Sunday, November 1, 2015

The Golfing Diaries: Nice Course, But Kind of Rapey

Long Par Five, Kind Of Grabby
So I'm at Cobbs Creek (you might remember Cobbs Creek; I've covered the place at some length) to play a round of golf on a lovely Saturday; it's been warm enough this fall to stretch out the season, and I keep finding deals that I can't refuse. I've been paired up with a threesome, and I'm in my own cart at the starter's block. This is when the ranger (yes, Cobbs has a ranger; no cart personnel, no ball washers, no water, but by heavens, a ranger) informs us that he can't send us out with three carts.

As we've both paid for our carts, and we're not going to get a refund for the unused one, we're wondering the reason, well, why. The ranger, an older gentleman who didn't seem entirely with it, just keeps repeating what we have to do, which is consolidate carts. OK, fine, club policy, kind of nuts but hey, I guess the quart of gasoline we'll use today would break Cobbs. No worries.

This is when my new cartmate starts us off into the Magic of Cobbs, by asking if it would be OK to bring the six pack of beer that he's loaded into his car. Yeah, sure, no problem! Having lubricated the conversation with a discussion of beer, the ranger then proceeds to tell us the reason why he (yes, he, just him alone, not the club) doesn't let people out in single carts. "There was some women out there in carts alone on Karakung (the other, not as challenging course that shares grounds with Cobbs), and they gots themselves raped."

Um, WHAT?

We all pretty much blink at the ranger stupidly, you know, what you do when someone says something completely nuts. Finally, someone says something innocuous to get us past that moment and onto our, well, round, and now the guy is just a fountain of information about the crime. Nothing specific about what happened, whether the criminal was arrested, or how it connects to the no single people in carts policy.

We start out round, play the first two holes, and get a sense that everyone here is a decent guy, not likely to get offended by much, etc. We're teeing off at the third, and finally one of the guys I've been paired with brings it up.

"Man, that guy couldn't stop talking about rape, could he?"

I wait a beat, then say, "Yeah. I mean, we've already paid for the round. Stop selling us."

And then the jokes are just flying for the rest of the round. "Your ball's just off the fairway. Watch for rape." "Oh, tough break, Dan. You know the penalty for a three-putt." "Did you bring enough club for rape?" And so on, and so on. It's not so much that we were making fun of the awfulness of the crime, more so for the utter weirdness of the context. And, well, I have more questions about this.

1) It turns out that there was something to this (yikes!), but to be fair, it's not like either incident has happened in the past three months, or during the midst of play. Does our ranger believe that Grand Theft Auto is a documentary?

2) In the unlikely event that the rapist is out on the course in broad daylight, lurking in wait, wouldn't our gender and number be enough of a deterrent, or is the Cobbs Rapist so good at his predilection that he can victimize more than one person at a time?

3) Again, in the unlikely event of an encounter, wouldn't having your own cart help you escape the scene, rather than coordinating a pick up?

4) Wouldn't you, as the employee of a club that wants to promote the presumed good time of a round of golf and provoke repeat business, kind of hush up terrible crimes that happened months and months ago, or have you been chatting up the incident to everyone ever since?

5) Doesn't this say something about the pace of play at Cobbs?

In non-rape news, I didn't play all that well, but had a good time, because the company was good. I'll probably be back, especially at the prices I've been seeing, what with November supposed to be warmer than usual (hey, might as well get something out of global warming).

Besides, you have to think the place has used up its allotment of rape for the year, right?

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