I left Bill a lie
under a horse-drawn hay rake. From there he put it into the service bay of the
Chevron station. It took us six strokes to get out of there.
From then on
things got worse.
Bill put one
across the street and under a truck at Eckert Equipment Company. I got down on
my belly to try to swipe the ball out from under that truck so we wouldn't have
to take a penalty shot. Half the people of Mason were still following us, and I
was lying there thinking that none of the townspeople knew that I had once held
the Interscholastic League record for the 180-yard low hurdles or that I had
had a tryout with the St. Louis Cardinals or had played college football or had
made my living riding bulls on the RCA circuit for a year. I turned the putter
on its side and swiped the ball 15 yards.
Bill's next shot
got us out of plate glass territory at last, and we were approaching the
blinking light at the edge of town when I unfortunately knocked a four-iron
into the cemetery. That left Bill with a near impossible shot from behind a
tombstone. By the time we got the ball headed back in the direction of Brady,
we were at the foot of Mason Mountain, and we were six strokes over the pace I
felt we should have maintained coming out of town.
At this point we
actually ended up with a good lie on a small triangular island where a farm
road intersects the highway. The only trouble was that the ball had come to
rest up against a SLOW sign.
The mayor of
Mason, Willard Aubrey Jr., was our official course judge. We called him over
for a ruling, expecting a free drop. He said no. Bill pounded the sign in
frustration, saying, "This is a man-made obstacle, and we deserve a free
said no. We'd thought the man was corruptible, and here of all places we find
that that wasn't so.
We call it Mason
Mountain, but a Coloradan on viewing it would die laughing because it rises no
more than 1,000 feet above the surrounding terrain. But they have never tried
to hit a golf ball up it.
Bill, using a
five-iron, made a beautiful shot straight up the middle that hit the pavement
of the road and bounced up Mason Mountain and bounced and then rolled and
rolled and rolled until it came to a stop. After that it started rolling
backward, and it kept on rolling until it was 100 yards behind where Bill had
hit it. After that we had no choice but to keep the ball in the high grass
beside the highway. So we hacked our way up that five miles of mountain,
sometimes getting 100 yards out of a shot, more often having to settle for
less. When we finally got to the top of the mountain I estimated that we were
26 strokes over the pace we would need to make par, with a long way to go.
And then it began