lake in front and weeds around to the left. Cliff sets up his shot and says he is going to punch it up. I start to feel some rain sprinkles. The ball goes right into the water. Cliff tries again. The second ball goes into the water. The third ball goes as far as the clubhouse. Are people on the other side getting hit by his balls? We ponder this. Maybe an angry mob will turn on us. He hits again. The ball hunt is on for the Titleist. We search but don’t find any balls. At last we find it…The prized Titleist by the edge of the lake after a massive ball hunt. Cliff takes off his glove and puts the ball onto the green. He needs to sink it in for a par…..I tell him to aim. He says he likes when I remind him to aim. So I tell him "Aim"……Bogey!!!!
At last the day is over and we head home to eat dinner and watch an episode of Entourage. A fine day! Its spaghetti with meat sauce for dinner!
John Prince Golf Learning Center – Day 2
We picked up our pal Billy and headed up to John Prince Golf Learning center in West Palm Beach. The men sit in front and yammer away about golf and their experience (or lack of it) telling stories about their golfing pecidillos. Cliff is telling Billy about yesterdays game, kind of like the fish that got away stories. Cliff says he was on the putting surface in 3. Billy is quiet as he has only played golf about four times in his life.
This should be an interesting night at the driving range. Billy says, “There is so much accuracy involved in golf.” Loaded statement. Cliff recounts yesterday and where he went wrong. It was a day of bogeys. Billy tells him not to get frustrated. Billy says he has to get himself a 5 wood. Men! They need all this equipment for everything, ladders, bikes, wheels, tool, boats, trailers, shovels, racquets, balls, saws…It’s never ending, men are money pits, all of them. They sure love their stuff!
Cliff coaches Billy on how to get out of a sand trap. He says not to move your head, don’t hit the sand, don’t skull it with the edge of the club. We pass the small airport and pass the strip malls and a university. I see an ad for some Mickey Dees Iced tea. That would be the ticket right now….I feel like a kid in the backseat driving with my parents. “I want a drink…I want the bathroom!” We pass the hospital where our good friend Dr Jack works. He’s a good man. He takes care of Cliff, gets him his heart medication, otherwise Cliff would have major palpitations. This is also the same doctor that sewed up Cliffs’ pigeon when it hit a wire.
We arrive at the center, it has a pro shop with all kinds of golf stuff, snacks and drinks too. Billy buys a bucket of balls for $11.00 and then tries to stop them from over flowing into his bucket as they barrel out of the ball machine. They scatter on the floor and he swears under his breath. As he heads out to the grass he says, “You should pay me for keeping Cliff company”. I say sarcastically, “Soon.”
There’s a bunch of people here tonight practicing their shots. There’s a few drops of rain, hope that it doesn’t pour. Billy and Cliff are out there, the blind leading the blind, ha ha ha ha ha, just kidding…..The driving range is wide and open. Big lights are lit up, illuminating the late afternoon sky.
I’ve known Cliff now for 12 years. He is a total perfectionist at what he does. When he took up guitar he practiced and practiced and went out and bought guitars and traded guitars and lived guitars. Then it was guns. He went to the shooting range, got his gun license, practiced at that target until he shot it clear out of sight. Then he took up BMX bikes. He found bikes on Craigslist and Ebay, rode them in the street and fell on his face.
We used to go down to a park every Monday night and he would practice riding with a bunch of 12 year old kids and here he was this 50 year old bearded man trying to keep up with these kids doing tricks on their bikes. They’d crowd around him and ask him, “How old are you Mister?” and he’d say, “25”. To them 25 was old!!!! And then the fateful night when we were at the track….Cliff is about to do a trick on the ramp and tells me he is going to go higher. He says, “Watch Heidi”. He rides up the ramp, as he always does, then something wavers on the descent, the bikes falls, he falls over the handlebars, falling flat onto his face on the hard, cold pavement. There is a moment where I believe he will get up. I wait a second. He doesn’t. I rush over to him and all the people around come rushing over too. He is out cold, his nose is bleeding, his tooth is chipped, he slowly regains consciousness. Cliff got a concussion that night and that was the end of that hobby.
Cliff is one determined guy with his hobbies and that spills into his work. For instance, Cliff likes to sleep until say, noon or one o’clock in the afternoon. But if he’s working on a movie set he will be up at the crack of dawn, showering and eating cereal, getting ready for his call time. He is up for it. He always amazes me. He has a lot of stamina, for an old guy……
I got a bit parched so I go into the pro shop to get an orange Fanta. There’s golf shoes, golf hats, golf clubs and T-shirts, funny furry animal golf club headcovers, Mojo balls, Pinacle Balls and Power Distance balls. A plaque says “Our professional staff welcomes you!” with pictures of the owner/manager, and teaching professionals.
Back outside I look over to Billy and Cliff. Billy is looking a bit winded, Cliff gives him a few pointers. Some young kids come and sit beside me, they are covered in tattoes…..Golfers in the rough.
The boys are just about done driving. Cliff claims his ball went 250 yards. Billy says he is tired and ready to go home. They are a study in opposites. Cliff has on a white t-shirt, purple shorts and sketchers. Billy is dressed in khaki shorts, a belt, a plaid shirt……Billy claims he is sweating like a hog. Cliff suggests they putt awhile.
The sun is setting, a giant orange ball of fire in the sky. There’s a few other putters out and about, they are hunched over their putters intensely staring ahead. Cliff and Billy are finally done putting, we clear out of the place. Cliff continues to exude information about Ben Hogan and tells Billy to focus on his arms. “Keep your hands at 90 degrees and keep your head down”. Billy takes it all in, I can’t tell if he is into it or not. Cliff likes this guy Ben Hogan. I guess he was a pretty smart guy about golf.
