One day this summer the groves of trees and tall grasses must have been exuding an unfavorable enchantment over my ball. My woes began on the fourth hole and didn’t end until we finished our 18 holes. The Trails Golf Course in Norman is a river bottom course lined with towering trees on every hole and sawtoothed pampas grass where the trees aren’t growing. I might add the witches boiled their pot and added water filled ponds, and sand bunkers, to the mix of curses that I experienced that day.
Ironically, I hit some tremendous shots and made one dynamic putt, but I incurred several penalties along the way. Overall, if I count only my trees hit, sand blasts shots, water shots, and penalties then I shot under par. I may have even set a personal best for hazardous play.
On hole #7 the pro drove by and chuckled to see four of us wondering through the forest like lost souls, tripping over fallen limbs, and raking the leaves away looking for long lost golf balls. He smiled and asked, “Are you looking for Letty’s ball (she who rarely ventures out of the fairway)?”
That day on the golf course, I felt a kindred spirit to my hero, Alexander and the Terrible Horrible No Good Very Bad Day, with the thought, “And then do you know what happened next?”
At The Trails a golfer is rarely alone in the forest. The tree witches will find a way to tease and insult one’s ego. Sometimes, they leave a trail of exchange balls, never yours but occasionally a fair exchange ball; other times they will kick the ball around in mid air like a Quidditch match from Harry Potter. The player can only watch as some other force is in control of the golf ball.
Somewhere in the Rules of Golf there is an unwritten rule that I did not know. It reads, “When the wondering foursome agrees that the ball must be nearby, not lost, but covered by a magical leaf then there is NO penalty. The once cursed player may drop a ball nearby an agreed location and hit the ball back into play.” I thought it made sense. Why should a player have to go back and hit another golf ball when the first played ball is sitting nearby, just not visible due to the enchantment in the forest. (Rule: 7 ate 9)
I watched my husband launch two fire bolts today, both flew into the enchanted forest with the firepower to break a curse, but the magic on the limbs and leaves never returned his shots. No one laughed, but we were in awe of his lightning fast swing.
In golf, like in any sport in life, I am safe from the evil spells for another day, or until my spirit weakens, and I cannot hold them at bay! Between now and the next tee time, I will walk with the humility that this game teaches us, and laugh at the stories we share.