SI Vault
Giles Tippette
October 10, 1983
Perhaps it comes to all men, or perhaps just to middle-aged former athletes. I'm talking about the Just One More Time Syndrome: Score one more touchdown, ride one more bull, hit one more home run.
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October 10, 1983

An Aging Jock Takes A Last Fling At Stardom On A Par-688 Golf Course

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We had an extensive entourage in addition to all the spectators' cars that were following us from Mason. We had the EMS ambulance with Dr. Jim Pettit in attendance as the course physician; we had the Mason policeman. Jack Boring, who'd been empowered by the Texas Department of Public Safety to hold up traffic; we had an official balladeer; we had fore and aft trucks with large signs warning the passing public to use caution because a golfathon was in progress. But most important we had Brock Grosse and his team. Brock was our road manager, our transportation secretary, our caddie master. He had rigged up a trailer behind his three-wheeled motorcycle with a sort of couch for Bill and me to ride in between shots.

Brock's team included two of his motorcycle protégés who were acting as our fore caddies. Once the ball went into the high grass on either side of the road we would have had no chance of finding it except for those fore caddies. And every lost ball meant another stroke penalty.

It rained for almost an hour, and everyone took cover except Bill and me and Brock and his charges. The rain was a relief from the heat, which had reached almost 100° but it was very detrimental in another way. Our golf gloves got wet, as did the grips of our clubs. It was difficult enough to keep the club head square to the ball as we hit out of the foot-to two-foot-high grass; it was quite another matter with the club turning in your hand. At one point I hit a shot that went right at a little better than a 90-degree angle. I wouldn't have thought such a thing was possible.

Our course rules were that anything between the barbed-wire fences on either side of the road was fairway and we were playing winter rules, improving our lie a club's length from wherever we lay. The only problem was that there was usually no better lie around.

Over the fence was considered in the rough, and the ball had to be played as it lay, with the exception that we could take a drop and a one-stroke penalty.

Thus we were in the rough when we hit one in the midst of a herd of cows.

Now, in West Texas, and possibly elsewhere, the ranchers drive out in their pickups with a load of feed in the back and blow their horns, and the cattle come running to get fed. Bill and I climbed over the fence, and there came the cattle, absolutely convinced we'd come to feed them. They were crowding around us, shoving up against us, bawling and mooing and stepping on the golf ball.

I said, "Bill, get these damn cattle out of here. It's my shot, and I can't hit a golf ball with a heifer in my back pocket."

He said, "You move 'em. You're the cowboy."

I said, "I was a rodeo cowboy. You're a pharmacist. You move them."

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