Bob, two other friends and I were on the 18th hole of the Blue Course at Bethpage State Park. Bob had a difficult 50-yard approach shot up a hill and over a very steep greenside bunker. But Bob has a great short game. Confidently, he looked up at the green, then back at the ball. Again, up at the green, back at the ball. Then one last time up at the green, and there it was…
A car! And no small Toyota or Honda – it was a huge 1970s Impala, or something like that. And it was coming over the hill and down the cart path straight at Bob.
It all happened so fast. The car was trying to stay on the cart path, but it couldn’t negotiate the hill and came to a sudden stop in the steep bunker, with three tires in the sand and one up in the air, still spinning – like Fred Flintstone’s car.
But the story doesn’t end there. You’ve probably heard jokes that make fun of golfers who are so passionate that little will keep us from playing. My favorite is the one where Jack has a heart attack on the golf course and his three golf buddies are upset. They have to hit the ball, drag Jack, hit the ball, drag Jack.
I love these golf jokes because they’re based on truth, and Bob proved it. After the car came to a stop, he looked down at his ball one more time, up at the bunker, which now included a car, and nonchalantly said, “I can fly that.”
And he did.
As it turns out, the driver of the car, “Bill”, was a good friend of ours. He knew we were playing the Blue Course and was driving out to meet us when the bunker mishap occurred. I don’t think we were worth the effort – the police ended up coming and Bill had to have his car towed out of the bunker.
And yes, to this day, Bill is the only guy I know who can “drive” the greenside bunker on the 18th hole of the Blue Course at Bethpage.