Cliff is very animated now and tells Billy to find one constant and forget about all your other body moves. Ben Hogan says your follow through should be a thing of grace and beauty. Remember this. If you remember nothing else, remember this.
Marina Lakes Golf Club – Day 3
We arrive at Marina Lakes Golf Club….It is Sunday, the day after the wrap party for the film, “Loving The Bad Man” that Cliff has worked on for a month. We had a good time last night. The party was at Eighty-Eight Keys, a club at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Hollywood. We were one of the first guests to arrive, the doorman let us in through the velvet ropes and we stepped inside the cavernous space. We sat in a booth with Eddy and his wife. Cliff has sort of explained what Eddy’s wife looked like but she looked better in person than I had imagined. Ed is a lucky guy for a shrug. (But that is a whole other book).
They handed us one free drink ticket each. Cliff ordered up a Bacardi and Coke straight up and I ordered a diet Coke, how boring….All of the crew started arriving. Its always fun seeing people with their spouses and families…So everybody got pretty buzzed and we took a lot of pictures and they were all busy slapping each other on the back and seeing who was there with who.
Now here we are at the golf course and Cliff is already in a tizzy. He had to sneak me in past the manager who was hanging around. He snuck me into the cart and we whizzed off to a hole out of sight from the starters. He lost his first ball and was inconsolable. He never found it. Then he hit another ball and did good with it. The rain looks like its approaching, it’s that late afternoon Florida rain, inevitable this time of day.
Cliff is getting happier now, he’s hitting par. He stands on the green and puts the ball in for a birdy. We are now on the 7th tee and Cliff washes his balls. He says, “With that wind on my face I’m not going to be able to drive the green.” He aims…..“Right to the left of that sand trap.” The ball is hit with a resounding whack of the 7 iron, an old piece of shit Titleist. The ball lands in front of the lake.
He takes a 9 iron and hits the ball with some advice from his old Dad, “Keep your head own Cliffy and put it by the pin.” The ball hits a tree. He finds the ball and hits again. He skulls it. He’s on the 8th tee now, wearing a large white shirt that says CREW on the back. He hits the ball but looks up. Too short. He starts to hit over the sand traps, he says it’s a hard shot. The ball goes in the sand trap….Now he’s got both balls in the sand trap.
There are a lot of trees on this golf course, they look pretty old and knarled. Condos line the outer edges, they are sort of dismal looking, like no one really lives there. You rarely see any people here watching the game….Its kind of like a ghostown….Once in a while an old person will look out the window, spooky!
Now we reach the 9th tee. Cliff hits a good shot, long. He likes it. He says, “Nike 4 iron straight at the green.” There is a tree in the way but he says no. I say he will hit the tree. He says no. There are people on the green so we wait. The rain comes closer. The people hunt for their ball. Cliff says, “If I hack this shot I am a shithead.” He swings – went perfect. He didn’t hit the tree. I was mistaken. He’s close to the pin now….He shoots it, a great shot, one away from the pin. “Aim Cliffy”, I say. He says, “This is for a birdy.” Par, missed it to tap in.
Hole # 1:
We shoot over to hole # 1 because we started in the back, so the manager wouldn’t see me. This hole is usually a tough ole for Cliff because of the water on a weird angle. He shoots…..He hits a tree. No! Wait, he didn’t hit a tree, it’s the best shot he has ever done. Oh wow! It’s a long shot, his best ever fort his hole. He wants to chip it into the pin and redeem himself. It’s short but on the green, he’s dancing. He is happy now.
He finds a Mickey Mouse ball in the sand trap….Now he’s putting on the green. He taps it in on 2. “I could be in trouble, he says…It’s on an angle, but I think I can get this in.”
Hole # 2:
This is another lake shot…Water. Water is very distracting. We wait because a dude is on the green. So we wait…and wait….Cliff nervously practices his swing. The dude leaves. Cliff lines himself up and whacks the ball hard. The ball goes over the water by the red and white boat. It’s a fade. Nice! A bird cries out, he’s mad about something….maybe we are invading his space in nature.
Cliff goes and hunts for his ball. He can’t find it! This always infuriates him. I told him to relax about that part of the game. A siren blasts in the background. We hunt for the ball. He rehits holes # 1& 2. He is a perfectionist.
The thunder rumbles all around us. He hits the ball on hole # 2. A gorgeous shot. But wait…..We hunt for the ball and cannot find it again. He wants to hit the ball. Not any ball, but that ball that is lost. He thinks the ball is stuck in the wood by the lake. He gets ready to shoot again….He aims, he whacks it. He watches carefully. The ball made it over the water and by the boat. It lands on the green. Cliff is happy!
Hole # 3:
We run into Skinny, the starter. He talks shop talk with Cliff. Skinny says, “You gotta practice putting.” Cliff says, " It’s an easy hole". He grabs a gentle 9 iron. There is something so serene about golf courses. They are so quiet and so relaxing…He shoots….A high shot and lands by the pin. Cliff says, “I’m hitting good today and no pain in my shoulder”. It’s a beautiful shot. Cliff praises his Tommy Armour Clubs.
Hole # 10:
How we got here, I don’t know, but it is a pistol. The ball seems to go either left or right. Left into the condos or right into the bushes. Today it is off to the left. It’s short. Cliff chips it in, the flag waves wildly in the wind. It is the perfect time of day now, getting a bit cooler with night coming. We love this time of day….Cliff puts the ball in Bogey 4 on ten.
