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First Gators, Now Sinkholes?

I play a lot of golf. I run into a lot of odd situations. But this guy in Missouri takes the cake! He had a hole in one on the 14th fairway…

A sinkhole, that is!

Mark Mihail was checking the distance for his friend Mike Peters when he was swallowed whole by a 15 foot deep sinkhole. His friend had turned to get a club from his bag and when he turned to face Mihail, he was gone!

After figuring out that he had fallen into a hole in the fairway, his friends got together with the course manager to try to help him. Mark Mihail had injured an arm as he fell, so he was unable to use it to help himself get out. One of his friends climbed down to help him by tying a jacket around him like a harness then tying the jacket to a rope. The friends outside the hole pulled him up to safety, but Mihail said he thought it was the end, when he felt himself falling into the hole.

Friends: Mihal's friends, pictured, managed to hoist him out of the hole by tying a rope around his waist

Get in the hole! Astonishing moment a 15ft sinkhole swallowed a GOLFER as he walked along the fairway of course near St Louis
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2292176/Mark-Mihal-sinkhole-15-ft-sinkhole-swallows-golfer-St-Louis-course-rescued-friends.html#ixzz2PWaaB9HT
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He could have used one of these in his golf cart:

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Tees-ing On The Course

As a permanent amateur golfer, I can play as good as I want to and not have to worry about ticking off a sponsor. I like to play for cash, but I do it against whoever I get paired up with. When we are waiting in line to tee off at the first hole, I will strike up a conversation with my mark (partner).

I will ask him if he has a handicap, and I usually reply to whatever they answer with ‘my handicap is my golf swing…’

After a few minutes, I ask them if they want to make the game a little more interesting. They usually respond negatively. Once in a while I find a cocky golfer, who wants to bet on the outcome of 18 holes, each 9 holes and on each individual hole. I enjoy those, because I can usually play just good enough to beat the wallet off of those guys.

dontbesuchatees

When playing for money, you have to get into the other guy’s head. Make them think they are better than they are, then irritate them into making mistakes. At the same time, I will typically drink my tequila shots whenever I lose a hole and only offer some to the mark if they look at it longingly… actually, I usually will lose the first couple holes and take my shots – then when I win the next one, I pour one for them and if they don’t take it, I start with the teasing about how they want me to have the advantage.

“I seem to shoot better when I start figuring out which ball to hit. When I only see one, my shots always seem to go to the left.”

It works. By the 9th hole, I have a pretty nice stash of cash in my pocket and the mark is unable to hold their putter straight.

But I have found the fun in teasing golfers who are not even in my party. It never fails that either the party in front of me or the one immediately behind me comments on the gator head protruding from the front of my golf cart. (I mounted the stuffed gator head about 3 years ago when I found it in a yard sale… an instant conversation starter) They start with “are you a Gator Fan?”

“Only when they eat golfers…”

That gets their ire up, and eventually they want to place a wager on who will survive the 15th hole. I counter with a wager on who wins the 18 holes…

Of course, I don’t leave them alone during the balance of the day. When they are in front, I aim for their cart on the tee shot. I can usually bank one off the roof and get an extra 20 yards. It totally ruins their concentration and they fall behind… unless they run over my ball and make it impossible to find.

The guys behind me will typically get the show. I will play so slow that they end up asking to play through (where I can get target practice) or they start bouncing their shots off my cart and into the woods. Either way, I tend to win.

But the time I really lost my cool was when someone poured a bottle of Habanero Hellfire in my tequila bottle… I had already had three shots, so at first I didn’t feel the slow burn in my throat. But when I lifted my leg to cut a really loud one while the party in front of me was putting, I set fire to the seat (of the cart and my pants). I howled for about 10 minutes and dragged my behind through the high grass. I figured out who had done it by the unbridled laughter coming from the green.

That was the week I started carrying spare pants with me in my golf bag.

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Oh Ranger!

I’ll never forget the time that the citrus truck overturned on the highway. We had oranges covering the hillside for a week. Some kids (I will refrain from calling them punks) thought it would be funny to fill the back of their pickup truck with oranges and then park near the 5th green and throw oranges at the golfers trying to putt. They kept the ranger busy that day.

