"Yessssssss!" Hoover screamed joyously, for he had never hit a ball 200 yards in any direction, much less straight. He had his seven-iron out, and he jumped from the cart and, if you can believe it, took a practice swing.
"Just hit the f—-ing ball!" Crowbar yelled as Stretch bore down on them. Hoover did, and it went dribbling forward 10 yards. "We're dead," Crowbar sighed.
Hoover ran ahead and hit it again, this time without stopping. This one was a low, ankle-biting liner that screamed over the green. Stretch, the guard, was 50 yards behind, talking into his walkie-talkie. This is when Ray and the boys noticed three more carts behind Stretch, all full of guards and walkie-talkies, and all of them in suddenly awakened grouchy-guard moods. Ray waited for tracer fire.
Still, he had some speed up as he raced to his and Hoover's balls. They had their putters out too, and Ray flew the cart right up to the edge of the green—only 50 feet from the hole in the hedge—and they all jumped out. Crowbar ran for the hedge. Ray slapped his ball up five feet from the hole, and Hoover hit a nice little approach, considering the circumstances, to within 10 feet. Unfortunately, the gestapo was closing in fast.
"Stop right there!" Ray hollered. He began swinging his putter around, like Bruce Lee. "Come any closer and you'll know what it feels like to be overclubbed." They froze.
"Just let us putt out, like civilized people," Ray said in a calm tone, "and then we'll talk." Ray checked over his shoulder for Crowbar. He had smashed his way through the hole, but he was still on the other side, looking back through it. Fine. He was still a witness.
"Partner, I believe you're away," Ray said, swinging the putter madly at the four guards.
Hoover, shaking, stepped up to the putt and stroked it about halfway there. He putted twice more, and the ball dropped. A 97. Hoover smiled. "Well played," Ray said. "Now, if you'll do the honors for me." Hoover began waving his putter at the guards, and that's when Ray noticed his golf ball was no longer sitting on the green. One of the guards was holding it by his thumb and forefinger.
"Looking for this, jerkface?" the guard sneered.
"I must ask you to put my ball down," Ray said, "or I'm afraid I'll be forced to charge you two strokes."