Hole # 11:
There’s a wind problem. Cliff says the wind is trying to get him down. He whacks the ball hard. The ball may be in the water. Time for another ball, a Calloway. Another water shot. Cliff is talking to himself now, mutter. Mutter, mutter. He tries again. Finally it makes it in." Pull back, stroke with your hips." He says. Mutter, mutter, mutter. Aw yikes! He hurts his hand reaching into the clubs. Always an adventure!!!! The ball lands a few feet from the pin. I tell Cliff its an easy in, he tells me to put it in. I do. He takes a shot and calls a birdy for the hole.
Hole # 12:
He shoots! He’s dancing! He tells me now that he is going to keep his old golf clubs. Cliff is an Ebay addict. He loves to shop for stuff on Ebay. He loves to bid and win an auction. Who doesn’t? he’s back, got a par 3.
Hole # 13:
He says, “We’re on our way to a good nine here.” I don’t know what that means. He’s standing at the tee, driving the ball. He says, “I like it. Off to the right but we’re dancing.” He gets over to the pin and says, " Okay Heidster this is for a birdy." He misses…. “For a par.” Bogey 4.
Hole # 14:
This is a long hole with a sand trap at the end of it. He hits the ball…. Cliff exclaims, “Hello to Mr Green. That shit pounded down there. I would call that a power fade. I got a nice shot straight in.” Cliff is happy. He tells me his form now is about up now. He shoots again. A long shot dropped in by the pin. I tell him I can hit it in. He says, “Do it.” I try but miss the shot. He swings it in. We stop at the restroom, he is still talking to me even though I am outside the window. I see his head poking over the window ledge.
Hole # 15:
There are people ahead of us so we wait. Cliff goofs around. I drink my soda at last, a sip of Coke. Cliff hits the ball anyway and the dudes look up from their balls. Cliff whispers, “They were in the trap when the ball hit them.” Good going! We shuttle over there in our cart and the dudes ask us if we would like to play through. Cliff says no. He has to hit the ball over the trap and barely clears it. We drive past the crew and they watch us go by, probably glad to get rid of us. Cliff hits it in. Par 4…..
Hole # 16:
This is a very long hole. Cliff whacks the ball. “That’s down there” he says. He runs back to the cart and we shuttle down, hair flying in the wind. We see our 3 favorite ducks, a Mommy duck, a Daddy duck and Baby duck. Baby duck has gotten bigger and bigger. They are grazing on the grass. Cliff hits his shot and it flies off to the right. He’s dancing anyway. He puts it in, it’s a par! The sun sets slowly in the sky against the backdrop of the beige condos.
Hole # 17:
Cliff hits the ball. He exclaims, “A thing of beauty….” It was a shot with a 6 iron. Cliff says he needs another birdy. “How beautiful could the day turn out? Cool dry, nice…”he says as he settle into his next shot. He misses.“That was close.” Next time the ball goes in, straight down the pin. What a great day!
Hole # 18:
Here’s the quote of the day. “It’s a par 5 so I should get it in 4.” Cliff rambles on as he lays the ball down on a tree. He swings again, the ball spins off to the right. He looks perplexed. “Do I do a wood shot or do I do a metal shot?” I think he is asking me but he is really talking to himself. He picks out a metal 4 iron. He hoots the ball and it lands in a sand trap. He hits a provisionary. Now he’s dancing….He hits again, producing a Nike ball. I keep on writing….Cliff thinks I am not on his side but I am always on his side. I am his biggest fan. Bogey!
We drive past the restaurant where I once ordered fish and chips like an idiot and regretted it afterwards, the fried fish sitting like a big lump in my stomach. I was thee alone waiting for Cliff to finish a game with his buddy Clay and there were these old guys in there, betting or playing some card game. I was the only chick in the place besides the blonde waitress. So I ordered the fish and chips….never again…. We go back to the first hole to redo it. It’s a good shot about 90 yards from the pin. He says, “We have to dance.” It falls a bit short. He’s lying 3 shooting 4. He tries to sink it in…Quiet….Cliff is concentrating. He misses…..He throws the pin down on the ground. This is for a par. He sinks it in. Bogey! “Ain’t alright,” he says, “Dammit!”
He doesn’t want to quit yet. He says “One more hole”. He grabs a Titleist Pro V ball and aims at the pin. It makes it over the water but not on the green. He says, “I ain’t leaving until I get a par.” I say, Oh Jeez! So he hits the ball again, and misses. He hits it again and sinks it in for a par. Yes! We are home! But wait, now he wants to play on e more last hole…We shuttle along in the cart to hole # 18, one last time….A little cottontail bunny rabbit scoots in front of us.
He hits the ball. It is a long hard hit down the fairway. It veers off to the left. We find the ball. There’s a tree in the way….He gets a 7 iron to punch it out under the tree Birds starts to sing their night song fro the branches. Cliff hurts his arm swinging….We’re still not dancing yet…..Now his back hurts! This is torture!
The ball lands in the trap. Cliffy is finally out of steam. He takes out his Mezzuno club with a 60 degree lob wedge. He is now smiling a maniacal smile. He tries to put it in for a par. A par turns into a double bogey, a double bogey turns into a triple bogey live with a triple bogey!" We drive back to the tee. Cliff says he is out of energy. "I’m gonna shoot . No Cliff wants to play the hole again! Jeez! We will never get home! He says, “I can’t this right over the trap.” He marvels at how far he’s come fro when he first started playing.
Cliff hits the ball and hits a tree with the Nike ball. He says, “Let me put it down right by that trap.” The ball goes flying in. We hunt for the ball…In the meantime some flashing lights light up the golf course. Seems some old lady has set fire to her kitchen in her condo. More fire trucks arrive. The ball is at the 175 yards mark with a damn tree in the way. I wonder about the fire and what’s going on. The ball lands in a weird spot in the bushes. I am convinced now that we will never make it home. He swings…..The ball lands near the pin.