I usually saw the ranger twice a day on the course, once as I was arriving and once as I was leaving. He knew better than to bother me on the course, because I would set traps for him. He got tired of having to get his golf cart towed back to the clubhouse, so he started watching from afar. I think it is his little RC helicopter that flies just out of earshot along the tree line.

That day, the pu… I mean kids were behind a copse of trees near the 5th green, and I was teeing up for my drive to that green. The guys in front of us were trying to putt, but the orange barrage was making it difficult. As one was lining up his shot, the other was standing in front of him, blocking the oranges from hitting his opponent. I never carry any electronics with me, but my opponent had a smart phone and was taking videos of the guys dancing with their putters.

I saw a fluttering motion near the trees, and realized the ranger’s RC helicopter was trying to go around the trees to get a better look at where the oranges were coming from. Suddenly, three oranges headed straight for the helicopter. The ranger was definitely getting better at driving that thing, because he avoided the first two oranges with some really tight maneuvering, but the third one grazed it enough to get it spinning wildly.

I almost laughed when the helicopter bounced off of the guy putting. I would have laughed really hard, but at that moment, an orange bounced off of my forehead. The pun… kids had brought reinforcements. I looked around, but my assailant had backed into the trees. “This means war,” I hissed to my opponent.

I watched to make sure the kid was not getting ready to throw another one, and I hurriedly drove my ball all the way to the green. I was surprised that I had done that, since this was a par 4. But not as surprised as the guy putting. He hit his ball right into the sand trap on the opposite side of the green.

“Sorry!” I yelled. I didn’t understand the tirade coming back at me, but I assumed it did not have a whole lot of loving words in it.

While Old Man McGee got his ball teed up, I switched out my club for my aluminum baseball bat. I carried it in case of gator attacks on the 15th hole, but this was going to work out for knocking oranges back at the kids throwing them. I stood between the trees and Old Man McGee, anticipating that another attack would be forthcoming while he was swinging.

The situation on the green had deteriorated. The helicopter, after crashing into the guy I had scared, had finally righted itself and climbed to a position where the ranger could see everything. The oranges had not stopped, but instead of aiming at the helicopter, they had settled on the slower moving targets on the green. Two bounced off of the guy who was in the sand trap, who finally picked up his ball and ran to the cart. His opponent managed to concentrate (get it? Concentrate?) long enough to get his putt off, but one of the oranges hit his ball on its way to the hole and stopped it dead. I couldn’t tell until I got there a few minutes later, but his ball was actually driven into the green about an inch. The divot was perfectly ball shaped.

Golfer number two ran around the trees with his putter, but came running back in front of 4 oranges that struck him in the head, back, left arm and behind the right knee. That last one made him fall in an awkward position and sent him sailing into the sand trap just vacated by golfer number one. He would have been fine if Old Man McGee’s tee shot didn’t miraculously arrive at that moment and put a knot on the forehead of golfer number two.

Old Man McGee was still yelling “fore” when he saw the ricochet straight toward the cup. Luckily for me, the ball stopped 3 feet away.

The ranger had forgotten about his helicopter. He was driving his cart out from his hiding place and driving straight toward the origin of those infernal oranges. A few new ones bounced harmlessly off of his windshield, and I could hear the ranger shouting into his radio to call the sheriff. He should have waited for backup.

A couple of the kids had slipped into a ditch that ran parallel to the path that the ranger had taken. They popped up from their hiding place and threw oranges for all they were worth. They each got three good throws, and all of them hit the ranger. The last two caught him as he was unbalanced and knocked him clean out of his golf cart, which immediately came to an abrupt stop. So did the ranger. He rolled twice and crashed into a bush that totally engulfed him.

A barrage of oranges flew into the bush, followed by a barrage of cursing coming out of the bush. When the ranger finally emerged from the bush, I could see the rage in his face from way over where I was standing. I heard the screeching of tires and saw the pickup truck head up the road toward town.

