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The most successful ball snatcher in Dyker's history was a harmless-looking old party who had a habit of slipping in and wandering over the course, always leaning heavily on a bamboo stick—one end of which was later found to be hollowed out. Although balls began to disappear at an alarming rate and Dyker tempers began to soar proportionately, nobody suspected the old gentleman, who had never been seen to stoop, look at a ball, or even be aware that the game was played with little round objects. Finally the snatcher became so brazen that he stole a ball on the fairway right from under the nose of a golfer who had turned during his upswing to observe the position of the club head. The golfer completed his swing but hit only air—the ball had vanished. Completely unnerved, this Dykerite ran off yelling, "Let me outta here. Trained snakes!" Shortly afterwards a special policeman caught the old man with his capacious pockets full of balls and a Spalding Dot still concealed in the hollowed-out cane.
Not only golf balls but larger objects, even rain shelters, when they had them several years ago, were pilfered at Dyker. The wooden shelters, standard on almost every course, lasted here only until winter, when ice skaters using the swampy pond chopped them up for fuel. Plans at one time were made to erect cement block shelters, stark and monolithic, but incapable of being burned, knocked down, or carted off by Brooklyn burghers or burglars.
It is inevitable that regular Dyker players should tend to seek the solace of one another's company during non-golfing hours too. After a five—hour wait and five hours of playing, the Dykerite is apt to feel strange and lost in the outside world and in need of the companionship of his own kind. Three social clubs—the Shore View, the Brooklyn Golf club and Brookridge (for women only)—have arisen. The second was dedicated to the improvement of golf etiquette on the course-no fighting, replace divots, no throwing clubs. The organizations all take official notice of wives and children of members, who are encouraged to emerge at intervals from wherever golfers customarily stow their families and mingle with the Dyker world. It is a common sight on Sunday to see a golfer in the Dyker cafeteria, sweaty, dirty and rumpled, being visited by his wife and little ones dressed in their pretty, starched, churchgoing clothes.
One weekend a wife who had decided she'd had just about enough, arrived not with the children but with a policeman to arrest her golfer husband on a charge of neglect. However, during the week they came to an understanding, and by golf time the following Sunday, they were both at the course, honeymooners again, ready for a round of play.
There was the other golfer who had waited four lengthy hours to tee off, when a phone message arrived, informing him that his wife was being rushed to the maternity hospital. He picked up his clubs and started to run; then stopped, looked back, and yelled in anguish, "Hey, don't take my number off the board!"
Dyker was even host to a fugitive from justice, the operator of a stolen-car racket. This sportsman, after dutifully paying his greens fee, was not extracted from his hideout near the pond for several days.
And then there was the man, fast becoming a legend, who appeared at the clubhouse on a stormy day with a bag of what looked like golf clubs slung over his shoulder. Stepping out to the first tee in a cloudburst, he drew a bow from the bag and shot an arrow toward the green. He then walked up to the arrow, imbedded in the grass of the fairway, and shot it again, reaching the green in two. The archer finished the 18 holes slightly over par, walked back through the clubhouse in his soaking clothes, and disappeared into the Brooklyn streets, never to be seen again. The spectacle had a curious unreal quality to the few who had observed it, but they were unsurprised. This was Dyker.
Some stalwart golfers profess to have read a newspaper article telling of the proposed building of a new course in Brooklyn—undoubtedly the fantasy of a sports reporter of the late Brooklyn Eagle on a dull day when the Dodgers weren't playing. A few Dykerites, credulous and hopeful, even claim to have seen bulldozers at work on this new course. They are vague about the location, however, and no two accounts are exactly alike. It is very possible that the whole story can be explained as a unique combination of daydream and mirage, compounded out of the pungent Gowanus air and the fertile Brooklyn imagination.