“This is for a birdy”, he says. He takes the pin out. “Okay Heidster, this is in for a birdy”. He misses and taps it in for a par. “Not bad, nice pitch…” he says. Finally the game was over and we headed home. I made chicken and rice for dinner and we watched Entourage on TV. Cliff went back on Ebay and looked at clubs again….Still can’t make up his mind about what he wants. I know he will find his set of dream clubs one day.
There’s some talk of the guys that made the movie are buying G studios in Miami. We’ll see if that happens. If it does maybe Cliff will have a job there making low budget movies with those people. It’s all speculative now, we’ll see what happens….Movies are pretty speculative. Take for instance the deal Cliff is trying to put together with a Movie Star….He wrote two scripts and wants to have each one made for $500,000.00 Cliff is working on putting the deal together.
Marina Lakes Golf Club – Day 4
Here we are back at Marina Lakes again for another round of golf, yes, 18 holes! Cliff seems pretty gung ho today, he is happy and energized because he didn’t work today so the energy level is high. The movie talks continue about the Movie Star scripts. We know this guy John who is a player who knows a woman deep in the industry who is willing to take a look at the project, but the boneheads haven’t gotten a synopsis to her yet. Wake up! Time to make the donuts guys!
Hole # 1:
Cliff hits the ball nice and solid and it lands in a pot right above the sand trap. He toes it out to the green. The ball ends up ten feet behind the pin, 2 shots before par. Cliff is certain he can par it. He says, “This is for a birdy.” He misses it. He walks around the course muttering to himself. He taps it in for a bogey. “You got to take your medicine,” he says, “Terrible.”
Hole # 2:
“Pain in my balls.” Cliff mutters as he lines up his next shot. He shoots it clear across the water, way down….We don’t see where it lands….He plays a provisional ball. The golf course is called Marina Lakes and there are all these old boats scattered around the golf course, looks like they were left there in a hurricane or something. The ball lands in the water. Cliff is mad because we forgot our handy dandy water ball scooper in the car….Now he is pissed off momentarily.
Cliff hunts for the ball in the water. He picks it out of the muck and takes a shot. “This is for a birdy”, he says. He taps it in for a 4. It’s a par.
Hole # 3:
Cliff sets up the shot. “I’m gonna lay this right by the flag Heidster.”he says. The ball goes flying way left of the green. As Ben Hogan says, “You only have five good strokes a round, the rest are going to be average”. I quote. Cliff hits the ball, shooting for a par. He misses and throws the pin down on the ground. A bird cries in the background, other tha the bird it is deathly quiet out here. Final verdict: Double bogey!
Cliff says he doesn’t mind mulligans because we are here to have fun! Yeah! Who is having fun? For me, shopping is fun! But this is fun too, sort of…….
Hole # 4:
This is a very long hole. Cliff hits the ball, it goes flying off to the right. So I guess we’ll be ball hunting I the trees. Ball hunters…..That’s us…..Hunting for balls…And we take any balls that we find, good ones, bad ones, bright ones, dirty ones, we don’t care. We find the ball between two trees. He needs to get on the green quick and dance. He shoots the ball, it lands about 17 feet away. He aims again, pitches the ball. “This is where Tiger excels, pitching the ball.” Yes! Tiger! What a phenomenon! The man is an inspiration to all people, whether you golf or not. Cliff says, “This is for a bogey.” He ends up with a double bogey.
Hole # 5:
Cliff says he is going to slow the pace down a bit. He carefully places his ball on the tee. He takes out a pitching wedge and tries to hit the ball nice and high. He likes the shot. The ball drops right by the pin so we’re dancing!!! Cliff says, “This is for a birdy.” He goes off to conquer the hole. Some pretty cottonwood plants line the bank of the lake and some fish swim around. It’s a a par.
Cliff picks up an 8 iron. “I’m going to nail this one good.” He says. Yesterday he hit right over the pin, today is a new day. Cliff reshoots a provisional to prove he can set it by the pin with a 9 iron. We stop at the restroom, the same place we parked once when it poured with rain, hiding under the shelter in our cart. Cliff talks from inside the restroom, he is excited about his shot. He sys he will take the best of either shot. He is shooting for a birdy. He misses, it’s a par.
Hole # 7:
This is a lake shot. He hates to lose balls in the water but that’s just part of the game. Some people in the condos are watching from their balcony. Their TV is on, you can hear it droning from the shutters. They peer out. Cliff hits the ball. We don’t know where it went. He hits a provisional. It goes way over the water and over the boat. The first shot was amazing! Twenty feet from the pin! Cliff is so happy! It’s an awesome hit! He gets closer to it…. “This is for a birdy.” He says. He misses! He throws the pin down on the ground. “Count that 4.That would be criminal not to par it.” he says. “That drive was sick.”
Hole # 8:
Lightening hits in the distance. This is a tricky hole, there are three sand traps before the pin. Its easy to drive your ball into the sand here. Cliff hits it on the green on the first shot! He used a 9 iron, hitting as hard as he could. He says, “Boy, that last drive is going to live for awhile. Sure flew man.” He puts on the green…..he rims it…..now for a bogey….No! It’s a double bogey!
Hole # 9:
Cliff washes his Titleist DT solo ball. He doesn’t think that these balls fly good so he opts for a Top Flight instead. This is a long hole, he hits a bad shot….It hits the condos! Probably scared some old lady out of her curlers! More ball hunting….The ball lands in a terrible spit right behind a big fat tree. There is no way out of this mess.
