Fairfield, California, couldn’t have been more beautiful on Friday. The sun beamed, a breeze fluttered, the fairways beckoned. Temps in the 80s, no humidity, no office, just a nice day on the golf course.
Except for those guys behind us. Several times during the course of the round, we’d be standing in the fairway over our shots and hear a drive landing perilously close behind us. One of their drives even flew a golf cart that was moving with two players inside. On par threes, we took to running off the green before they began to fire at us.
And here’s the thing: We were usually waiting for the group in front of us to clear the fairway or clear the green before we took our shots. We weren’t holding up the fellows behind us, yet, clearly, they had someplace more important to go than where they were. (And that’s not to say that such an attack would be justified even if we were clogging up the course.)
On the back nine, finally I began to turn around and hold up my hands, like a marshal at the US Open, when someone in our party was hitting or putting. A couple of times I saw one of them standing over a shot preparing to fire at us and I hollered, “Wait!” As the only woman in my group, I felt they’d be less intimidated and testosterone-overcome if they heard it from me rather than one of the guys. But I can’t say it helped much. They hit into us on 18 as well.
What I would have liked to have said was: Is wherever you have to go worth risking jail time? Because I guarantee it, if someone beans somebody in my party with a golf ball just because they can’t wait for us to clear out of the fairway or off the green, I’m calling the police. That’s assault, gentlemen. We’re not wearing helmets, and when we’re standing over a shot in the middle of the fairway or a putt in the middle of the green, we’re as vulnerable as can be. And if you fire at my group in those circumstances and hit someone, I will see that you are charged.