First off, I love golf course maintenance workers.
Much like cart guys, these fellows are the unsung heroes of the course. They are up at 5 a.m.—cutting grass, raking bunkers, trimming bushes, and repairing the hardly noticeable moose knuckle-sized divots on your greens.
Golf course maintenance workers are a dedicated bunch.
But there is a breed of maintenance worker unlike any other. If you’ve played golf for any length of time, you’ve had an experience with the Intrusive Golf Course Maintenance Worker. One word describes this man: oblivious.
Usually, you’ll see him puttering down the cart path in the maintenance cart, rapidly approaching as you try to hit your tee shot. Or maybe he’s overagressively raking a bunker as you try to focus on a five-foot putt. Then there’s always the guy who seemingly stalks you for three or four holes, somehow managing to get in your line of sight before every shot.
Things get worse when Intrusive Golf Course Maintenance Workers travel together. One of them is annoying, but a group of them together on one hole can be distracting, at best, and unbearable, at worst.
In each group of Intrusive Golf Course Maintenance Workers, there’s an alpha-male. He’s the guy telling the inappropriate jokes as you line up your putt. He’s also the guy who speeds past you in the fairway as you go through your pre-shot routine. The golf course is his domain, and no golfer will get in his way.
Avoid the alpha-male at all costs.
Sometimes, Intrusive Golf Course Maintenance Workers don’t listen to golfers.
Many years ago, my friend Mike (the same Mike from Chicken Soup for the Soul fame) and I were playing at our home course. After poking our drives on the first hole down the center of the fairway, Mike and I lined up our approaches.
But there was a problem. A group of maintenance workers—soon to be discovered as intrusive—had gathered on the fringe and were digging a hole to work on some irrigation issues.
We waited on them briefly, then gave them a courtesy yell that we were playing up. They waved at us and told us to come through. But they never moved.
I struck my 6 iron well, slightly pulled. And, like a politician runs to a camera, my golf ball barreled through the air directly towards this group of maintenance workers. I yelled “fore!” loudly, frustrated that these guys never moved off the fringe.
My ball struck one of the maintenance workers in the head. He sat down. His head began to bleed. Stitches were later required.
What do you say at this point? They knew we were hitting. We yelled “fore!” They watched us the entire time. But, for some reason, the intrusive maintenance workers never strayed away from the fringe and stood like statues after my boisterous warning.
I never felt to blame for the incident. But, in the weeks to follow, I received quite a few glares from my head-shot victim. He was okay. Eventually, the stitches came off.
So, here’s a fair warning to Intrusive Golf Course Maintenance Workers everywhere: Get out of our way and we won’t hit you in the head with our golf ball.
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