I think the kid hiding in the trees near my position realized that he had just been left behind, because I heard him start crashing through the trees toward the road. I could tell he didn’t have a machete, because he was not getting anywhere very fast. These woods are thick with vines, branches and poison ivy. I decided pursuit was not necessary, as karma was about to turn the tables on this one. Old Man McGee was pretty oblivious to the whole scene, he was still celebrating his amazing tee shot – pointing to the bottle of Single Malt Scotch sticking out of his golf bag, “You’re going to be taking a couple shots after I sink that putt.”

The ranger had gotten back into his cart and was following the pickup truck up the road. The two golfers in front of us were on their way to the 6th tee. Things were almost back to normal, except for the part where we had to drive around oranges to get to the green. I parked on the cart path and selected my putter, amazed that my ball was still on the green after the barrage of oranges had taken out the two golfers before us. I picked up the oranges that littered the green and rolled them to the edge of the green so I could get a shot at the cup. I usually could handle a long putt, but Old Man McGee had put some pressure on me with that comment about my having to drink two shots after this hole.

You see, Old Man McGee and I make our golf games interesting by wagering a shot of our favorite alcoholic beverage that we are going to win a particular hole. Loser drinks one shot per stroke difference of the winner’s beverage. I had tequila, he had scotch. Neither of us was excited about drinking the other person’s drink, so we played extra hard – including using psychological tactics. I had won a few of the holes recently, and was feeling pretty good about this one, too. I imagined we would be tied at two strokes apiece after I sank this putt.

The flag was still on the ground next to the sand trap, so I didn’t have to touch it. I lined up my shot. The slope was in my favor, so I tapped it just enough to get it into the natural funnel of the green and the ball traveled the rest of the way into the cup!

After watching me do my celebration dance for a sew seconds, Old Man McGee muttered that I lucked out on that one. Then he took careful aim. He steadily glided his putter above the surface of the green and made contact with the ball. It had just the right speed, the right trajectory… it arrived at the rim of the cup… and the radio controlled helicopter fell right on the ball and drove it into the sand trap on the other side of the green.

I looked at Old Man McGee. “I’ll go start pouring your tequila shots.”

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Turn That $#!] Down!

Golf is not for the timid. I love to shoot 36 holes on a Sunday, especially during hunting season. I have to carry an extra bag for my firearms.

But that is not what I am here to talk about. The new golfer, Harvey, is irritating. He sticks out like a neon golf ball in a sand trap! He buys all the latest Bubba Watson gear, but that is not the most irritating part. It is that dagnabbin (this blog is a “G” rated blog, so I am being very nice right now) iPhone he has to have with him.

OMFG (this means Old Man From Gainesville – he was a very irritating person, too, but he only shouted incessantly at everyone around him for the entire 18 holes)… Harvey has to look at that thing for every shot. I thought we paid caddies for that. He uses the laser level app to check the slope of the green, the weather app to check wind direction and speed and then he plays that music…

I didn’t think those iPhones had it in them… the speakers can put out some sound!

He was playing tunes (putting it mildly) that were scaring the gator from the 15th hole so bad that only his tail was visible in the center of the lake. Then he used the thing to take a picture of the gator. It wasn’t bad during the first three holes (yes, I was paired up with him, lucky guy that I am). But at the fourth hole, he actually talked to the thing, “Which club should I use, Siri?”

Before I could reply that my name was Alvin and not Siri, the phone answered him. “Well, Harvey, since you are on the 4th hole, which is a long par 3, and you have a bad habit of slicing with the 9, I recommend you use the 8 and swing a little slower than you usually do.”

I was still wondering how it knew he was on the 4th hole (I could use that for those times when I play against Old Man McGee – loser of a hole drinks a shot of Single Malt Scotch for each stroke above the winner we were – since after losing three holes to him, I had a hard time figuring out where I was), when he put the ball right on the green with only a three foot putt to go. Glad we weren’t doing shots.

I wasn’t concentrating, still had that Siri thing on my mind, and I put my shot right in a squirrels nest halfway up the pine tree behind the green. I tried coaxing the squirrel into dropping the ball onto the green, but he was still mad at getting awakened so abruptly. I took the penalty strokes and ended up finishing the par 3 with 6.