Cliff takes a swing, hitting the tree smack dab in the middle, leaves, old branches falling all over the place. “Cliff Guest having one of those terrible holes.” He is still far from the green. He tries a 7 over the trees. We find a yellow ball in the high grass. Ball hunting 101. Then we find a nice Top Flight ball….Ballerama! Now we’re 75 yards away. He grabs a pitching wedge and shoots for the pin. He’s now on the green 8ft from the pin. He bends down and says, “This is for a bogey!”
Marina Lakes Golf Club – Day 5
Hole # 10
We re starting on hole # 10 today. The movie talks continue…..Cliff grabs his 9 iron and gets ready to swing. He’s concentrating. He takes off his sunglasses and is trying a new swing, a la Ben Hogan. It goes short and straight down the fairway. The ball lands 50 feet from the pin.
So, getting back to the movie, today Cliff talked with Dave, an old buddy of his who is responsible for some major films. He is interested in the Movie Star deal, says send the specs over to him and he’ll see what can be done. Final verdict: double bogey.
Hole # 11:
Our two favorite ducks are honking on the grass. They seem a bit mad about something….And the daddy duck I missing! I wonder if he ran off with his secretary.
Cliff tees off: A powerfade straight down thru. Cliff says, “It’s short. A crappy fucking shot.” According to Cliff. He hits again and misses, it hits almost to the green.
The movie is a bit stirred up, there’s some interest, but no real players have come up to bat yet. Cliff is almost on the verge of giving up. I tell him to hang in there and keep on trying. It’s hard to get $500,000.00 No one is just going to hand it to you. Final tally: bogey.
Hole # 12:
A short hole. There’s a white boat laying off to one side. Cliff practices his swing. He hits a nice high shot, tight on the green. “This is for a birdy.” He says. It’s quiet out here except for all the birds crying. I bought a nice bird feeder at home and some doves and cardinals have been eating there. Par 3.
Hole # 13:
“Boy that muscle is starting to hurt me bad, " Cliff complains. He’s always got something wrong with him, an ache, a hernia, a backache, a stomach ache……Cliff hits the ball and it lands in the water. He hits a provisional and it goes straight but short. Time to go ball hunting……We look for the ball, one is in the sand trap and the other is a few feet away. Par 4.
Hole # 14 and #15:
This is a long hole. There’s a clubhouse at the end where all the old geezers congregate, that’s the goal, to hit it to the clubhouse. He hits it long and hard. Powerfade! The ball landed by the clubhouse. There is a bee on it. Cliff is disturbed by the bee. He scares it off. He hits the ball, it lands in the sand trap. “Bullshit.” Next shot, the ball lands on the green. Cliff hits the ball in with a few putts. Bogey.
We stop at the restroom. Cliff watches me from the window. I am surprised he’s not talking today…Must have a lot on his mind. There’s a soda machine here but we have no money on us. No soda for moi." I only got one par and the rest are bogeys," says Cliff.
Then he rambles on about powerfades as opposed to powerdraws. I have no idea what he is talking about.
Today we found out that the blues festival is cancelled this year and we were supposed to play in it. It’s money related, it got pulled due to lack of funding. Sucks….This economy is really shitty…..Even the blues can’t survive.
Cliff is holding his back. He has pulled his muscle. He hits the ball, a long shot close to the water. Actually his first shot hit a tree and then we failed to find the second elusive shot. No we go back to reshoot the ball again…..Cliff is still complaining about his back. Hope he doesn’t pull it too far out of whack. “I can’t afford to hit it again because it hurts. I can hardly breathe.”
He hits the ball straight down the fairway. The ball lands in a weird place, a hard to get to the pin place. You know, one of those weird angles that don’t make sense. Cliff grumbles about his back. The ball is now three feet from the pin. I tell him he can sink it in. He says, “This is for a birdy.” He bends over the putter….The ball goes straight in! Birdy!
Hole # 16:
An airplane flies above. It stands out because it is the only noise on the golf course. Cliff hits the ball right into the condos…A loud pop noise is heard and echoes through the golf course. Cliff laughs. We shuttle down the fairway in the cart to find the ball. We find it in front of a cracked window but Cliff will not lay claim to breaking it.
Cliff hits again. This time the ball lands on the green, about 12 feet from the pin…..Cliff analyzes the situation. He hits and misses it by a few inches. Par 4. “I can hardly breathe.”
Hole # 17:
Cliff hits the ball with a 6 iron, a Royal Scott. It goes straight and long, landing just to the right of the sand trap. I feel full from my Sprite. The only thing that keeps me happy out here in the heat. The nights are nice and cool, we love to come out here at night. Cliff is hitting over on the green. “This is for a parster.” He misses….It’s a bogey!" I played bogey golf today, not too good." he says.
Hole # 18:
Cliff washes some balls. There are a few guys ahead of us. “We have to wait for the morons to move.” Cliff says. Ha ha ha ha ha ha…..Cliff is so impatient! “We’re ready to blast!” The morons have left. Cliff gets ready to shoot. He shoots the ball into the water! He hits another ball….the ball goes down the Fairway. A good solid shot. “From here I think I’ll hit the green.”
The moes are ahead of us so we have to wait. So we wait, Cliff sits back and relaxes for the first time in the cart. The moes leave…..It’s our friend Skinny up there…..Cliff takes out a 5 wood, then changes his mind and takes out a 4 iron instead. His swing is suffering. I tell him that maybe he should stop, but no, he presses on. The ball lands 50 yards from the pin. He shoots again…..He shoots into the sand trap. He scoops the ball out in another shot and is finally on the green. He puts it in. Bogey!
