There’s going to come a time in my life when I’ll have to hangup my rubber spikes. The stress of tossing grandkids around one day while trying to bomb a driver that I repeatedly spray right will finally catch up to me, rendering my back and shoulders utterly obsolete, and that will be the end of a very average golf career. But when one door closes, another door opens. When it does, I’ll be rolling through it, cigar in mouth, and unspecified concoction in my YETI Rambler. I’m going out as a golf course marshal.
To many, marshals, also known as a rangers, are foes rather than friends. I’ve been there. Nobody wants to be told to speed up play when they’re two bloodies deep on the short par 5 waiting for the group ahead to clear the green because daddy wants to be on in two. I mean, the odds of actually making respectable contact with a 3-wood are less than ideal, but can’t a boy dream? It doesn’t have to be this way, though. I’m going to revolutionize the art of marshaling.
If I roll up on a particularly saucy foursome, you can bet that I’ll give them a nice two-finger wave from the wheel. I’ll probably even stop and fire up a little friendly banter as I fill a few divots on the tee box. So what if I noticed you snuck a few cold ones onto the course in your bag? I’ll look the other way as long as you respect the game. No need to make it weird. I don’t believe in profiling golfers, and there’s no way I’ll be out there issuing pre-emptive marshal strikes just because I’ve got a group of white belt rocking bros out there still hammered from the night before. No need to mix it up just because. But the moment someone cross that line, it’s zero to sixty-five, real quick.
One thing that no marshal will ever tolerate is disrespecting the course. I know you’ll be bummed about missing that 5-footer to save bogey, but don’t even think about taking a chunk out my green. That’s golf blasphemy punishable by expulsion. If it was up to me, you’d be paraded down the 18th fairway in shackles as the regulars chant “SHAME” and douse you with Arnold Palmers and warm Coors Light. But it probably won’t go down like that, so you’ll just be asked to leave.
And let’s talk about another very easy way to get banished from my course: cart girl harassment. I’ve been there, man. 23 years old, firing darts at pins, and and toting a 3-beer buzz while flirting with a round in the high-seventies. Sitting on top of the world like Mase in that Brandy song (before he became a preacher and a punchline). But going low doesn’t give you license to swing for the fences on my cart girl. She’ll be like a granddaughter to me, and if I get word that your lines have gone from dad jokes to full blown Brett Favre, we’re going to have words.
But let’s get real about something here: I won’t be doing it for the occasional power trip. No, that’s not what it’s about. When it comes to marshaling, it’s all about the perks. Obviously being at the golf course daily is a perk in and of itself, but the possibilities are endless.
When I see a marshal, I think, “There’s a guy that has a wonderful short game.” When the course is your second home, you have zero excuse not to practice. And because my back probably won’t allow me to rip deep balls on the range, I’ll spend most of my day honing my bump and run game and working on absurd flop shots that I’ll probably never actually need to use. It’s the only way. Putting will become second nature. I’m thinking Spieth-esque strokes that will make me a go-to for any scramble team. He’ll have at least 19 majors by then. I’m getting torqued just thinking about it.
Yeah, you’ll see me out there. I may be trying to sneak a hole or two in when it’s slow, or ball-hawking in the woods so I don’t have to drop serious coin on a sleeve of Pro-Vs, but I’ll be out there somewhere. You can call me by my first name, and buy me a beer after your round. I’ll be the guy seated directly in front of the television watching Golf Central after my shift sipping on a vodka soda.
That’s how this cowboy rides away. .
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