The story of our miniature golf outing

Tue, 07/31/2007 - 12:43pm
By: Michael Boylan

I hate Kevin Wandra.

OK, I’m just kidding. I don’t hate him. I’m glad he is here and our sports section is really going to benefit from him being here. There is some friendly animosity between us, though.

First off, I’m from outside of Boston and I love the Red Sox and the Patriots. Kevin is from New Jersey and loves the Yankees and the Jets. Let’s just say I’ve heard the whole “26 rings” speech over and over and over again.

Blah, blah, blah.

Your team is still old and over-paying under-performing former superstars. When it comes to the Jets, the Patriots are like the Yankees in this argument, so I guess I’m learning what it’s like on the other side.

Anyway, with the start of the school athletic season rapidly approaching, when our slower days will be far behind us, we decided to go and settle some of our differences like men: on the miniature golf courses at DixieLand.There are two courses that comprise what is called the Dahlonega Challenge: Riverwalk and Lakeside.

We started on Riverwalk and I predicted a victory by at least five strokes. I won but not by that large a margin.

It was a stifling hot afternoon as we started our 36-hole epic, and we opened with a draw. Over the next two holes, I picked up a two-stroke lead and then got a hole-in-one on the fifth to make the lead four strokes. I was overjoyed, but I played it cool. I wanted to make it look like I’ve been here before. After another tie on hole six, Kevin started to chip away at my lead. I had lousy performances on holes eight and nine and Kevin had built a one-stroke lead at the halfway point.

On hole 10, I evened things up again, only to give it way on hole 11. Things went back and forth until holes 15 and 16, where I tied it up and then took my one-point lead. I preserved it with two pars on the final two holes and emerged victorious.

In the spirit of good sportsmanship, we shook hands after the game. I don’t think Kevin spit in his hand.

After a quick water break, we moved on to Lakeside. Once again, things went back and forth, but I had a terrible sixth hole. My ball went off the course, resulting in a one-stroke penalty, and I lost two more strokes over the next two holes to put me four strokes down at the halfway point. Things were looking up on hole 10 as I halved Kevin’s lead, but we soon encountered some very rude children and my concentration was broken.

To preface this, I have to tell you about a girl playing a round solo with her older sister accompanying her. The girl was basically playing hockey, by which I mean, she never stopped moving and never allowed the ball to stop on its way to the hole. She was obviously having fun and we had no problem letting her play through. When two older boys came bombing through behind her, though, and did not hesitate to shoot while we were still playing on the 11th hole, I snapped at them, stating simply, “Guys, we’re playing here.” I then picked up the orange ball and tossed it back to the kid who had hit it. I would have had no problem letting them play through once we had finished the hole. In fact, we did let them play through, but it was rude to hit the ball while we were still on the course.

Despite how Kevin may construe the event for your entertainment, I have no regrets.

I think I was also irritated that one of the boys was holding the club incorrectly. It just bummed me out that these kids cared enough to pay to play the game, but not enough to play correctly or with any consideration of others.

So anyway, Kevin had a three stroke lead after hole 11 and though I cut it to two on hole 14, I couldn’t get any closer. The two-stroke win gave Kevin the ultimate title. He then went on to beat me at the basketball game in the arcade and air hockey.

I’m not going to make any excuses, even though it was very hot and Kevin is younger than I am and doesn’t have to chase after a 2-year-old every day. He was the better athlete last Friday and I congratulate him. All in all, it was fun and maybe, just maybe, two fans diametrically opposed to each other can come together and do great work.

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