Skinny happened to be driving by so Cliff asked him to play a hole with him…..Skinny is a big guy with graying hair and a nice tan. Skinny shoots the ball clear down the fairway. Time to go ball hunting again……Skinnys’ ball is off to the left near the condos. Cliffs’ ball is near the water and the sand trap. Skinny waits in his cart for Cliff to shoot. Cliff bombs. Cliff says, “The curse of Skinny.”
They both are on the green….Cliff chips the ball, getting closer to the pin. Skinny says, “Come on Daddy!” ha ha ha, that’s funny! It’s a bogey! Cliff say, “If I played Skinny over the course of time I’d get better.” True, true my friend…..
Marina Lakes Golf Club – Day 6
It’s Saturday today and we are home doing nothing. Cliff watches the race on TV and eats chips, and I go grocery shopping, some boring stuff there, but necessary. He decides he’s up for a game of golf so I say sure. It looks like its going to rain. Cliff checks his pigeons, he let some loose today, 40 of them…..Cliff raises homing pigeons. Only three have come back so far….. We head over to the golf course, passing the new pharmacy, the new townhouses, Dadas, (a restaurant) and then Doc’s (a burger joint) We live in a small town so you know pretty much what is happening in town.
We arrive at the golf course and Cliff looks for the two shmoes, Skinny and Moe. They make a deal and we get set up with a golf cart.
Hole # 1:
We ride over to hole # 1. Cliff is talking to himself, “I didn’t bring too many balls.” He notes, then he says, “I should just go straight, right?” Yes, just hit the ball straight. You see, there is a lake jutting out on this hole and its deceiving. He hits the ball…It’s a nice straight shot 125 yards from the pin. It’s a bit cool today, the kind of dampness in the air from rain. He hits again falling just short of the green. “How the hell do you do this?” he says of his new lie. He tries to pitch it to the green. The ball is now on the green, shooting for a birdy….This is a par 5 hole, so we’ll se how it turn out. He putts, tapped in for a par.
Hole # 2:
“This is a tough hole.” Cliff says. I tell Cliff to shoot it through right to the green. There’s another lake here, and a red and white boat on the other side of the lake. He shoots it 4 feet from the green. He’s now chipping for an eagle. Cliff pulls out his 6 iron, wants to see where it falls…He likes his Titleist 6 iron. “This is for an eagle.” He says. He misses. “No for a birdy.” I tell him to aim. He bends down to adjust the ball into position. “Okay, here we go…” And it is in! He jumps up and down." Damn! That was good!" he smiles.
Hole # 3:
That was one of the best holes I’ve ever hit." He laments from the last hole hit. “Ok right by the pin, I like that.” The ball is right by the pin. “That’s for a birdy.” Cliff finally bought a set of Titleist clubs. He gave in after all his internet browsing. Now he’s focused on his next shot, trying to shoot it in. “Alright, Heidi, for a birdy.” He lines up his feet, head down. It falls just short of the hole with a two inch tap for a par. “Damn that was close.” he says.
Hole # 4:
The tee is way back today. “That was nice, nice”…..He still is raving about his last hole. Now he looks determined, hitting far away….“Not very good, this is a hard hole.” The ball goes off to the left under a tree. We shuttle over to the ball. There are now a bunch of trees in the way. “I’m gonna play a splice through the trees” he says. He analyzes the shot. He misses, he tries again….The ball hits the water. The slice didn’t work….He tries again…the ball goes straight. He hits the ball again, it goes over the roof. “Don’t look up.” Now he’s shooting for a par. He’s about 20 feet from the pin. The red flag is still, no wind today…Birds chirp. He putts the ball, hits the hole and works over it. Sucks! He taps it in for a bogey 5.
Hole # 5:
Cliff is having a relaxed day today. He’s pretty happy, for a crazy guy like himself. He grabs a pitching wedge and plans to hit it right to the pin. It goes off to the right. “I got a sneaking suspicion I wasn’t aimed right.” Now here comes a pain in my balls, this is going to be a pistol" he says. He hit it. “Bad aim.” He’s on the green shooting for a par. He ended up tapping it in for a bogey.
Hole # 6:
He picks out an 8 iron to hit with. He usually uses a 9 iron or a wedge, but today it’s the 8. He tries to get the ball to the pin. It’s off to the right, right off the green. He’s happy. He stops to use the can. “My back hurts me,” he says. Here we go with the backache again. “I’m putting better today…that #2 hole was sweet as molasses.” We continue on down the pin area. He talks about his Titleist clubs. I had just bought him a set of Tommy Armour Clubs but he upgraded to Titleist. It’s a habit of his, no matter what you give him he always has to go out and buy something better. Must be a sickness in the mind from childhood, or something. Oh well……Maybe he needs a richer girlfriend. If you gave him a Mercedes he’d probably go out and buy a Maserati anyway.
He hits his shot, falls just 2 feet from the pin. He takes the pin out, he misses….Taps it in for a bogey. “Back to bogey golf.” he says.
Hole # 7:
This hole always feels like someone is watching from their window. There’s one condo that always has a little eyehole cut out, like someone sits there and watches you…….Cliff hits the first ball, no good. He hits another ball and tries to slice it around the corner. It hooked. It actually went a long way down. He tales out a 6 iron and tries to hit a gentle hit to the pin. The ball goes to the left behind some bushes. He hits a provisional. The ball landed so the green. He hunts in the bushes for the 1st ball. It is like a scene from Hee Haw where the bushes talk, he is in the weeds talking to himself, like a nutty scientist. He emerges. “Not a bad shot, just a tad long.” We’re on in 2. “I shall be back with a par.” he says. He scopes out the lie. “Damn! It’s a downhill lie too!” He hits the ball and it almost make sit to the green. He misses by 4 feet. He taps it in. Bogey 5.
