Are you one of those people that weird stuff happens to? The sort of stuff that has everyone else around you in stitches while you are left stunned, attempting to extricate yourself from an embarrassing situation with a semblance of grace but not necessarily succeeding? Welcome to the club.
For example, you might think that nothing untoward could happen to you on the Golf course. After all, golf is a civilised game where players amble from hole to hole, hoping to hit their balls nicely down the fairway. Even if their ball runs away and buries itself in the rough, or seeks shelter behind a tree or takes a dive into the duck pond or falls in love with a hazard, this might be an unfortunate but not necessarily, an embarrassing situation.
A week or so ago, I took unfortunate and embarrassing to a whole new level. I was having one of those rounds where too many balls ran out of steam right on the lip of the hole.
I know what happened next was probably my fault. I was on a tricky par 3. The green on this hole lies on a fairly steep mound, protected by two deep bunkers to the right and a band of trees to the left. But undaunted, I was determined to make up for the near misses on the previous holes. Teeing off, my ball sailed into the heavens but tracked a little to the left. Mmm, this could be unfortunate, I thought. But down the fairway, I saw that all was not lost. My ball was nestled between two trees with a clear line to the pin. Great, a little chip shot and all will be well. Maybe I’ll be in for par! I lined up. My chip cleared the rough and raced across the green where it kissed the pin and promptly leapt into the second bunker.
Reluctantly, I retrieved my sand wedge and … hit out of the bunker first time. But alas, I hit too hard. My ball raced across the green and disappeared from view down the other side. Definitely unfortunate! Rhonda broke the bad news: it’s gone into ‘out of bounds’ and I had to take a drop. But first, I had to retrieve my ball. I had never hit a ball into this out of bounds area before but soon discovered that the ground fell away steeply to a little creek where I spied my favourite ball lying a pool of water. I scrambled down to retrieve it and was just reaching over to pick it up when I heard an ominous crashing sound. It was my buggy, doing somersaults while nose-diving into the creek! In my haste to retrieve my ball, I had forgotten to put the brake on. Luckily the buggy didn’t land on top of me and didn’t appear to be damaged. But how to get it and me back up? The bank was too steep to push it up, so I had to pull it. With Rhonda holding one hand, the other hand dragging the buggy and digging my spikes in, I inched my way up the bank, bottom slide by bottom slide like a geriatric slug. Eventually, I was up and so was my buggy. Needless to say, Rhonda found it very difficult to keep a straight face. And I still had to play a shot! Taking a deep breath, I nudged the ball forward and finally putted it in. Taking stock of my appearance, I realised that I now, from top to toe resembled a SAS soldier ready for jungle warfare. I wasn’t going to be able to live down this escapade for a while.
To add insult to injury, three days later disaster struck again. It was a perfect spring day and I was hitting cleanly down a long par 5 which has lovely water views on both sides of the fairway. Even though it was warm, I was very comfortable under my new sun-safe umbrella which I’d purchased from the Pro shop the day before.
I was secretly chuffed at how well I was doing and foolishly began to day-dream about my approach shots. Bad, bad move! I didn’t notice that the wind was picking up. While I was navigating a ditch, a gust toppled my buggy over, tearing my umbrella away. My good friend Annie gave chase while I rescued my buggy. Two falls in one week! Maybe I should get a new job – as a golf buggy road tester! But alas, Annie couldn’t channel her inner Usain Bolt and the umbrella raced away. The wind dropped and for about ten seconds, I thought there was hope for a successful retrieval. Then, it changed direction, sweeping my new umbrella towards the pond. I tried to catch up to it but running has never been my forte and I watched in horror as my umbrella pirouetted around the edge and then set sail for the middle. There it stopped before slowly sinking, like the Titanic on its maiden voyage. Very ‘unfortunate’ and now that I look back on it, very funny! It could only happen to me.
For the time being, I’m making do with an old yellow umbrella which has seen better days. On the plus side, It shows no desire to find another home and some shade is better than none! Could this happen to you?