Golf rage incident

Joel and I went golfing at UBC golf course Sunday night.  My round started well: I had pars on 3 of the first 5 holes.  Unfortunately the wheels fell off and I scored stick men (11) on a disastrous par 4, but that’s beside the point.  An event that had the potential to be even more disastrous than getting stick men happened on the 13th.  We were on the green.  I was watching Joel putt when I felt a ball whiz by my ear and thud into the green about a foot away from me.  The ball left a nice crater, and I was glad that it hadn’t hit me in the head.  The ball came from over a grove of trees between us and the tee-off box for hole #10.  It is common courtesy in golf to yell “fore!” when you hit an erratic shot.  We hadn’t heard anything. 

We finished the hole and as we were moving towards the next hole, Joel paused.  I knew right away that he was not going to let it go.  We saw an elderly man walking towards us through the trees.  I looked at Joel and said: “You’re not going to make a big deal, are you?”  Joel said: “Damn right I am.”  When the man got close, Joel started yelling at him.  “You, sir, almost killed my friend here.  It is unacceptable that you didn’t yell fore!”  The old man apologized for nearly hitting me, but seemed surprised that Joel was angry.  He asked “Why are you yelling?  I couldn’t see where it went.”  Joel got even angrier.  “It doesn’t matter that you didn’t see where it went.  You should still yell fore.  It is totally unacceptable that you didn’t yell fore.  And may I suggest that a player as erratic as yourself should not be playing on this golf course.”  This wasn’t fair.  Joel and I both had made some pretty damn erratic shots that same round.  The old man turned to me and apologized again.  At this point I was feeling sorry for him, so I told him it was alright.  I told Joel to let it go. 

I appreciate the inherent loyalty in Joel confronting a man who almost drilled me with a ball.  However, I would prefer not to have an angry confrontation on a beautiful Sunday evening.  I just don’t think continuing to berate the man after he has apologized serves any purpose.  I can’t change the fact that there was a near miss, but I can be grateful I wasn’t hit.  Maybe I’m a softy.  Joel thinks so.  Apparently I am
on my own from now on when someone hits a ball at me on the golf course.


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