Hole # 8:
“This has got to be a damage hole here, I’m going in on 1”, he says. It’s a classic Cliff Guest quote right out of history. This hole is a very tricky hole with 3 sand traps. He hits the shot. It goes right into the sand trap.
So the movie deal may be changing. Cliff wants to control the money if they get it so now he’s unwilling to hand it over to The Movie Star to produce. It changes everything. We’ll see what happens. No he’s shooting for a par. He hits the ball, he misses. Bogey.
Hole # 9:
Clifford wants to hit a long distance ball on this hole. It is a long hole so I guess that you have to hit really hard and really straight. I am glad that Cliffy is in a good mood today. He hits the ball and duffs it. He hits the 2nd ball, it hits the condos! Now he has hurt his back. He writhes in pain, swearing and moaning. Damn it! Then we go ball hunting. We find the 1st ball….Far away from the pin. He hits it again “I like that”, he says. The next hit goes a good distance, right onto the green. “This is for a birdy.” He says. He throws the pin on the ground, circles the ball, positions the ball. “This is for a legitimate birdy.” He misses! The ball rims out. It’s a par, par 5.
We played the last hole but I didn’t want to bore you with the details. Its almost time to go home and then Cliff decides to play 3 bonus holes…This is his hole withdrawl time, time to tear himself away from the golf course.
Lakeview Golf Club – Day 7
What a treat! Today we’re playing a new golf club. It’s an executive course, about 3000 yards long. Cliff says it’s a short course. Piece of cake right? We walked into the pro shop and Cliff was gagging around with the representative behind the counter. Then the man politely requested that next time Cliff wear a collar on his shirt.
Hole # 1:
A very short hole. Cliff hit the ball twice. Par 3.
Hole # 2:
A slightly longer hole. The first shot was a bad hit, way short of the green. He shoots again….He toed it! He looked up….It’s an uphill struggle…He hits a tree. Then he’s on the green…..Then he’s shooting for a par….There are a bunch of black crows calling out to each other and flying around….Hitchcock! Cliff finally sinks the ball in. Bogey!
Hole # 3:
Cliff says, “This is a wedge shot.” But instead he picks out a 9 iron. The holes here are so close to each other and it looks so easy……This should be a breeze for him. The ball falls short of the pin. “This is going to be hard here.” He says. He practices swinging. He hits the ball 4 feet short of the pin. I can smell someone barbequing nearby. It smells good. The houses here are so close to the green, you can see right inside them. Bogey!
Hole # 4:
A beautiful white Ibis is grazing near the water. Cliff lines up his shot. He shoots into the houses. The Ibis is unfazed. “Absolutely terrible.” he says. Cliff is horrified. He tells me to remind him not to hit anything but the tees today. We are still not near the green. We go ball hunting….The ball is by the edge of the water, about 40 yards from the pin. Cliff uses a pitching wedge and soon he’s dancing. “This is for a birdy” he says. It’s a downhill hit…..Just missed the hole. Bogey!
Hole # 5:
Another short hole. He says this is not so easy. “Alright”. He aims at the pin. The ball is short.The yellow flag waves in the wind. Cliff take ai again…the ball is not at the green yet. “This is for par.” He says. 1 more putt and he’s in. “Goes to show you that this hole is not so easy, I’m struggling for a bogey.” He puts it in in 5.
Hole # 6:
“Here’s another one I have to pound pretty good.” He looks through his golf bag. “I guess you can hit this with a driver.” He says. He whacks at the ball. “I hit it too lite, you got to pound it here.” He tries a provisional ball….“Off to the left.” The ball is by a fence. “This is a very misleading golf course.” He says. He hits the ball out onto the green. “Shooting for a birdy.” He says. He misses. Par.
There’s a “Caution Traffic” sign ahead of us as we cross the road to get to the next hole. The drone of a television is on in the background and I think of whipping up some Pina coladas in the blender.
Hole # 7:
There’s restrooms and sodas at this hole. No Pina coladas though….Cliff says the course is very deceptive. He lines up his first hit. “I just beat that as hard as I could and it’s short.” Didn’t make the green eh? Too bad, try again……
There are a lot of homes surrounding the golf course and it is very inviting. Cliff rambles on about his shots. “Now if that was aimed right it would have been nice.” Now he’s on the green, going to putt the last ball in. He lines it up. “Okay, in for a par.” He says…..He makes it!
Hole # 8:
We arrive at the hole but don’t see the pin. It’s around the corner, outta sight…..Cool man! There’s a lake here with a bunch of ducks splashing around and enjoying themselves in the afternoon sun.
Cliff hits the ball around the corner…..It looks like it went in the lake. He hits another ball….The ducks are a riot! They are so cute, I wish that I had some bread for them. We hunt for the first ball, it’s near the water. His second ball is closer to the green…..Cliff’s back muscles start to spasm….He can hardly breathe. More adventures with Clifford. He hits the ball downhill." For a birdy." He puts the ball in. “The key is to come around that side.” he says.
Hole # 9:
150 yards to the green. He says, “I am going to hit my 6 iron very gently…..This is a Cliff Guest Sr. shot!” Cliff Guest Sr. was his Dad, a Miami homicide cop. He taught him all he knew about golf and all the other sports they played together. His Dad was great!
