When I last blogged about golf, it was to decry the insufferably clueless crowds meandering about a San Francisco golf course I was playing. Most of the intruders never knew how close they came to being struck by a ball as they loitered about tee boxes, greens, and fairways. See Golf no refuge from “the Madding Crowd.”
I archaically referred to them as “the Madding crowd,” as in frenzied, foolish and harebrained. But as I’ve come to find out, beyond the game’s natural hazards, there’s a lot more that can disturb golfing tranquility. My playing partner’s tale of his nose-to-nose confrontation was just a recent example. But as the tales revealed here suggest, it’s the real world’s dangers from which golf offers no refuge.
I’m not talking about unrefined, impolite golfers who get in your face over slow play or over an errant ball inadvertently sent into their field of play. And I’m not necessarily referring to confrontations that actually turn physical like that of the 33-year old man who took a six-iron to the face of another golfer over slow play. See “Six-iron assault on golf course ends in likely prison term for Puyallup man.”
Or even about a hopped-up hothead who objects to golfers skipping ahead a few holes to speed up play and stabs the golfer with a broken golf club. See “Man gets trial date for alleged assault on golf course.” And that’s not to mention the angry golfer from Peoria, Arizona who showed a 12-year old what happens when anyone touches his golf ball, “Peoria Man charged in golf-club assault on boy in Goodyear.”
No, I’m talking about real nasty crime on the golf course such as the butt-ugly attempted robbery of the Salt Lake City, Utah Central Valley Golf Course Pro Shop by a 48-year old man who disguised his face with men’s underwear while brandishing a knife. Hopefully, the underwear were clean. See “Underwear donning robber apprehended after brief pursuit.” (pun apparently unintended in that “Deseret News” headline.
Or of the “Golfers, caddy robbed at a Milwaukee country club” who gave up their money at gun point to a robber who’d been hiding in the adjoining woods on the 16th hole at the Brynwood Country Club. Intrepid souls, the four golfers and their two caddies finished their round notwithstanding the stick-up. Moreover, no golfers canceled their rounds even after the armed robbery was reported.
Murder most foul.
But unfortunately, the latest instance of real world intrusion on the game of golf occurred this past January. It was in Deerfield, Florida when a golfer was shot and killed during an armed robbery. He and his companion had been sitting in their golf cart after having just taken pars on the 16th hole when two armed thugs in ski masks tried to rob them. See “A Golf Course Shooting Shakes the Notion of Refuge.”
This last violent incident gives pause. Besides being hit by a ‘shankapotomous,’ I’d thought the only real world danger besides the occasional golf club-toting assault was possibly getting snakebit by a rattler in the desert rough. But now it seems that besides worrying about lousy golf shots and ectothermic, amniote vertebrates, golfers need to also remain conscious of additional hazards, those that are feloniously man-made.