Did you hear about the guy in Chattanooga who won a Big Game
lottery jackpot worth $60 million and went out and bought
himself a golf course?
All my life I've wanted my own golf course. I dream of calling
the starter and asking, "Any way you can squeeze me in for a
round?" and having him answer, "All we got left is 6 a.m. until 7
p.m. Will that work?"
If I felt like playing 27, I could. If I felt like playing 54, I
could. If I felt like playing from the 14th tee into the
deep-fat fryer, stark naked on a unicycle, I could. Overnight, I
guarantee you, my handicap would drop to a four. That's because
I would turn par into a radio station, say, 103.5.
Not that there wouldn't be rules. Oh, there would be rules at
--No collared shirts. They all look like an explosion at the
Dutch Boy plant anyway. No kilties, either. And none of those
ridiculous screw-you sunglasses.
--No men's locker room. That's what the trunk of your car's for,
right? Or can't you get through your day without Vitalis, Bay
Rum and Old Tom Morris's comb soaking in blue formaldehyde?
--No tee times for women. No tee times for kids. No tee times
for men. If you can play in less than 3 1/2 hours, get out
there. If not, we've saved the midnight-to-2 a.m. window for you.
--Come to think of it, all you get is 3 1/2 hours. After that,
the carts run out of juice and the caddies hop the fence--with
your Pings over their shoulders.
--No mulligans, breakfast balls, Clintons or
hit-till-you're-happys. You don't have to prove to us you can
smother-blade a driver twice in a row. We believe you. Besides,
the first hole is a 23-yard, downhill par-3 from an elevated tee
to a huge funnel green. We love seeing people make holes in one.
We also love drinking free.
--No practice swings. We've seen your practice swing. It's slow,
graceful and bears absolutely no resemblance to the hideous chop
you end up using, so why bother?
--No cell phones, either. There's a $10 fine for incoming calls,
$25 for outgoing. One thing we don't need on our backswing is
you discussing the freaking Acme account.
--Take a caddie or a cart, but we think you'll like the caddies.
They get a $20 bonus if they get you home in three hours, and
they usually do. That's partly because they have you hitting
from the women's tees.
--Mandatory betting. What do you think this is, the Walla Walla
First Presbyterian Four-ball? As our head pro, Two Down, likes
to say, "If you're not betting, you're just going on a very long
walk in very ugly pants." And if you get a little upside down in
your wagers, don't worry. Two Down gives fast and friendly auto
--No duck-hooking into the adjacent fairway just to stop the
beverage-cart girl. One comes with every foursome.
--No plumb-bobbing without a Ph.D. in physics. Like anybody knows
how to do it anyway. If a caddie sees you plumb-bobbing, he'll
confiscate your putter and make modern art out of it.
--No pacing off yardage. Does it really matter whether you're
230 or 231 yards from the hole? That's still three seven-irons
and a canoe for you.
--No out-of-bounds. White stakes are for albino vampires. If you
can find your ball, hit it. If you can't find it, hit it from
where you think you would've found it. If you can't decide where
you would've found it, return to the cart, reach into the glove
box, pull out the complimentary copy of Quilting for Fun and
Profit and begin reading.
--If it's within the leather, it's good. If it's within the
Bertha, it's good. If it's something that a Bruneian slave would
give the Sultan, it's good.
After the round, come on in for All You Can Pour Night. The
hot-tub massages are free, the cigars are smuggled, and the mook
who answers the phone never heard of you.
Oh, and if you don't feel up to driving home, stay the night
next door at Courtyard by Hooters.
You might as well.
Two Down will have sold your car.
COLOR PHOTO: DANA FINEMAN/SYGMA
If I felt like playing from the 14th tee into the deep-fat
fryer, stark naked on a unicyle, I could.