 

Next hole was not much better. I must have been a little irritated, because I swung so hard at the ball that I saw Sponge Bob’s face cringe right before my driver connected with his nose (yes, I was using a Sponge Bob ball) and sliced him into the golf cart and ricocheted him into the deep woods.

I was going to go looking for Sponge Bob, but I must have scared Harvey when I pulled out the machete. He screamed and started swinging his driver at me (he didn’t even ask Siri which club would be best for beaning a machete wielding attacker – I think she would have chosen a 5 iron, not a driver). He got close a couple of times before I chopped the head off the club… Big Bertha’s head went careening off toward Sponge Bob in the deep woods. I put the machete back in my bag and pulled out a new Sponge Bob ball.  I was already mentally calculating how much Scotch I would be drinking if I were playing Old Man McGee.

Three holes later, I had opened the secret compartment in my golf bag, and was drinking straight from the bottle of Jose Cuervo. Forget shots… I was in pain! This guy was pummeling me each and every hole. During the small talk between shots, he had explained that he had only started golfing two months ago after attending an expensive Bubba Watson golf clinic. I told him I had just started this morning (obviously I lied…).

I was hoping to scare him with the gator on 15, but no, he had to have that loud music banging away. I was tempted to push him in the lake, but I was having my own challenge staying upright. The holes between 4 and 15 had been a literal blur, with occasional slugs of tequila as defining moments. I knew we only had 3 more holes after this and I could go back to playing with one of the regulars.

We almost finished 15 without much of an incident. I had found a couple of cigarette butts at the tee and I had stuffed them in my ears (don’t try this yourself – it took me three weeks to get all of that tobacco out of my ears). So I shot my par without a thought about the Siri wielding guy beside me. I was stumbling back to the golf cart when I realized that my opponent was not there. The idiot had overshot the green on his drive and plunked his only golf ball into the lake. He was wading in and poking around with a brand new, never christened with mud, ball retriever. I didn’t have the heart to tell him that the retriever extended to almost 15 feet. His Bubba Watson shoes looked pretty sad when he stepped out of the water.

The gator had had the last straw, too. It was one thing to play terrible music on the golf course, but to actually encroach on its turf… that was too much. I never saw that tail move so fast in my life! It looked like a little motorboat stirring up an incredible wake straight toward my geek opponent! I pulled the aluminum baseball bat out of my bag and half ran, half rolled toward the soggy figure stepping out of the lake, oblivious to the 15 feet of death churning up behind him. Instead, he saw me with my bat running at him.

I remember this as though it was going in slow motion, even though about 5 seconds elapsed.

Harvey, mistaking me for a baseball bat wielding attacker, shrieked and swung the ball retriever at me just as I slipped headlong into the lake. The retriever missed my nose by half an inch, but the ball was still in it, and it fell out as I was shouting for him to put that thing down. The taste of the mud from the bottom of that lake was disgusting. I know, because the ball was still covered in it when it popped in my mouth. The gator was about to clamp down on the soggy Bubba Watson shoe and the leg that protruded from it. My bat caught it in the back of the jaw, so it was unable to close its mouth.

Harvey heard the angry hiss coming out of the gator behind him and he jumped higher than I have ever seen anyone wearing Bubba Watson shoes jump. If the gator had been standing still, normalcy would have occurred at this point – well, once Harvey landed, it would have been normal. But the gator had momentum that carried it up from the lake to the edge of the green. Harvey landed right on his rear quarters on the back of the gator, and since he felt himself falling backwards, he grabbed the only thing in front of him that had no teeth – the baseball bat. He held on to that bat for dear life, one hand on the left of the gator’s face and the other hand on the right side.

This was one of those times that the ranger would never have believed me – actually, he looks at me in disbelief an awful lot – had he not been driving out from behind the bushes at that exact moment when Harvey was riding the gator up the hill to the green, dragging me (still holding the bat) along with a muddy golf ball in my mouth, Van Halen loudly blaring out of Harvey’s shirt pocket. I finally came to a stop and spit the golf ball out of my mouth.

And it rolled onto the green and made a beeline into the cup.

Give me a stinking break.