I won a free foursome of golf at Winnetka Golf Course from a local sports radio station that I listen to everyday. The voucher also included 2 free riding gas carts because, let’s face it, walking 18 holes absolutely sucks unless you are going to get a big fat cardboard check on the 18th green when you are finished.
When I got the prize in the mail, I was dismayed to see that it was only valid Monday-Thursday. Personally, I prefer golfing during the week, but because Winnetka is about an hour away from me, it would require a day off work which means my Dad would have to cover my shift for me which also means that my Dad cannot go golfing with me, which sucks. So I invited my brother, brother in-law and my friend Matt (a producer at the afforementioned radio station) to join me in some free golfing fun on Thursday. Early in the week the forecast was not promising, calling for extreme heat and humidity and thunderstorms and lightning and hail and frogs and pestilence and death of the first born. Luckily, the storms came early and by the time I got up (9 am) for our 12:00 tee time, the precipitation had ended and did not look likely to return.
On our way to my Brother’s house, I got a text message from Matt who said he got called into work and could not make it. Although disappointing, I was not about to skip going and get 4 greens fees charged to my bank account (which doesn’t have enough to cover 4 greens fees, btw), so after unsuccessfully trying to find a 4th we pressed on. We hopped in the car, spent entirely too much time on Palatine Road, sang some metal, played some air guitar and finally located the course after missing the turn. We pulled into the parking lot to see an ominous sight. A little sign that stated “NO GAS CARTS TODAY.”
We left our crap in the car and went into the clubhouse to see what was up. The lady working in the clubhouse, who was very nice, informed us that the No Gas Carts rule was in effect because they had gotten so much rain overnight and that, if we wanted to play, it would have to be walking with pull carts. I knew from the course’s website that we could just skip our tee time today without getting charged because of the no gas carts, but after the drive up there and having to take off of work and looking at the course and knowing that it was not nearly as nice as I had anticipated, we decided to just hoof it and see how things went. After the nice clubhouse lady showed us enough kindness as to not try and charge us for pull carts, we went back to the car to get our crap and I cursed us by saying “well at least being this close to the lake we get a nice, cool breeze.” For the record, at that moment, we were, in fact, experiencing a nice cool breeze. By the time we got our bags set up and made it to the first tee, I was not only exasperated from all the walking (car to clubhouse to car to tee…EXHAUSTING), but also because the sun was out, the air temperature was approximately 300 degrees (Kelvin) and the relative humidity was a robust 213%. After teeing off on the first hole and heading out towards our balls we quickly learned that Winnetka is, apparently, a billion feet below sea level and features no sewers or drainage of any kind because there was standing water everywhere except the tee boxes and greens, and the walk from the tee to the green was akin to walking through wet concrete.
Winnetka Golf Club is not a bad course by any means, but the conditions we experienced today coupled with the all around bummed attitude about how everything played out made for an interesting round to say the least. In the heat and mud the whole thing just felt like an onslaught of nondescript 400 yard par fours.
Well…I guess I shouldn’t call it a “round,” as round implies that we played all 18 holes. The truth is, after 9 holes we headed into the clubhouse with the hopes of pondering whether or not we would play the back 9 over cold Cokes and air conditioning. The decision of “FUCK THIS SHIT” was reached before my patty melt even made it to my mouth (the patty melt was much like the course, by the way, completely average and uninspiring). We packed up our shit and went home. It was brutal.