On the event of my son Eric’s 13th birthday, he expressed a desire to go golfing on a “Real” golf course rather than the Par 3 course we typically visit. It was quite a day and as you might imagine, he was more excited about the opportunity to drive the cart rather than play golf. As we approached the 1st Tee, I mentioned that he could hit from the Red tees as they were the Junior tees. He informed me that Uncle Rich said he should never ever hit from the Red Tees as they were only for girls. Thanks Uncle Rich, at least you didn’t share with him the penalty for not hitting your drive further than the Ladies tee.
During our round at the fine Twin Rivers golf course the 7th hole is an intimidating 175 yard Par 3 over water to an elevated “island” green (It only has water around 3 sides but it is referred to as the island green here). As Eric drove the cart up to the tee box – screeching the tires to a loud and typically Mooney entrance, he looked at the hole and very quietly asked if he could hit from the Red tees on this hole. This would still require him to have a 100 yard carry over the lake. I told him he could hit from the Junior tees at anytime. As we waited for the foursome on the green to finish, the gentleman occupying a sales tent on the tee box came over to tell us of his amazing offer – some discount card that we were not interested in. If we purchased a card we got a sleeve of balls. If we landed on the green, it was half-off the price, yada, yada, yada…..
The guy was a personable as a salesman can be and told Eric that if he made it over the water, he would give Eric a sleeve of balls, no obligation. This put even more pressure on the kid but he was excited to try. In typical Mooney fashion, he lined up his shot, aiming well left of the target. He made sure to keep his head down and began his swing with all of the strength and coordination his body could muster. As the gallery of two looked on the clubhead accelerated towards the ball, his body weight shifted, and the club followed a perfect arc, up through the warm Florida air, helicoptering 40 yards before shattering the quiet with a loud SPLASH! The ball sat atop the tee, untouched and still perfectly dry. The salesman and the young golfer looked at me in horror, wondering what my reaction would be…….And I let out my loudest laugh of a truly hysterical day just in time for another foursome to arrive at the tee box. The salesman gave Eric the sleeve of balls, thanking him for the best laugh he had in a while. Eric was Mooney enough to laugh at himself, take out his 3 Wood and promptly plunk one of his new balls into the drink. Before we left, the salesman asked Eric to pose for a picture than can be seen on his website.
And yes, I did clear the water and chipped up close enough to make par – and of course missed the putt……