The green grass here looks like a velvet carpet shimmering in the sun. The shot hit the golf cart path somewhere down there. “I hope I can find my ball, it’s a brand new one.” Cliff hits a provisional, a much better shot. We go ball hunting….We find the first ball and move onto the second ball. He pitches it onto the green. He puts it in, a double bogey!
Hole # 10:
“This should be a damn birdy hole, just smack it straight down.” he says. He looks at the pin. He duffs the ball and throws his back out again….We ride out to the ball. Now he’s got a good 75 yards away from the pin. He hurts his back again as he hits the next shot.Not good. I tell him maybe he should stop. He says, “No way.” He decides to replay the hole again from the beginning……So the ball is in the tee….He hits it with his Nike driver, way down and far off to the left. “I can hardly breathe” he is in pain. I say nothing. We ballhunt and find the culprit. He swings again…Into a tree this time. He yells, “Are you kidding me????” Now he’s on the green. “Still shooting for par.” He says. I like the houses on this green, very cozy looking. Bogey.
Hole # 11:
Cliff says, “This is hard……You have to have complete control over a short game.” He shoots it off to the left. He hits again, he ball lands 2 feet from the pin. “Now in for a birdy.” He says. Birdy!
Hole # 12:
Another short hole. I think it looks so easy so he says, “Why don’t you do it?” I can’t even hit the damn ball so who am I to talk…..I am just a spectator. He hits the ball. It actually hits the pin. Almost a hole in one!! Now it lies about 8 feet from the pin. He putts it in….Bogey. Cliff says, “I have to slow right down.”
Hole # 13:
There’ a sand trap on this hole….Very tricky, those sand traps. Cliff washes some balls…We look at the marker. Its 107 yards to the pin. He hits his first ball straight into the wind. By doing this, he also hurst his back. “I got to wait until I am fully healed.” Yeah, no kidding! But he presses on, you know, like a machine. We shuttle over to the ball. He hits again…….He gets over the sand traps and the ball lands a few feet from the pin. “This is for a par.” He says. The ball rims out…..Bogey!
Hole # 14:
A very friendly duck comes over to greet us. I think he is looking for food!!! He wags his tail feathers and quacks….He looks very inquisitive. Of course, I have no bread for him but make a mental note to bring some the next time we golf here. There are loads of ducks here….Cliff hits the ball and hurts his back again….Now more ducks surround us, all looking nosy. One of the ducks takes a dump on the ground. Nice!!! Cliff is suffering…He takes two Advils. “Too much pain.” He says. More stress he doesn’t need.A squirrel scampers around ahead of us. I like squirrels, we have a lot of them in Canada. Should have been our native animal instead of the Beaver…Cliff is not good. He’s too stressed out now. He putts the ball in…..A bogey!
Hole # 15:
There are no movie deal talks today, it’s Labor day weekend…..Quiet on that front. We are buy a new computer to edit on so that’s a plus. Cliff takes aim of the ball….He tries to swing but his back is aching now…I begin to wonder if this game will be cut short. “This is for a par,” he says. He positions the ball and swings….Slowly….It’s in. Nice!!!!
Hole # 16:
Cliff is still at it. What a stubborn man! I told him to top but he is determined to finish this game. He hits, it’s just short of the green. Somewhere someone is grilling steaks. Mmn mmn, they smell good! “Hey, can we come over and eat?” Ha ha, sure.
Cliff is shooting for a par now. He surveys the ball…..He walks over to it and analyzes it. He positions it, once, twice……He takes the pin out….and…he misses…..Now in for a bogey!
Hole # 17:
This is a nice hole, has a kind of cul-de-sac feeling with a big house at the end of it. Cliff shoots and misses the green. There’s a 2 storey house out here that we both like that is for sale…have to get the price. Wouldn’t it be nice to live on the green? Cliff sees a homer pigeon in the sky. He wonders if its one of his birds, he released some yesterday. Maybe it’s his bird looking for home….Or following him maybe??? Who knows? Pigeons are pretty smart birds…..So now he’s on the green, getting ready to shoot the ball…It rims the hole!!! Finally it’s in, double bogey!
Cliff now reshoots the last 3 holes so I will spare you the details.
Hole # 18:
The Advil is kicking in and ole Cliffy feels much better now. He’s gung ho on finishing the day and even reshooting more holes. What a nut! Here we are at the 18th hole waiting for moron # 1 and moron # 2 to leave up ahead of us…..Finally Cliff hits the ball, it goes long, slicing into the houses. (No back pain this time). The smell of BBQ is everywhere….Cliff hits the ball into a guys’ yard who is lounging in his Jacuzzi and Cliff asks him to get out of the tub and pick up the ball. The man sheepishly got out of the tub, soaking wet in his shorts and threw the ball at Cliff.
Cliff redoes the hole again, so we ride back to the tee….He takes his first shot. It’s along shot into a tree. “Not a pain in my body.” He says, feeling good now….Advil taking effect……We search for the ball through a batch of mushrooms……He hits again, “This is for a birdy.” He scopes out the shot, positions, prepares himself…It goes in….He misses….Bogey!
As you may have guessed, that was it. We roll around to the front of the clubhouse and Cliff asks the starter what time they throw people off. The starter looks at his watch and says, “About 45 more minutes.” Cliff asks if he can play another last hole and the starter agrees. We replay the first hole again and leave. Thank God for Advil…..Now home to get on with a barbeque!
“I’ll be back with a par.”
“This is for a birdy.”
“Someday I’m gonna reach the green here.”
“I got balls everywhere.”
“Look at this, over the trap.”
“It’s gonna hit the house!”
“Gonna do some damage today.”
“It’s just a tad off to the left.”
“This is not easy.”
Nothing like a lazy day on the greens……..