I decided to go golfing. I looked out the window-it was overcast and gray. Better check the Yahoo weather page. The Yahoo weather page has weather outlooks, satellite views, radar scans, precipitation measurements, pollen counts, travel planners, everything- a weather junkie’s dream. "Partly cloudy", it said. "No rain today." I grabbed my clubs and headed for Griffith Park. Driving alongside the course, I could see golfers on the second and third holes. I love it when you can see the course from the road. It adds to the anticipation. "Today is the day!", I said to myself. "Today is the day I avenge the previous 7,000 rounds. Today I will shoot a good score!"
On the second hole, it started to drizzle off and on. It rains so rarely in LA, I don’t even have a golf umbrella. I have a small collapsible black umbrella- a premium for subscribing to the LA Times. I unzipped the zipper on the side of my bag and took it out. I pushed the button on the side and it popped open. It was about the size of the umbrellas they put in the Mai Tais at Trader Vic’s- it barely kept the rain off my head.
By the third hole the random drizzle became a steady drizzle. "This is temporary," I said to my foursome. "It’s not supposed to rain today. I checked it on Yahoo."
Waiting on the fourth tee, a Japanese woman in the foursome in front of us called it a day. She took out her cell phone and called the clubhouse to get a ride back to her car. One of the city workers arrived in a battered green pick-up with the city seal on the door. He loaded her clubs in the bed as she climbed in the passenger seat.
"Anybody else?", he asked. There were two foursomes waiting. Everybody shook their heads. Since city courses don’t allow refunds, everybody decided to stick it out a little further.
By the fifth hole, it was pouring. The wind blew hard and cold. All three people in my foursome must have called in because a ranger came out in a four seat golf cart. They got in, holding their clubs between their legs. Somehow the ranger was able to keep a cigarette going. He looked at me through the smoke and rain. "What about you? Had enough?"
Enough? It’s only the fifth hole. I said, "It’ll clear up. I checked it on Yahoo." He looked at me like the metal plate in my head was showing. Black clouds loomed over the Hollywood Hills. Water dripped off the end of my golf cap onto my shoes.
The eleventh hole is a par three. The green was under 4 inches of water. My tee shot plopped beneath the surface on the far edge of the green. I found it and hit it as hard as I could. It moved slowly under the water stopping slightly short of the hole- about 40 feet or so.
On the fourteenth hole, a raging creek roared along the fairway back toward the clubhouse. Two kids were riding the current, sitting on their golf bags, using their pitching wedges as paddles. I waved. "It will stop soon", I yelled. "I checked it on Yahoo!" I had heard stories about the crazy hermit that lives on the course. The kids thought they had found him.
The fifteenth hole didn’t have a water hazard until today. A huge pond had formed on the right side of the green. I saw a family of ducks wearing rubber boots and yellow slickers huddled together on a dirt mound in the middle of the water. The mother sheltered them with an collapsible umbrella that said "LA Times" on the side.
The entire eighteenth fairway was under 3 feet of water. I had to stand on top of a bench in order to hit a tee shot. Climbing on my golf bag like the two kids, I held two fairway woods together with the club heads at opposite ends. With this homemade kayak paddle I made my way out to the ball. I could see it on the ground, a crab nibbling on the Titleist logo. I slid off the golf bag and took a wild swing. The ball jumped out of the water and flew about twenty feet. I repeated that until I got to the green. A new course record- 1256.
I dripped into the clubhouse, my Foot-Joys making a "squish, squish, squish" noise. The pro didn’t look up but said, "You coming back tomorrow?"
"Of course. It’s going to be sunny all day. I checked it on Yahoo."
(C) Copyright 2000 Joe Ditzel