I am not Tiger Woods.
Tiger was standing last week at the 18th green of the Poipu Bay Golf Course, at the Hyatt Regency Kauai Resort & Spa, poised to accept an oversized novelty check for $400,000 while—scant yards away—rare Hawaiian monk seals, green sea turtles and humpback whales frolicked in a Barbicide-blue Pacific Ocean.
Meanwhile I was standing last week at the 3rd green of the Mottled Palms Golf Course & Mah-Jongg Center, in Phase II of my father's retirement community in Florida, when the sprinkler system sprang to life without warning and violently sprayed me in the face, as if all the Earth were an oversized, seltzer-squirting novelty boutonniere.
Tiger's playing partners in the PGA Grand Slam of Golf were the three other winners of this year's majors: David Duval, Retief Goosen and David Toms. No other golfers were allowed to sully the course, which runs—like a rucked green carpet—past the stone ruins of heiaus, the island's ancient and sacred sites of worship.
Whereas my playing partners on Ladies-Play-for-Free Day were a snowbird couple from Muskegon: Frank and Vera. Three foursomes waited on the bottlenecked 3rd fairway, which runs—like the scarred puce skin of a diseased kiwi—past the Target on Highway 41.
At Poipu Bay, Tiger plumb-bobbed a putt while the surf rolled hypnotically from Keoneola Bay, washing ashore on the ivory sands and ebony cliffs of Shipwreck Beach. "I don't see how he can play like that, with waves crashing on the rocks," said TNT color commentator Lanny Wadkins, sighing audibly on the air.
At Mottled Palms, I plumb-bobbed a putt while cement mixers backed up endlessly from the Phase III condo-construction site, beep-beep-beeping in perfect syncopation with the bleating of distant cellphones. "I think I stepped in fire ants," said Vera from Muskegon, scratching madly at her ankles.
On the 5th tee in Hawaii, Tiger heard the bewitching call of a nene and then drove a Nike Precision Tour Accuracy TW 297 yards to the center cut of the fairway.
On the 7th tee in Florida, I heard the distinctive whine of a diesel-powered weed wacker and then chunked a Lady Classic onto the forward tee box.
Famished after nine, Tiger turned to his caddie, who handed his hungry boss energy bars and bottled water. The look on Tiger's face said, That hit the spot.