Tree Trouble: Winter is Coming, and Howard Meets His Match

turningtree

There’s a maple near the bend of the dogleg on the first hole, and each year it provides one of the first clear signs that the golf season is winding down. The tree may mark one of the famous portals to hell, because there’s another tree just behind it, planted in memory of a dead guy, and if your tee shot clears the first tree the second one will sometimes knock your ball into a lateral hazard—like a pair of volleyball players doing a bump-set-and-spike. The second tree was planted, many years ago, in loving memory of a dead guy, whom few current members knew but many current members curse, on account of his tree. The lesson is that you shouldn’t let your survivors plant anything in your memory two hundred yards from the regular men’s tee on the right side of any fairway.

On the eighth hole, Howard’s second shot (or possibly his third) ended up next to the base of a tree near the green. It was sitting down in a little depression, with roots on either side, but he made a manful effort to knock it back into play:

Two holes later, I hit my second shot too far, and it ended up about four inches from a stone boundary wall that runs along the edge of a grassy swale just over the green. My only possible shot was to bash the ball into the wall with my wedge, and hope it ricocheted back into play. I did, and the ball ended up gimme distance from the hole: par. I don’t have a video of that shot, because I couldn’t swing my wedge and operate my camera at the same time. I am one man!

greatblueheron

3 thoughts on “Tree Trouble: Winter is Coming, and Howard Meets His Match

  1. The stone wall story caused me to look for the rule on man-made immovable obstructions. It seems the wall should be one of those, and you get free relief. Unless it is OB, or “the committee” has deemed it an integral part of the course. You did say it is a boundary wall. Is it OB?

    • Yes, OB. We have an interior wall, too, and we used to treat it as an immovable obstruction, but the Committee recently decided to treat it as an integral part of the course. There was a British Open in which Tom Watson famously had to play a ricochet shot off a wall beyond the green of the Road Hole, on the Old Course, but his result wasn’t as good as mine this time. (I’d had to try the same shot on my course two or three times before; this was the first time I saved par.)

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