Saturday, December 20, 2008

Meet Me At 5 White

John the Golf Course Guy gets this request over the staff radio quite a lot. The golf course is 27 holes—made up of three 9's (gold, red and white). It may seem a little simplistic and maybe not as romantic as naming it the Hillside or Orchard course but it works very well here. We have a lot of tournaments here with a lot of infrequent golfers.

John refers to them as "casual golfers" which the customers find is a very polite way of phrasing it. They are the first to admit that they are a little better than terrible but they are here to have fun. That is the true spirit of the charity golf tournament.

Five white is, as I'm sure you figured out, the fifth hole on the white course. John usually leads the golfers out to that starting hole when he's working a shotgun tournament.

...they won't let us have shotguns anymore
...but it would be easier to control the customers if we had one (lol)

The Other guy, in the pro shop, says that its yours forever! If it ain't broke don't fix it, is what he really means. All the other guys at the course are capable of handling that but it's just become a tradition.

...John, guess what your leading out today
...2 to 5 white, here's your air horn
...don't lose it (lol)

Five white happens to be a par 3. The previous hole is another par 3. Both of them are valley holes. I can't say we've ever played on another course where this happens (back-go-back par 3's) but the geography makes it so.

There's also a refreshment cart stationed there because it's strategically mid way between the start and finish of the nine"—the clubhouse. So there is often a "party" happening here and John gets a chance to make sure that everybody is having a good time.

He gets to tell a few jokes, meet and greet new and old customers, joke around with the staff and reuse, over and over again, some classic lines that are intended to make the golfers loosen up. (see It's Only A Game). In fact, 5 white is where the line (The good news is your ball won't be lonely) was born. Let John describe the hole for you.

...there are three different tees here
...they are arranged in a straight line like big steps for the Jolly Green Giant

...the right side of the tee is a wall of mature trees
...from the uppermost deck, you look down into a valley filled with small leafy trees that look up to the tall rough just before the green. There's no large mass of water in the valley but the customers often think there is. That's how dense the growth is

...the elongated upward sloping green is lined on both sides with more trees that create a gap that gets narrower and narrower as the summer passes
...there is a hill on the right side of the green that sometimes creates a magical result for an off line shot. If you hit the hill just right, your ball will go right onto the green and you might even get a hole in one which has happened. She's nodding her head right now
(good one, Marion)...there's a path on the left side of the tees that comes around the corner from 4 and winds its way down through the valley the left is the refreshment cart that never moves during the tournament. You don't move the refrigerator from the kitchen in a party, so why would you move the cart?
...over the years, there's been a lot of really friendly and bright gals that have worked the cart—Sue, Sarah, Natalie, Cassandra and Nonna (I can here here swearing at me right now)
...and so many more, but I'm embarrassed to say I'm afraid to misspell their names

...the path is often strewn with
parked golf carts and you will always hear customers saying things like "no I'll buy, or what's Johnny up to, or how's the kids"
...sometimes you hear someone hushing someone else because someone is about to hit their shot

...I seldom do one likes a party pooper

Everyone who works at the golf course knows what you mean if someone says "meet me at five white". It can only be one place and certainly not the green.

No one wants to miss a good party.

This golf hole was part of 27 on the Kleinburg Golf and Country Club which got sold for a development or what I call "over-sized ego boxes". Sadly the affordable golf courses disappear simply because the land value eventually wins the battle between return on investment and potential sale value. It becomes a no-brainer for the ownership and a recreational facility that served many ends up being a residence for very few. 


No comments: